Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Friday, January 13, 2006

CNO: Navy to Expand Missions

Calling for a Navy that meets real world needs, the US Chief of Naval Operations has vision for the future that includes a different mix of blue water and other operations as he told the Surface Navy Association here:
Addressing the SNA for the first time since taking the helm as CNO, Mullen said the Navy's view of sea power needed to expand, incorporating both traditional and nontraditional missions.

"I believe sea power as a notion has become way too narrowly defined," Mullen said. "For far too long it's been centered in my view on one of two things - programs and blue water, building big things and putting them to sea."

Mullen called for a balanced fleet with the capability to win the big and small wars. "I have probably talked to upwards of 15,000 Sailors in the course of more than a half-dozen trips at sea and ashore. And the vast majority were involved in operations I would consider green or brown water in nature," he explained.

"We're standing up the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command this month to wrap their hands around what I would call the 'below the line' skill sets in our service -- EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal], Seabees, master-at-arms and the Expeditionary Logistics Force to name a few," CNO added.

The Navy's mission is growing every day as the service assumes command of joint task forces, security and relief operations worldwide. "This is not the way we have traditionally thought of sea power, but it is sea power for this new century and we are going to harness it," CNO said.

Mullen then moved to his second point, the maritime domain, which he described as "getting smaller every day."

"There's still the same amount of water in the world - it still takes you about the same amount of time to get across the pond, but there isn't much happening out there that doesn't affect most nations," he said, referring to the increased emergence of trafficking, piracy and smuggling.

"You may have heard me talk about the 1,000-ship navy, about a world fleet of like-minded navies and coast guards teaming up in a sort of global neighborhood watch," CNO explained. "People realize our fates are lashed together now more so than at any other time in history."
More on the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command here.

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