Eye on the Navy – Navy dedicated to winning war in Iraq

Navy dedicated to winning war in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iraq

(From Maritime Reporter magazine)


By Edward Lundquist

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Department of the Navy leaders recently provided an update to representatives of the Navy and Marine Corps Council at the Army Navy Country Club on May 3, 2006.  The council is composed of  21 organizations that support the Navy and Marine Corps, with a total membership of 500,000 constituents.


Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter has served in his position for four months.  In that time he has been involved in a navy that is taking on new missions, establishing new units in unique warfare areas, and building coalitions to meet the current threat.  He stated that the Navy and Marine Corps response to the Global War on Terror is inspiring.  Today the Navy is taking a leadership role with Task Force Guantanamo and Task Force Horn of Africa; and Navy men and women are performing security duties at Fort Suse Prison in Iraq, and other Sailors are relieving Marines in providing security for the Haditha Dam.


“We are preparing for an uncertain future,” he said.  “We are not just facing a single enemy.  We are dealing with a complex set of threats.


Furthermore, Winter said, uncertainty is the nature of these threats. 


While reaffirming the Navy’s commitment to maintain superiority of the high sea, or “blue” water, is now focusing on the coastal and riverine environments.  “Future operations will require a wide range of capabilities and evolving focus. Changes to our naval forces will include a shift in emphasis from blue water to green and brown water missions.”


The Navy is not abandoning the blue water, Winter said.  The service is investing in both equipment and people to raise the size of the force from 281 ships to 313, based on sound analysis that supports the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan.


Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen talked about his three priorities of sustaining readiness, building a fleet for the future and creating 21st century leaders.


“We’ve put readiness dollars in, and we know what we’re getting out.”  The key to building the fleet of the future is to balance capability with affordability, Mullen said.  In shaping the workforce of the future, he said “we’ve got to get it right.”


The Navy’s shipbuilding plan is supported in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).  Beyond the questions of capability and affordability, Mullen also asks himself “if industry can build it.”  To keep cost growth in check, Mullen said, the Navy must stick to its plan.  “We’ve got to give industry a shot at stability.”


“Leadership,” he said, “more than anything else, is what can solve intractable problems.”


Mullen referred to the importance of the reserves.   He stressed the importance of creating a force where Navy people can leave active duty for a while, join the reserves, and potentially return to active duty later.  “We’ve got to get to the point where you can leave and come back.”


Mullen also spoke about engaging with other naval forces to create what he calls the “1,000 ship navy.”  Partner nations are anxious to be engaged, he said.  The U.S. Navy will acquire some smaller platforms, like LCS and Riverine craft, which can get into smaller ports and can operate with similar sized craft of other nations.


Navy men and women are eager to help fight the Global War on Terror.  Mullen said that Sailors he has talked with in the fleet have asked him “how do I get to Iraq.”


Mullen recently met with six Navy commanders in the Pentagon as they prepare to assume command of half the U.S.-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in Afghanistan.  Each PRT will work directly with an Afghan Province, mentoring and assisting its relationships with towns and villages and with the national government.


Sailors and officers are being trained at places like Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and Ft Bragg in North Carolina, in preparation for Individual Augmentee assignments in the CENTCOM AOR to join combat support and combat service support units.  About half are coming from the active forces, and half are being drawn from our reservists.


Seabees are building border security posts in Iraq along the Jordanian and Syrian borders.  Sailors are also taking over the defenses of Iraq's Haditha Dam, which provides the Iraqi people with a third of their electricity, and relieving the Marines of this duty.  A Navy unit is also assuming responsibility of Fort Suse, the highest security prison in Iraq.


A Navy admiral has assumed command of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, responsible for detainee operations and intelligence gathering at Camp Delta there.  Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris assumed command from Army Maj. Gen. Jay Hood last month in April. 


Combined Task Force (CTF 150) is now commanded by Pakistan navy Rear Adm. Shahid Iqbal.  The multi-national task force is responsible for conducting maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the North Arabian Sea. The U.S. Navy is a part of this task force.


Navy Rear Adm. Richard Huntcommands of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. This task force is providing “theater security cooperation” in this the troubled region, which includes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Yemen. It is an area two-thirds the size of the continental United States with 181 million people.  This term “theater security cooperation” includes civil military cooperation, humanitarian assistance, military-to-military training, and capacity building to improve regional security.



Edward Lundquist is a retired Navy captain and a senior technical director with Anteon Corporation. 


The Navy and Marine Corps Council



The Navy and Marine Corps Council (NMCC) was established in 1967 by then Secretary of the Navy, Paul H. Nitze.  His desire was to establish a Council composed of organizations that support the Navy and Marine Corps.  The Council was designed to give the Secretary of the Navy, and the rest of Navy and Marine Corps leadership, one place to go to address issues of importance to the Navy Department, that would also be of interest to these organizations and their membership.  Today, the NMCC consists of 21 organizations that represent over 500,000 constituents:

Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO)

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)

Marine Corps League (MCL)

Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA)

National Naval Officers Association (NNOA)

Naval Aviation Foundation (NAF)

Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA)

Naval Helicopter Association (NHA)

Naval Order of the United States (NOUS)

Naval Reserve Association (NRA)

Naval Submarine League (NSL)

Navy Club of the USA (NCUSA)

Navy League of the US (NLUS)

Navy Wives Clubs of America (NWCA)

Reserve Officers Association – Navy Section (ROA)

Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA)

Surface Navy Association (SNA)

Tailhook Association

US Naval Institute (USNI)

US Naval Memorial Association (USNMF)

Women Marines Association (WMA)


Representatives of each organization meet quarterly for briefings from various Navy and Marine Corps organizations and commands, as well as to share information with each other.  Also attending the meetings are representatives from the Navy Secretariat, Navy Office of Information (CHINFO), USMC Public Affairs and Community Relations Branch, and the Navy Recruiting Command (CRUITCOM).

Annually the council holds a briefing by the Secretary of the Navy for the member organizations.  The day also includes briefings by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, or their representatives.  It culminates with a luncheon with the Secretary or one of the other distinguished speakers.

The Annual Meeting has become an interchange between member organizations, SECNAV, and other Navy/Marine Corps leadership.  SECNAV briefs the Council on his goals and objectives and how the organizations can help him achieve those objectives.  This is an opportunity for an exchange of information, questions, and suggestions between all parties.

The NMCC continues to add new organizations.  Currently, the Navy Historical Foundation is being considered for membership.

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