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Region Highlights issue 4


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Commander, Naval Forces Japan Region Highlights

Commander, Naval Forces Japan Region Highlights

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  • 1. By Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy. TOKYO (Sept 5, 2013) – No matter how strong our sea legs, we tend to view the world from the land perspective. We operate at sea, but live ashore. We grow up with a view of the United States that is centered in the middle of a map, with the Atlantic and Pacific oceans barely visible on either side of the continent. We visualize our world with the equator in the center, and the North Pole at the top of the world My trip to Japan was instructive in reminding me that our traditional flat image is helpful for understanding stateside geography, but tends to overshadow global factors that influence our ability to perform our primary mission of defense. The plane’s flight tracker traces a great circle route from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo. Airlines, like ships, take advantage of the curves of the earth, and by flying up and over reduce the miles that must be traveled. Moving at several hundred knots, the trip from the United States to Japan can be made in 13 hours. At mach speeds, a missile can complete the journey in minutes. We are in an age where we must mentally rotate the globe and think about the world from the top down. We have lived with a potential threat coming across the top of the world for decades. The North American Aerospace Defense Command NORAD is specifically formed to deal with the possibility that an attack could come over the arctic. As nations continue to develop ballistic missiles, perils can come over the top of the world or mimic the airplane tracker and fly up over the northern arc of land across the top of the Pacific Ocean. Our Navy has evolved as the threat has changed. We have developed Ballistic Missile Defense capability and network with joint partners as we posture to protect the United States. Our responsibility to defend requires that we operate forward in the Pacific Ocean. In addition to our obligation to defend U.S. sovereign territory, we have defense pacts with several allies in the Asia-Pacific. If we think about the scope of additional missions beyond BMD, such as countering violent extremists, or countering proliferation, it becomes clear that we need the combined knowledge and capabilities of partners to identify and deal with current and future threats. I was on board USS Blue Ridge on Tuesday as Seventh Fleet celebrated its 70th anniversary. More importantly, the commemoration ceremony was acknowledgement of our enduring relationship with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the people of Japan. Our partnership has only deepened over the years. The Japanese government has been a stalwart supporter of the United States. In addition to host nation access, the government has stood by us through many events far from their shores. The JMSDF sent Mine Sweeps to the Gulf in Desert Storm. They provided fuel oil to us and to other nations during Operation Enduring Freedom. They continue to develop capability, such as Aegis, to ensure interoperability as we defend our nations. They have supported counter-piracy operations in Fifth Fleet with P-3s, and recently announced they will be joining CTF 151. I visited helicopter destroyer, JS Hyuga (DD 181) and her crew. She participated in Dawn Blitz in June, carrying members of the Japanese Self Defense Ground Force. Our militaries practiced expeditionary operations; reinforcing joint and combined interoperability; while also training for the most likely contingency of Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief. Strategically, our rebalance to the Pacific is reaffirmation that the world is still round. RecallingTheWorldIsStillRound-ATripToJapan Published by Public Affiars Office Commander, Naval Force Japan/Navy Region Japan 81-315-243-7615 Page 1
  • 2. By Regional Master Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Paul Kingsbury Over the past six weeks the CPO Mess has been engaged in a process that is designed to socialize Chief selects into the network of the CPO Mess. During this process: • We’ve communicated and instilled the values, beliefs and expectations required to contribute ef- fectively and succeed within the CPO Mess • We’ve tested their ability to work with and contribute to a team to achieve goals while under stress and time constraints • We’ve tested their reliability, loyalty, confidence and humility • We’ve worked to eliminate the apprehension they may have had regarding the CPO Mess, so they can effectively contribute to it once their Mess accepted them • And we’ve provided coaching and feedback when we found deficiencies This six week process is important because it helps our newest Chief selects understand their obligation to their command, CPO Mess and Sailors in an often demanding and unforgiving operating environment. Whether they fail or succeed is left to be seen. The words of the CPO Creed we will hear later in the program will reinforce this. However, this process is not just about training and welcoming new Chiefs into our Mess. The season should also be a time for all of us to reflect on our roles in ensuring the CPO Mess remains strong and can fulfill its duties. When I say “us” I am talking about the various people who form the relationships that support and enable an effective CPO Mess; officers, fellow Chiefs, and family members. Today I’d like to take some time to discuss and reflect on those relationships and their importance to the CPO Mess. Our Regional Commander, Rear Admiral