By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs
SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited Navy Region Singapore (NRS) June 26, during his first trip to Singapore to meet with local Sailors and their families.
"Operating forward is one of the Navy's top priorities," said Stevens. "The work that the Sailors and civilians do here is absolutely essential to the mission of our Navy."
MCPON talked with Sailors assigned to NRS and various tenant commands during two all-hands calls to engage junior and senior Sailors in open and frank conversation.
"I've worn those same chevrons, stood on the same mess decks, and worked on the same flight decks as each of you." said Stevens. He recalled moments in his past when he would have liked the opportunity to voice his concerns and recommendations to senior leadership. "Today, I'd like to hear what is on your minds!"
Before each all-hands call, Stevens highlighted the Navy's rebalance to the Asia Pacific Region, the Navy's enduring commitment to its Sailors, pay and compensation, advancement opportunities and improving leadership of the Force.
"The MCPON's visit is a visible demonstration of the importance of the U.S. pivot to the Indo-Pacific Region," said Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 Command Master Chief Rick O'Rawe. "Our Sailors make a difference every day in this region and getting the MCPON out here validates how important our Sailors' mission and work here is in Singapore."
The MCPON also responded to questions from the audiences on a wide range of topics, including the budget, family advocacy programs, retirement changes, mentorship, diversity of women in the Force, CPO 365 and leadership strategies for the next generation of Sailors.
"It was great that he was able to explain upcoming changes in the Navy such as the Meritorious Advancement Program, CPO 365 and fitness," said Yeoman 1st Class James Coe, assigned to Commander, Task Force 73. "He provided valuable insight about Navy leadership policies and procedures."
Following the all-hands calls, Stevens toured NRS facilities to include the chapel, medical aid station, family housing and the child and youth center. The tour ended with an informal conversation with Stevens, his wife Theresa, and the NRS ombudsman.
MCPON concluded his trip by thanking the Sailors and their families for their hard work and dedication to service.
"The work of our Sailors and Navy civilian personnel here in Singapore is critical to the ongoing rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Stevens. "Theresa and I care deeply for the entire Navy Region Singapore team, along with their families, and are extremely proud of everything each of you contribute to make our mission a success."