[Top] [Bottom] [Previous] [Next] [Table of Contents]

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

The Navy and Marine Corps provide the nation with a continuous, adaptable, and active instrument of security policy with which to promote stability and project power. Naval forces shape the global security environment; help assure access to regions of vital interest; and permit timely, and frequently the initial crisis response from the sea. The ability to reassure friends and allies, deter, and when called upon, engage in combat at all levels of intensity makes the Navy–Marine Corps team especially useful to the nation in peace, crisis, and war.

OPERATIONS IN 1999

Naval forces were called upon in 1999 to conduct myriad assignments, ranging from combat operations to humanitarian assistance. For example, during contingency operations in Kosovo, contributions included:

· Navy and Marine strike aircraft flew thousands of combat sorties as part of the air campaign, suffering zero losses and achieving remarkable levels of precision.

· Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles launched from surface ships and submarines struck 50 percent of key headquarters and other targets, achieving a 90 percent success rate in all weather conditions.

· The only standoff electronic jamming aircraft available to NATO coalition forces, Navy and Marine EA–6B aircraft accompanied all allied strikes during some 1,600 missions.

· Marines embarked in Navy amphibious ships provided presence ashore in support of efforts to aid Kosovar refugees.

· As part of the Kosovo Force, Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) were among the first U.S. ground troops to enter Kosovo.

Other significant operations in 1999 include:

· Following a devastating earthquake, Sailors and Marines from the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 26th MEU provided humanitarian assistance to Turkey.

· Elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force formed the core U.S. peacekeeping contribution in East Timor.

· Navy carrier battle groups (CVBG) maintained a continuous presence in the Arabian Gulf, conducting strike operations and continuing Maritime Interdiction Operations in support of UN sanctions against Iraq.

NAVAL FORCES IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Projecting U.S. power and influence from the sea to directly shape events ashore is the essence of the Navy and Marine Corps’ contribution to national security. Naval forces are as unique as the medium in which they operate. Because they are readily sustained on the scene—either visibly, over the horizon, or under the seas—they give our National Command Authority hours, days, weeks, and even months to gain intelligence, conduct diplomacy, avert crisis, build coalitions or, if necessary, act unilaterally. Further, naval forces can exploit the freedom of maneuver afforded by the seas to respond to contingencies around the world.

READINESS AND MODERNIZATION

Recruiting, training, and retaining quality people is key to the Naval Services’ continued success. To succeed on the complex battlefields of the future, Sailors and Marines will require judgment, strength of character, and the ability to make sound, timely, and independent decisions. We must, therefore, invest wisely in the areas that together define the Quality of Profession in the Naval Service. By making smarter use of our resources, especially modern technology, we can challenge our people with rigorous and meaningful training and education and help them hone their proficiency in the use of increasingly sophisticated weapons, sensors, and information systems. Regional experts must also be cultivated—people who know the cultures of the world like they know their own. Our recruiting efforts must extend to all segments of the population so that we get the talented people we need while remaining connected to society at large. Finally, we must act aggressively to improve the Quality of Life of the entire Navy–Marine Team—Sailors, Marines, civilians, and their families.

Recent improvements in military compensation, including the enhancements to basic pay, retirement, and special incentive pays, should have a positive effect on our ability to attract and retain high–quality individuals. Although too early to fully quantify the results of these initiatives, early feedback from the fleet and operating forces appears positive. These improvements, however, must not be viewed as a one–time fix. Rather, they must represent a commitment to sustaining a healthy standard of living for the members and the families of a smaller, busier force. Consistent support for competitive compensation will be a key factor in addressing recruiting and retention challenges.

Recruiting Outlook

The Marine Corps has met or exceeded its accession goals since June 1995. To maintain their successful recruiting stance in the future, the Marine Corps is restructuring the locations of its recruiters to more effectively solicit target populations. The Navy met its accession mission and end–strength requirements in FY 1999. Additionally, the Navy has reduced the 18,000 at–sea billet gap identified last year by 35 percent in 1999. Several initiatives contributed to this success, including increasing the recruiting force by over 30 percent; expanding the number of recruiting stations; increasing financial and educational incentives, such as the Navy College Fund; and refocusing their advertising strategy. The recruiting environment however, remains challenging. While the Navy met its accession requirements for FY 1999, it was not able to improve its recruiting posture entering 2000 as the Delayed Entry Program numbers remain lower than desired.