Kraft, Commanding Officers and other members of the wardroom attended CPO pinning ceremonies last week. This visible sign of support sends a strong message and I’m confident they will tell you that the CPO Mess directly contributes to the success of their commands, departments, divisions and careers. I bet they all have at least one good Chief they fondly talk about. It may even be you! The wardroom expects the CPO Mess to bring deck plate leadership, experience, good order and discipline, continuity and execution of policy to the team. Without an engaged, effective and fully functioning Chief’s Mess, a command simply will not perform to its potential and it may even fail. In return, the Chiefs Mess expects to be empowered and supported by their officers. To state the philosophy of one Commanding Officer, “Officers may have grand ideas, formulate strategy and think tactics. But without a Chief to carry the water for him, to take the rubber to the road, to see the tactics through to execution, everything he thinks or says or writes is so much finger-painting, so much vaporing, so much ephemera. With the Chief’s mess on your side, all things are possible. If they turn against you, because you can’t live up to their expectations of an officer (these are, thankfully, much less stringent than their expectations for themselves), you will fail. It is exactly that simple.” Those observations ring true today. Like all effective relationships, communication and trust is paramount. Officers should embrace opportunities to engage with their Chiefs in meaningful ways. I would encourage the officers in attendance with us today to reflect on how well they empower and support their Chief’s Mess? Do the tools of good order and discipline really reside in the hands of your Chiefs? Do you accept the Chief’s input on NJP, awards, evaluations as your own because you know the Chief knows what’s best or is it simply a recommendation? Are you the Executive Officer who stands watch over the quarterdeck and monitors liberty call rather than accepting that the Chiefs have things under control? Are you adding or removing admin processes and bureaucratic obstacles that distract us from fulfilling our primary duties….providing material and Sailor readiness for combat. I’ve been a Chief for 17 years now and a CMC for almost 10 of those. I’ve seen how poor officer leadership and management can cause the CPO Mess to become resentful and disengaged. But I’ve also seen how great leadership can empower the Mess which then makes great things happen for the command. We’ll deliver results, but we want to know we’re trusted, supported and that you’ve got our back when the heat comes. Page 2 Published by Public Affiars Office Commander, Naval Force Japan/Navy Region Japan 81-315-243-7615 CPOMessRelationships
  • 3. Published by Public Affiars Office Commander, Naval Force Japan/Navy Region Japan 81-315-243-7615 Page 3 With all that said, Chiefs, we need to deliver. Before you claim that your power has been taken away, have you stopped to con- sider how effectively you are using your power bases? Do you take ownership for your division, your department and your command? Do you hold effective quarters and walk your spaces? Do you write good evaluations and awards? Do you look for opportunities to in- vite your division officer, department head, XO or Skipper down to the Mess for a meal or a cup of coffee so you can build trust and the commitment and support that follow? I’ve seen the unfavorable results of a CPO Mess who had grown complacent and disengaged and had to be micromanaged. But once that Mess got refocused, the command excelled. Unfortunately, the price to be paid for that com- placency falls directly on the backs of Sailors. Phrases like “Chiefs make the Navy run” and “Backbone of the Navy” must be earned. You just can’t print them on a t-shirt and expect results. CMCs, COBs and SELs, recognize that your role is to ensure this relationship remains healthy. You have the unique access and perspective to see this relationship from both sides and to gauge its impact on com- mand effectiveness. I challenge you to be the catalyst that facilitates an ongoing and healthy dialogue between your wardroom and your Mess. On occasion, it will be strained, but when the relationship between the wardroom and CPO Mess is strong, your command and your Sailors will benefit. One of the major lessons our newest Chiefs have learned is that they are now part of a great network. To maintain the strength of that network, we must have good relationships among ourselves. I know we’ve discussed this extensively during the last few weeks. I once read a paper called Charting the Course to Command Excellence. There’s a section that discusses the characteristics of a superior CPO Mess and it always stuck with me. In fact I would use it to frame discussions within my CPO Messes. It states that, “In superior commands, the Chief’s quarter’s functions as a tight knit team. The Chiefs coordinate well, seek inputs from each other, help with personal problems, identify with the command’s philosophy and goals, and treat each other with professional respect”. This relationship among Chiefs must not be allowed to fracture or the command will struggle. The CPO Mess should also take time away from work to improve their relationships. We have an obligation to each other to attend hail and farewells, promotions and retirements not because our CMC or COB tells us to, but because it is the right thing to do, it comes with being a member of the CPO Mess, it demonstrates solidarity and it strengthens our network. A strong CPO Mess has also developed mechanisms of self accountability that ensure the CPO Mess sets a solid tone and example for the crew. The strong CPO Mess