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Fallon Spells Out Future of Fleet Forces Command

Fallon Spells Out Future of Fleet Forces Command

By Journalist 3rd Class (SW) C. Grant Johnson, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

Norfolk, Virginia -- (NNS) October 10, 2003 -- Days after taking the helm of Fleet Forces Command (FFC), Adm. William J. Fallon shared his vision with a Navy audience at this year's U.S. Naval Institute Warfare Exposition and Symposium held Oct. 8, in Virginia Beach, Va.

Norfolk, Va. (October 3, 2003) -- Admiral William J. Fallon, the newly appointed Commander, of U.S. Atlantic Fleet, speaks during the Change of Command ceremony on the flight deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Adm. Robert J. Natter relinquished command of the Navy's Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet to Adm. Fallon.


U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Brien Aho

The speech outlined the Atlantic Fleet commander's plans to reconstitute the fleet following two unprecedented surges in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and spelled out the future of FFC.

Fallon first began by praising the military's ability to work as a team in support of the global war on terrorism.

"You're all familiar with the success of Enduring Freedom," said Fallon. "For example, you can't get much more joint than an Air Force combat controller directing from horseback a Marine pilot flying off the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier in support of Army troops on the ground."

After highlighting some of the campaign successes, Fallon launched into his plans to hone fleet capabilities.

"We knew that after [Operation Iraqi Freedom], we were going to have to bring this force home and reset it into something that was very new and different than the way we've been doing business," said Fallon. "Something that would support surges as well as rotational deployments, without building it on the back of our Sailors."

To implement the changes to the Navy's organization, the Chief of Naval Operations established FFC in October 2001 with the mission of organizing, manning, training, and equipping naval forces for assignment to combatant commanders.

To accomplish its ideals, Fallon announced he will initially focus on five areas.

The first, organizational alignment, will reinforce FFC as the single fleet commander responsible for readiness and requirements.

"Our goals are to provide a unified, coordinated voice for fleet requirements. A portion of this is to enable our former fleet commanders to focus on combatant commander objectives," said Fallon.

Next on Fallon's list is the fleet's current readiness.

"We want to expand on the gains made in the last several years in current readiness by using the Fleet Readiness Program as a framework and exploiting it," said Fallon. "In the uncertain future we face, it seems to me we have to be prepared to support both flexible and rotational deployments, and to more efficiently train and provide maintenance to our capital assets."

Fallon's third goal is to identify efficiencies that can be reinvested in other key areas.

"We must champion a more efficient use of resources by incorporating the business dimension into planning and execution at every level of command," he said. "This is not something that belongs just in Washington; it belongs in the minds of each of our commanders. There is no free lunch here. We have got to take into account the cost of doing business."

Fallon's fourth goal deals with active and Reserve integration, an important aspect in the global war on terrorism.

"We are going to structure, man, train, and equip the Naval Reserve to better support Navy mission requirements to truly achieve an integrated and relevant total force," said Fallon. "The majority of the focus here is going to be on the active side, which has allowed the business of the Naval Reserve to be done by the Reserve. We're going to change that."

The commander's final goal gives naval units a single, authoritative fleet-driven voice in the requirements process.

"The business of 'I need, I want, I gotta have, I must have' and the endless list of requirements that are just passed up the line to D.C. in some great expectation that Santa Clause will arrive, well, that's just not going to cut it," said Fallon. "We're going to start making some hard decisions, and [FFC] is the place to do it."

Fallon closed his speech by stressing his excitement about the future of the naval forces.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of the accomplishments of our people, particularly and most recently in the global war on terrorism," said Fallon. "We've learned some very important lessons, and we're acting rapidly and decisively to ensure we have the full range of capabilities that we need."

- For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Navy NewsStand

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).