Retaining Our Best People

ENLISTED

Although Navy enlisted retention during 1999 was below our annual target and steady–state goals, the Navy retained enough Sailors to end the year about 1,000 over end strength. Short–term extensions, however, contribute to a higher retention rate, especially among first–term Sailors. Current enlisted retention for the Marine Corps is relatively stable. In 1999, the Marine Corps experienced reenlistment rates that were close to historical norms. Improved retention tools, including the Triad pay package, higher reenlistment bonuses, and better advancement opportunities are expected to contribute significantly to the Department’s retention efforts.

OFFICER

During the past few years, declining fleet size masked the adverse impact of reduced accessions and lower retention. As the Navy approaches a steady–state force, some 53,000 officers will be required. Besides the compensation Triad, the FY 2000 National Defense Authorization Act included new bonuses specifically targeting unrestricted line officer retention, including continuation pay for Surface Warfare and Special Warfare Officers. It also included enhancements to other special and incentive pays, such as a restructuring of Aviation Continuation Pay and increases to Nuclear Officer Incentive Pay rates. While it is too soon to gauge the full effect of these initiatives, these positive steps should help improve retention specifically within our critical warfare communities. While Marine Corps officer retention remained relatively stable in 1999, the Marines experienced a higher than normal attrition rate. Increased attrition rates lead to an erosion of experience particularly among the mid–range company grade ranks. Many of our mid–grade ground and aviation occupational specialties are already experiencing inventory imbalances and are exacerbated by the higher than expected attrition rates.

Civilian Retirement Bow Wave

Over 27 percent of the Department’s civilian workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next 5 years, including a large percentage of our highly technical employees. With challenges such as regionalization, downsizing, and competitive sourcing changing the way we do business, a viable, flexible, and multi–skilled civilian workforce will continue to be a part of the critical backbone of our total force. Multiple innovative recruitment strategies designed to attract and retain young college graduates as well as a highly skilled technical professional talent pool will be needed.

Smart Work

As a matter of principle and good business, we need to treat our people as professionals even as we seek to employ them in demanding jobs. By allocating sufficient resources to help our Sailors and Marines do their jobs smarter, Smart Work initiatives will contribute to improved readiness. By substituting capital and technology for labor, commercially available services and better materials for labor–intensive tasks, such as painting, will free Sailor and Marines for high value–added work and combat training. Acquiring commercial off–the–shelf (COTS) tools and altering working conditions will save Service members time and effort. The Department is also investing in research and development to design labor–saving tools where not commercially available.

The imperative to work smarter is also being addressed by the Navy’s Interdeployment Training Cycle (IDTC) Workload Reduction Initiative. Over the past year, the Navy has scrutinized the training and inspection requirements levied on operational units during the period between deployments. While individually worthwhile, these requirements have collectively become a huge weight on our Sailors. As a result of this analysis, the IDTC burden was reduced substantially while maintaining critical readiness checks prior to deployment.

Education Initiatives

The higher tempo of future operations will test our Sailors’ and Marines’ abilities to innovate, adapt, and apply their knowledge and experience to dynamic situations. Continuous learning will be necessary for keeping our Sailors and Marines on the cutting edge. The Department will put career–long emphasis on each Service member’s educational and training accomplishments.

Near–Term Readiness

Near–term readiness remains good for the Navy and the Marine Corps. To date, the Navy and Marine Corps continue to meet commitments primarily by drawing from normally deployed rotational forces rather than ordering additional deployments. We have done this by demanding more from our people and our equipment. Moreover, to some extent, deployed naval forces are able to maintain a high level of readiness only at the expense of non–deployed forces. In turn, this resource–shifting causes non–deployed units to overcome a larger hurdle during pre–deployment training. Similarly, the high state of readiness maintained for our front line Marine forces comes at the expense of equipment in organizations with a lower priority.

