Page 28: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Nov/Dec 2017)


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EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW next year, and as you look ahead to the end here, or the be- going for your line offcers? Are you comfortable with the ginning of the next chapter for you, what’s the biggest thing level of competency in your line offcers?

on your plate and the Coast Guard’s plate right now? If you

There’s several questions there, Joe, I’ll take them one at a had to say one thing – I know there are 25+ missions here time. I just met with the executive offcer of the Coast Guard – but if you had to look at one thing, what would you say is cutter Active – it’s a 210-foot medium endurance cutter. It’s 52 the toughest thing happening right now at the Coast Guard? years old. But every time they put to sea, we have what we

Well, it’s not a challenge right at this moment, but it’s great call “safe to sail” criteria. Maybe you have an inexperienced we’re recapitalizing – really – at the most aggressive pace that crew, maybe you have one of your primary systems are down,

I have seen in my over four decades of active duty service. But we have parts obsolescence and it’s going to take a period of

I’m paying attention to two things: What does it cost to sustain time before you can get it repaired. So if it’s not “safe to sail,” these new platforms in the out years? It’s great if you get the you don’t get underway. I write a letter to every command- money and the acquisition, but we’re a service right now – the ing offcer that they have three KNOWs: the frst KNOW is

ONLY military service – that fnds itself funded below the Bud- you’ve got to know your mission inside and out, whether it’s get Control Act foor. And that affects your annual operating ex- search and rescue, counter-drug, migrants, national disasters, penses. And so we’re not keeping pace, even under BCA. Right or you’re working for a combatant commander in the Northern now, since BCA was introduced, we’ve realized about a 10 per- Arabian Gulf. You gotta know your mission. The next is you cent reduction in purchasing power and we continue to move gotta KNOW your people, including their level of qualifcation. in that direction, which is why, as a military service, we need And then the third KNOW is knowing when to say no. Often- to be funded as a military service. So we’ve got the operating times it’s easy to be consumed by the mission and a commander expenses to sustain these new platforms, but the other big piece may feel like he doesn’t have the top cover if they need to say of that is our people. And sometimes it’s tempting as you’re try- “No.” Crew fatigue, people aren’t qualifed, parts are wanting ing to keep a major acquisition program alive, you have to make and you cannot safely put to sea – so say No. And I’ve got your offsets, and then you start looking at offsetting salaries and off- back. I will cover you. So I just call it good risk management. setting people. And as soon as we, we even venture down that We’ve built in risk management to every evolution that you do. slippery slope, I wouldn’t want to fnd myself where the Royal Even if we’re transiting somewhere, we go through naviga-

Navy was several years ago. I was approached by the frst Sea tion groups – who’s on that watch team? Who’s rested before

Lord and 15 years ago they had decided to meet current year they come on watch, and who is qualifed? And if you add it all budget – and they wouldn’t bring in any new people. So they up – and what’s the weather, what’s the traffc, if you use the shut down new accessions, 15 years go by, and those people USS Fitzgerald – I’ve sailed through those waters. And in fact, who would be senior technicians are not there. There’s a huge I spent many a night on the bridge going through those waters hole that had to be flled. They actually reached out to me and – not in my rack – because I’ve been that junior offcer, having said, “Hey, I’m going to need about 40 of your mates – your to call the commanding offcer once, twice, do I wake him up a senior enlisted technicians – to serve on our frigates, or else I’m third time? Never spending more time in doubt whether to call going to have to tie up the frigates.” It’s a fully reimbursable or not, rather than do the right thing. And they’re a big part of service that we provide, but right now there are 40 members of your team. So that gets into the new offcers coming in. They’ve the United States Coast Guard deployed on Royal Navy ships got to build that trust – learn as they go, with their commanding for 3-year tour lengths in order to keep the Royal Navy at sea. offcers. But they have to be operating in an environment where

And they’re a feet who used to say “the sun never sets on the they are gonna make honest mistakes, where it’s not fear of fail-

Royal Navy.” So you can make some comparisons there, but ure, but there’s got to be a team effort. The commanding offcer one area we will not sacrifce is our human capital. As we face is really the coach. He is the go-to person, but you cannot have budget challenges, and we always face budget challenges, but if an adversarial relationship between the junior members of the you start cashing in your people – very diffcult to get those as- ward room and the person who wear the cap with the scrambled sets back on budget again. People are our most valued resource. eggs on it. Our Coast Guard Academy folks are getting all of the basics when it comes to navigation, to include how do we

Okay, let’s talk a little bit about those human resources. Let’s navigate if we have a loss of a GPS signal, so how do we use talk a little bit about the Navy’s woes in the last year or so more traditional celestial navigation (in a light 15:55). So very with three or four bad accidents. Two questions here: With confdent. I’d have to go back, and I still remember, it’s 37 years regard to your assets that you put at sea, are they being used since we had a casualty that approached anywhere close to what in a manner that is in excess of what you would expect of nor- happened on USS Fitzgerald or McCain. And it’s not a case mal service? And the second part of that involves the training that we’re not operating in high-risk waters that are also in very 28 Maritime Logistics Professional November/December 2017 | |

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.