By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (EXW/DV) Jack Georges, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia Public Affairs
NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- The chief of naval personnel stressed the chief of naval operations' three tenets of 'Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready' during an all-hands call at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, July 12.
Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk emphasized Naval Personnel Command's efforts to manage a sustainable and resilient force composed of the right number of Sailors with the right skills for the job while attracting, recruiting and retaining the highest quality personnel.
"I don't think there is a better example of the chief of naval operations' three tenets of 'Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready' than all of you here today. You are doing it all in probably the most dynamic theater in the world," said Van Buskirk.
While acknowledging the valuable work of service members in the region, Van Buskirk said the three tenets must also guide the Navy as it considers future challenges.
"One of the areas we have a challenge has to do with jobs on ships that require very specific critical skills. We have some gaps at sea for some very technical ratings," said Van Buskirk.
In response to these vacant positions, the Navy has sought to provide incentives to Sailors with critical skills who return to sea duty early. Incentives include increased opportunities for retention as well as advantages when choosing new assignments.
"I think you may even see some more sea-duty incentive pay available for more ratings too," said Van Buskirk.
Filling sea-duty billets that require critical skills enables the Navy to effectively meet the chief of naval operations' sailing directions.
Van Buskirk said the key is to find the right mix of skill sets, sea and shore billets and to continue providing incentives for sailors to help encourage Sailors to select sea-duty billets.
Van Buskirk is scheduled to continue his trip to Naval Station Rota where he will also interact with Sailors in an effort to hear directly what issues are important to today's Sailors based overseas.
Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia delivers efficient and effective shore service support to U.S. and allied forces operating in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.