Modernization – The Mid–Term

The understandable call to pay for current readiness first must be balanced with the imperatives to improve the equipment for tomorrow’s conflicts. Modernization enables our current force to continue to be valuable in the years ahead while concurrently mitigating escalating support costs of aging equipment. Also, as technological cycle times become shorter than platform service life, it is imperative that we modernize the force through timely upgrades. The Department intends to modernize its Aegis cruisers, several aircraft types (F/A–18, P–3C, EA–6B, E–2C, and AV–8B), and possibly extend the service life of some of its SSNs. SH–60B/F helicopters will be upgraded to SH–60R models, while the CH60S will replace several older helicopter types.

Recapitalization – The Long–Term Challenges

The Department continues to invest in new capabilities, to provide systemic replacement for aging platforms and, to some extent, to maintain the economic viability of the industrial base that supports our armed forces. There is evidence, however, that in recent years we maintained our near– and mid–term readiness at the expense of investments in longer–term capabilities. Resolving this tension between current imperatives and long–term requirements has been, and will remain, a challenge. In fact, what was once a far–off issue is now a matter of some urgency. We are challenged to find funding to keep current and future shipbuilding plans on track.

Nonetheless, we are making substantial investments in programs that will be the core of our forces in the next century. The DD–21 destroyer, F/A–18 E/F Super Hornet, Joint Strike Fighter, CVN–77 and CVN(X) aircraft carriers, MV–22 Osprey, Virginia–class SSN, LHA replacement, the San Antonio–class LPD–17, and the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle are each examples of core assets.

Lift Requirements

The Department’s amphibious lift plan provides the future amphibious force with a flexible, crisis–response capability. Ultimately, the amphibious force will consist of 12 Tarawa and Waspclass LHA/LHDs, 12 San Antonioclass LPD–17s, and 12 Whidbey Island– and Harper’s Ferryclass LSD–41/49s, capable of forming 12 integral ARGs or operating independently in a split–ARG/MEU(SOC) configuration.

The Department’s sealift assets include afloat prepositioned stocks maintained around the world, as well as ships earmarked for rapid surge deployment of forces from the United States, supporting all four Services and the Defense Logistics Agency. Each of the three Maritime Preposition Squadrons carry unit equipment and supplies to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade for 30 days of combat. Enhancing our capabilities as defined in Operational Maneuver From the Sea, we continue to pursue our Maritime Prepositioning Force Enhancement (MPF(E)) and Maritime Prepositioning Force Future (MPF(F)) programs. With the fielding in FY 2000 of the first of three ships, the MPF(E) program will add one ship to each squadron creating space for a Navy Fleet Hospital, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, and Expeditionary Airfield. MPF(F) will combine the capacity and endurance of sealift with enhanced speed and flexibility of airlift, to marry–up forces and equipment in a forward area. With onboard cargo handling systems compatible with existing MPF ships and commercial systems, we will increase the speed and efficiency with which we reinforce our assault echelons ashore.

To maintain our emergency surge capability, 20 Large Medium Speed Roll–on/Roll–off ships are being delivered through FY 2002, adding approximately five million square feet of lift to current Army prepositioning and surge capacity.

Infrastructure and Environmental Challenges

Shore facilities are important, but only select facilities (bachelor quarters, utilities, and waterfront, airfield, and training facilities) are maintained at high conditions of readiness. All other shore facilities are funded to lower readiness levels. The Navy plans to demolish 9.9 million square feet of excess or obsolete infrastructure by FY 2002 to help reduce infrastructure operating costs. Backlog of maintenance and repair of real property is currently over $2.5 billion and projected to peak at $2.8 billion by FY 2004.

The Department continues its active program of environmental compliance and stewardship both afloat and ashore. We are pursuing research and development of technologies and innovative pollution prevention strategies to effectively meet our environmental requirements. This research recently focused on marine mammal protection, contaminated site cleanup, and hull paints/coatings. Environmental considerations are weighed when acquiring weapon systems and platforms, and are reviewed periodically throughout each program’s life cycle.

TRANSFORMATION PROCESSES

Dealing with the Department’s challenges on a sustained basis requires innovation, solving of difficult interoperability and integration problems, and the steady pursuit of promising scientific and technological initiatives. We are actively pursuing opportunities that will transcend incremental efficiency improvements by transforming the premises by which we live, work, and fight.

