Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday visited the Hampton Roads area, Jan. 29 and 30, and highlighted the importance of warfighting and readiness to Sailors in the region.

The theme of Gilday’s visit was readiness. “Mission One for every Sailor – active and reserve, uniform and civilian, is the operational readiness of today’s Navy,” he said. “I want our ships looking good. I want our Sailors trained well to fight. I don’t want our Sailors walking around with the mindset that we’re not going to have to fight for 15 years. We must be ready.”

During the trip, Gilday visited Sailors stationed aboard Naval Station Norfolk, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck-Annex, and attended the U.S. Marine Corps executive off-site discussion.

At the Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command (NEIC), Gilday met with unit leadership and spoke with Sailors about their mission to provide commanders with tactical and force protection intelligence in the operational environment.

“NEIC is dedicated to providing the Fleet highly trained and extremely dynamic teams capable of collecting human, signals, cyber, and counterintelligence from a wide variety of platforms,” said Cmdr. James Merchant, NEIC Commanding Officer. “It is not about intelligence leading operations; it is about intelligence doing operations.”

Gilday also visited the MyNavy Career Center (MNCC). Established in 2019, the contact center delivers efficient, reliable, timely, and responsive customer service to the Fleet.

Capt. Laura Scotty, MNCC Operations Center Director said she was proud of the work her team has done and welcomed the opportunity to show Gilday the work the center does day-in and day-out.

“We were honored to show the CNO how the MNCC Contact Center provides world-class customer service to Sailors, their families, veterans and retirees,” said Scotty. “Customer service matters.”

Gilday also visited the Navy’s F/A-18 Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) / Aircraft-On-Ground (AOG) and saw first-hand improvements to naval aviation maintenance.

During Gilday’s visit to the MOC / AOG, he heard from Capt. Jeff Chown, Director, Aviation Materiel Readiness at Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic about the unique role the MOC/AOG provides the naval aviation enterprise.

“The readiness sustainment efforts in naval aviation coordinated by the MOC/AOG team truly serves to improve the culture of life-cycle acquisition and maintenance best practices both last year, into 2020 and beyond,” said Chown. “This organization of many commands across the naval aviation enterprise is striving to consistently improve aviation readiness. Originally, in 2019, it was launched to maintain this culture of sustainment and restoration of aircraft, but we have seen this sustainment effort being applied to all aviation reforms to recover and sustain readiness and improve safety for each type, model, and series of aircraft. This team directly supports the warfighter.”

Gilday also visited one of the Navy’s two Mariner Skills Training Centers (MSTC). Both MSTC facilities provide simulator training and instructional courses designed to improve surface warfare training for Sailors and junior officers.

As part of the trip, Gilday also participated in the U.S. Marine Corps executive off-site discussion with senior Marine Corps officers in support of achieving integrated American naval power and strengthening the two services’ partnership.

Gilday said that this trip highlighted important steps taken by the Navy to improve personnel customer service, surface warfare training, and maintenance, particularly improving aviation readiness.

“Our focus must be on Warfighters, Warfighting, and the Future Navy,” said Gilday. “What I saw in Norfolk during this visit was a good representation of readiness improvements that are happening every day throughout the Fleet, which makes us a more ready and lethal Navy.”

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