Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Leadership Road to Success
CNSL Hosts Commander's Training Conference

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT) Rear Adm. Pete A. Gumataotao, hosted a commander's training symposium May 6 at Lockheed Martin's Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Va.

The purpose of the event was to update SURFLANT tenet commanders, commanding officers, and command master chiefs (CMC) on fleet-wide initiatives, achieve alignment within the surface force, and provide a venue where the group could share ideas and provide candid feedback to the type commander.

"Let's share information so we don't repeat old mistakes," Gumataotao said. "I don't mind new mistakes, because that means you are trying."

Gumataotao kicked off the seminar by unveiling the 2014-2019 SURFLANT Voyage Plan, which highlights his vision, priorities and lines of effort. The lines of effort focus on five vital areas: promoting Sailor and Navy family wellness; improving tactical and technical proficiency; improving material readiness; improving the effectiveness of Surface Force Readiness Manual execution; synchronizing lines of effort and aligning with external stakeholders. Collectively, they provide a roadmap for SURFLANT leadership at all levels.

"Leaders are not just all about identifying problems," said Gumataotao. "Good leaders also find a way to adapt to the changing conditions that are thrust upon them. They make a difference and move ahead."

Other topics such as the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP) and the changes it will bring to the fleet, updates and changes to the surface warfare officer and junior enlisted training and detailing process, a panel discussion on ethics, waterfront maintenance and the Navy's Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor program were discussed.

"I'll go back and tell my Sailors that senior leadership is actively looking at the key issues that concern them [Sailors] on a daily basis and taking action on them," said Cmdr. David Pearson, USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) commanding officer. "I know they'll be very interested in the manning and retention topics as well as O-FRP and how it will affect them."

SURFLANT Force Master Chief Susan Whitman then invited the command master chiefs to join her and Fleet Master Chief Charles Clarke from U.S. Fleet Forces Command to answer any questions and address any concerns.

"The fact that we all can get together and discuss things up and down the chain of command, but then have the individual breakouts where CMCs can take off their hats and talk shop about issues that pertain to the enlisted is great," said Command Master Chief Rodd Tooker, USS Tortuga (LSD 46).

Spouses later joined the symposium to attend the Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Foundation presentation and learn more about TRICARE, Fleet Ombudsman, Navy Fleet and Family Support Center, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs from organization briefs. Surface Warfare Magazine

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