Navy–Marine Corps Integration Efforts

The potential benefit from increased Navy and Marine Corps integration, from warfighting doctrine to procurement strategies, is compelling. Our carriers and large–deck amphibious ships are being fitted with identical or similar communications and command and control subsystems resulting in improved speed of information flow between CVBGs and ARGs. Additional integration initiatives include developing a common aviation plan; replacing numerous independent local area networks with a single Navy/Marine Corps Intranet; and the collaboration of command, control, and communications staffs.

Innovation

The Navy and the Marine Corps continue to pursue initiatives to translate capstone concepts like Network–Centric Warfare and Operational Maneuver from the Sea into reality. The Naval Warfare Development Center’s Maritime Battle Center and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command’s Warfighting Laboratory explore candidate concepts, tactics, techniques, and procedures for the application of advanced technologies. Navy Fleet Battle Experiments and Marine Corps Advanced Warfighting Experiments test these new doctrines and ideas in the field, assess the utility of new technologies, and explore new operational capabilities and organizational arrangements. The empirical results are returned to the Development Commands for evaluation.

Interoperability Improvements

The Services are making significant investments in fielding interoperable systems and migrating legacy systems into the netted world. Some key command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems in development include the Cooperative Engagement Capability, the Single Integrated Air Picture, the Common Command and Decision System, the Global Command and Control System–Maritime, and the Marine Air–Ground Task Force Software Base Line. C4ISR systems for joint, allied, and coalition forces are being developed and coordinated to make interoperability a reality. Use of COTS technology, international standards, and common architectures offer opportunities to avert technology gaps with allies and provide the most economical course for achieving required capability.

Reserve Integration

The effective integration of the Reserve component with active duty components is more important as demand for military forces increases and the active force stabilizes at Quadrennial Defense Review levels. We are starting to leverage the great potential in our Reserve communities better by identifying scenarios/roles that could cause short– or long–term activation of the Reserves. Many Reservists possess skills gained in the civilian workforce that can be called upon when required by our active forces. We are introducing a mechanism to identify the skill areas for which there is no active Departmental occupation counterpart. In addition to the value of their military specialty training and training for mobilization, Reservists provide an essential link to American society.

Advanced Technologies

Application of advanced technologies will yield warfighting and cost benefits for tomorrow’s platforms. By using advanced technologies in our next generation aircraft carrier program, we anticipate total life cycle cost savings of 30 percent for the second carrier of that class compared with today’s Nimitz–class carrier, including a 20 percent reduction in manpower. The DD–21 destroyer will be the first major U.S. surface combatant designed as a single integrated system with the potential to reduce manning, as well as operating and support costs by up to 70 percent. The design/build program being used in the Virginia–class submarine program resulted in a stable design at the start of lead ship construction and should preclude costly design changes during construction. Additionally, the Department is making substantial investments in programs such as unmanned aerial vehicles and integrated electric powering of propulsion, combat systems, and ship services.

Revolution in Business Affairs

As the Department transforms its warfighting capability, we also must improve fundamentally our supporting business processes. Frequently referred to as the Revolution in Business Affairs (RBA), the Department’s goal is to deliver state–of–the–art capability from its acquisition and support organizations. A key to this goal is reduction in total ownership cost of equipment and operations.

Over the past decade, America’s commercial sector has reorganized, restructured, and adapted its business practices to maintain competitiveness in the global marketplace. While the Department of the Navy is not just a business, it maintains a large and diverse business infrastructure to support its warfighting forces. The Department’s Business Vision and Goals provides guidelines for modernizing our business operations and benchmark our practices to the best of the private sector. The RBA seeks to implement management and cultural changes to make our business side as effective as our warfighting side.

CONCLUSION

The recent past has shown that now, as ever, the Navy and Marine Corps play a critical role in the protection and advancement of U.S. interests around the globe. On–scene naval forces conducting peacetime presence or crisis–response missions frequently are the nation’s first hard evidence of our political will and national security policies. To deter aggression, foster peaceful resolution of dangerous conflicts, underpin stable foreign markets, encourage democracy, and inspire nations to join together to resolve global problems, the United States must have a multi–dimensional maritime force that is ready to shape and respond anywhere, anytime around the globe.

/signed/
Richard J. Danzig
Secretary of the Navy

[Top] [Bottom] [Previous] [Next] [Table of Contents]