NavWeek: One For The Ready

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It ain’t sexy, but it sure is important

Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, detailed the service’s new Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP) Jan. 15 during the annual Surface Navy Association National Symposium.

The plan goes a long way to putting back – or even inserting – some predictability and more rationality into maintenance and deployment schedules during the 36-month O-FRP cycle schedule.

"What's happened,” Gortney says “is that over time we lost predictability in the way we generate readiness."

Getting the properly trained people to a properly prepared ship and the proper time is the key, he says.

"It doesn't matter how good the stuff is if people aren't there and they aren't properly trained," Gortney says. "Not only do they need to be on the ship ... they have to be there at the right time. If they show up after the training occurs just before deployment it's not going to work."

He wants to cut down on pre-deployment inspection requirements and increase readiness by putting all the members of a carrier strike group on the same maintenance and deployment schedule.

It makes sense, he says, to focus on the strike groups. “That’s 85% of our Navy,” he says.

Starting in fiscal year 15, all required maintenance, training, evaluations and single eight-month deployments will be efficiently scheduled throughout the cycle in such a manner to drive down costs and increase overall fleet readiness.

"It's underneath a single chain of command for that entire three-year period,” he says. “It's got a stable maintenance plan."

The O-FRP is starting with 2014 with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group after its current deployment. After the strike groups the plan will be used for amphibious readiness groups, submarines fleets, expeditionary forces and others.

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