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The Navy Is Meeting the Challenge of a New Era

The Navy Is Meeting the Challenge of a New Era

CNO Releases 2006 Guidance from Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

Washington D.C. -- (NNS) October 14, 2005 -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen released his 2006 Guidance for the Navy Oct. 14.

Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (Oct. 13, 2005) – Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen conducts a roundtable discussion with members of the press to introduce his CNO Guidance for 2006. The annual guidance provides vision and direction for the Navy in the coming year and beyond. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Johnny Bivera.

Adm. Mike Mullen (Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Johnny Bivera)

Mullen's guidance outlines his top three priorities, his specific objectives to address those priorities, and what he expects from each Sailor to achieve his vision.

He noted that we all live in a new era, which is "plagued by uncertainty and change and unrestricted warfare, an era of shifting global threats and challenging new opportunities," he said.

  • Underpinning his guidance - which is rooted in the framework of Sea Power 21 - are his top three priorities;

sustained combat readiness,
building a fleet for the future and
developing 21st Century leaders.

Mullen said that of all the challenges the Navy faces, building the future fleet is the biggest. Specifically, he pointed out that the 2006 budget currently in Congress calls for only four ships, and he is not "anxious to stay there."

He addressed this and his other two priorities by outlining seven specific objectives ranging from continuing support in the war on terrorism to determining the proper size of the future fleet to continuing executing Sea Warrior and other ongoing manpower and personnel transformational efforts that will help the Navy achieve his "top three."

  • The guidance includes 10 "Guiding Principles":

accountability and integrity,
risk management,
commitment to change and effects-based thinking - that he says must "guide and inform our actions every day."

"Our success in defense of this nation depends upon the men and women of the United States Navy - active, reserve and civilian, and their families," Mullen wrote. "Personal and family readiness are vital to combat readiness." He also pointed out that he doesn't talk about people without talking about diversity, another main focus for Mullen since he assumed duties as CNO in June.

"I believe we have to have people from and for every part of our Navy, and we've done well, but we can do better in my view."

CNO also stressed the importance of naval teamwork and joint operations. He called the Navy/Marine Corps team a “national treasure,” but added that while naval forces bring to the fight unique maritime and expeditionary prowess, they are “only as good as the contribution we make to the overall effort.”

Of all of Mullen's guiding principles, leadership at every level remained a central theme. "Everything starts and ends with leadership," CNO wrote. "Nothing else we accomplish, no other priority we pursue, is of much consequence if we do not have sound and effective leadership in place to enact it."

And that leadership is essential to his principles of alignment and change. He wrote that the alignment of any organization is simply the degree to which its resources, processes and communications support its vision and mission. "Every Sailor in the Navy should share an understanding of our vision and mission," he wrote, "and be able to describe how he or she contributes to them."

As he frequently tells Sailors in the fleet, Mullen wrote that the only constant in the Navy's future is change. Success in today's uncertain security environment demands that "we continue to transform the way we think, operate and fight," he explained.

In summing up his 2006 Guidance, Mullen said the Navy is in great shape, readiness is high and maintenance is getting done faster and more efficiently than ever before. "But," he added, "we cannot meet the challenges of this new era simply by sustaining today's readiness and requirements. Our adversaries will not rest; our friends and allies cannot wait."

He said that building upon Sea Power 21, the Navy must continue to transform, recapitalize and modernize. "The Navy will begin to build today a force that is properly sized, balanced and priced for tomorrow."

Mullen wrote that it is impossible to foresee, or to fully comprehend, all the challenges the Navy will face. "But by building a balanced force that is resilient and adaptable, with the depth of capabilities required to meet the demands of a multimission, multitask environment, we can mitigate against this uncertainty.

"I am proud to face these challenges with you, and look forward to our shared success."

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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).