Reducing the Burden

The Navy's top surface warfare officer says his staff is continuing to reduce unnecessary administrative functions for ships on the waterfront in order to improve warfighting readiness.

Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, said the entire type command (TYCOM) staff is working hard to take the burdens off of the ships.

“We work for the ships on the waterfront,” said Rowden. “We are here to unburden them, to free-up the ships to concentrate on developing their warfighting skills. We need to listen and welcome feedback from the waterfront so we can properly align resources and eliminate burdens and inefficiencies.”

Recent improvements have included moving the process of hazard and mishap reporting from the ship to shore, standardizing the hazardous material listing on amphibious ships to improve Marine Expeditionary Unit support, and increasing minimum firefighting skills for new accessions to the surface force.

According to Rowden, the TYCOM staff has also been working to reduce inefficiency in Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) surface ship maintenance availabilities and lost operational days.

Rowden said the goal is a dedicated and focused effort to deliver a ready warfighting unit, a command in which deckplate procedural compliance and a deep-rooted culture of ownership and self-sufficiency are the standard.

“Barriers to warfighting readiness must be addressed openly and accurately,” said Rowden. “We need to be able to identify who can remove the barriers we encounter, what action needs to be taken, and when the barrier will be removed.”

Rowden said he also highly encourages all commanding officers, executive officers and senior enlisted leaders to review and critique their current programs, examine both what works and what does not, and share best practices with one another.

Combat readiness, material readiness and personal readiness are the focus of Rowden's efforts at the type command level to support the CNO’s three tenets of Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready. Surface Warfare Magazine


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