is able to overcome the weakest Chief. We must be able to engage those struggling Chiefs and get them back on course. Too often it seems we fail to meet this obligation. When we do, the credibility of the Navy wide CPO Mess erodes. Over the past 6 weeks, we’ve held the CPO selects accountable for their failures to live up to our expectations. Let’s not make a mockery of our process by failing to hold ourselves accountable to those same standards from Sept 14th on. Command Master Chiefs, COBs and SELs must be the leaders who encourage Mess collaboration and self accountability. You set the tone for your Mess. Be firm but fair. Demand self accountability and discipline within the Mess but remain approachable to your Chiefs. Within your Mess reside our reliefs. Train and lead them well and the Navy will benefit for years to come. When the relation- ships among Chiefs in the Mess are strong, our commands and Sailors will always benefit. The last relationship I’ll discuss is the most important. It’s the relationship between Chiefs and their families. I’m not defining family as a spouse and kids, but as a larger group that includes parents, brothers and sisters and grandparents. The strains on modern military families are great. Families often have two working parents, school and homework, chores, sports and activities. Additionally, the challenges of overseas duty coupled with intensive operational tempos make life in the FDNF that much more demanding on our families. Without your continued support and efforts at home, we can become distracted and the mission and our Sailors can be affected. Eventually, the Navy is going to kick us all out and we’re going to have to live with the decisions and priorities we made while on active duty. Chiefs, do not view family as a distraction. When we come home they want and deserve their piece of us. Always be mindful of that, recognize where you are falling short and work to fix it. Take leave when you need to. You know as well as I do that the command won’t stop or fall apart because you took a week of leave. Lastly, for the family members in the region, I want to say thank you. By this point you realize the sacrifices your Navy man or woman makes and I know you often hold back when you are not getting time with them at home. Realize that we are preparing for that next inspection or deployment or taking time to help a Sailor thru a crisis and yes, from time to time we like to spend a little time with each other at the golf course or CPO club. Simply recalibrate us as you always do. The recognition we provide later in the program does not come close to what you really deserve. We must invest time and energy in our families. Our children are our investment in the future. Take time to love, play with and educate them. Don’t take any day for granted. It’s as simple as saying, “Thanks for all you do” and “I love you”. Get this relationship right and your legacy and America will benefit. CPOMessRelationshipscontinued
  • 4. CNFJ/RJRearAdmKraftAttendsFirstOfficeCallwithJMSDFLeadership Published by Public Affiars Office Commander, Naval Force Japan/Navy Region Japan 81-315-243-7615 Page 4 TOKYO, Japan - (Sept. 3, 2013) CNFJ, Rear Adm. Terry Kraft meets with JMSDF Chief of Staff, Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano at the Chief Maritime Staff Office during an Incall. (Photo courtesy of Japan, Maritime Self-Defense Force). TOKYO, Japan - (Sept. 3, 2013) Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Navy Region Japan, Rear Adm. Terry Kraft and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Chief of Staff, Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano render a salute while attending a wreath laying memorial ceremony held at the headquarters of the Self Defense Ministry of Defense. During Japanese memorial ceremonies for JMSDF personnel killed in the line of duty, distinguished guests give addresses and the Honor Guard carries out a funeral gun salute during which all participants bow in honor of the deceased. (Photo courtesy of the Japan, Maritime Self-Defense Force).
  • 5. RegionJapanRemembers9/11 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 11, 2013) Sailors stand at attention as the colors are paraded in the hangar bay of the U.S. Navy’s forward-de- ployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during the ship’s Patriots Day Celebration held in remembrance of 9/11. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Liam Kennedy/ RELEASED) MISAWA, Japan - (September 11, 2013) Chief (select) Logistics Specialist Federico Balbin, left, attached to Commander, Task Force 72, and originally from San Diego, and Chief (select) Gunner’s Mate Patrick Ryan, assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa, and originally from Louis, Calif., carry a wreath during a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Naval Air Facility Misawa. Navy Misawa chief petty officer selectees conducted the ceremony to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Daniel Sanford/Released) NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan (Sept. 11, 2013) Chief (select) Gunner’s Mate Patrick Ryan, left, assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa, and originally from Louis, Calif., and Chief (select) Logistics Specialist Federico Balbin, attached to Commander, Task Force 72, and originally from San Diego, salute after laying a wreath at the foot of U.S. Flagpole during a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Naval Air Facility Misawa. Navy Misawa chief petty officer selectees conducted the ceremony to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Daniel Sanford/Released) Published by Public Affiars Office Commander, Naval Force Japan/Navy Region Japan 81-315-243-7615 Page 5