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Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command Discusses Fleet Readiness at AFCEA West

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150219-14
Release Date: 2/19/2015 12:44:00 PM

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, speaking to a group of military leaders, government officials and members of private industry discussed the need to increase the fleet's readiness during a key note address at the United States Navy Institute 25th Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) West Conference Feb. 11.

'It is quite clear to me that my job - the job of Fleet Forces Command - is to make the fleet ready to fight and win - both today and tomorrow,' said Davidson.

Praising the fleet's performance in 2014, Davidson expressed his appreciation to Sailors for answering the nation's call to duty. 'You met every challenge, whether directing the neutralization of Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles at sea, meeting the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, or deploying an expeditionary response to the outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa,' said Davidson.

'But today's fight is evolving rapidly. America's competitors and potential adversaries are flexing their muscles abroad and attempting to match our capability with vastly improved technologies in the air, on and under the sea, and in space and cyberspace,' said Davidson. Given all our forward fleets are observing in the Pacific, the Arabian Gulf, and the Mediterranean, Davidson stressed that technology alone will not provide sufficient tactical advantage in contested and denied environments of the future.

'Simply put, the firing key cannot be our only tactic in the battle space. We need to cultivate the minds of our warfighters to think in new and creative ways to fight. I believe we have the tools, and most importantly, the people, to set the course to work through the challenges and succeed today and in the future.'

Davidson also addressed the importance of implementing the optimized fleet response plan (OFRP). OFRP sets the framework to improve stability and predictability of the fleet and the fleet's readiness by better aligning maintenance, manpower and training.

'We are already beginning to see the goodness that OFRP will bring,' said Davidson. 'We have seen improvements in our manpower at sea by aligning personnel to fleet units before the training cycle, not just before deployment. This has reduced the number of previously required cross-decks of critical personnel.' OFRP is also bringing predictability back in the maintenance phase as the fleet works through maintenance and modernization deferrals - both critical to readiness.

Another benefit of the improved OFRP alignment is a more predictable and focused integrated training phase. Our Sailors will be in place prior to the integrated training phase and will benefit from exercising as a complete strike group team with advanced warfare tactics across all warfighting domains in contested and denied battle space.

Davidson sited the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group's recent composite training exercise which saw increased time in denied electromagnetic environments, advanced anti-submarine warfare against a live opposition-force submarine and TRCSG's employment of Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) - the first NIFC-CA capable strike group.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) West conference is the largest event on the West Coast and is designed to bring a diverse group of professionals together to discuss issues and share ideas and solutions for the technological challenges of today and tomorrow, including those of the maritime domain.

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