By Vice Adm. Bill French
Commander, Navy Installations Command
Supporting the Warfighter. Fleet, Fighter, Family. Ready Navy – phrases you hear associated with the shore. But what does it mean to support the warfighter, and why is it important to ensure the fleet, fighter, and family are ready?
For 10 years, that’s been something Commander, Navy Installations Command has been defining and redefining. A decade after its establishment, Commander, Navy Installations Command has become the primary shore resource for the Navy. The fleets and the systems commands come to us for operational support, because they know we give them the right product at the right time and families come to us for a wide range of care and services, because they know we’re there when they need us.
Last week, we hosted a ceremony that celebrated Commander, Navy Installations Command’s 10th anniversary at our headquarters in the historic Forge Building on the Washington Navy Yard. The command’s first leader, retired Rear Adm. Chris Weaver was the guest speaker and we were joined by The Honorable Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, his Principal Deputy, The Honorable Roger Natsuhara as well as many Commander, Navy Installations Command plank owners.
The command was established on Oct. 1, 2003, in recognition that greater efficiencies would be realized by having one command responsible for the shore. Commander, Navy Installations, as it was then called, brought together all the shore-related activities under one streamlined command. Back then, we had 17 regions and 98 bases; now we have 12 regions and 70 bases. We’ve been able to reduce spending and become a leaner, more efficient organization, but we deliver better services. We invented the concept of installation management for the Navy and developed new standards and tools to accomplish the shore mission.
The result has been 10 years of allowing the fleets and the systems commands to focus on their primary missions, while Commander, Navy Installations Command focused on taking care of shore related programs, policies and infrastructure.
Just as important as ensuring the fleet is supported is our tremendous focus on our Sailors and their families. Commander, Navy Installations Command is charged with managing the Navy’s Fleet and Family Readiness Programs, including Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, Navy Fitness, Navy Entertainment, Transition Assistance, child development and youth programs, housing, and so on. Families, one of our primary customers, have come to rely on the services of Commander, Navy Installations Command for support, assistance and fun!
As we’ve evolved, we’ve become fully aligned with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s tenets by ensuring warfighters (and their families) are supported ashore and afloat, the fleet is able to operate forward (from basic services at bases like Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, or libraries and MWR programs on ships at sea), and that we’re ready, we’re always there, ensuring the fleet and our families have what they need.
Our success during the past 10 years is due to the support from the fleets and systems commands as well as extraordinarily dedicated work by the men and women, military, civilian and contractors, who have worked in the Commander, Navy Installations Command enterprise for the last 10 years. To them, I extend my sincerest thanks.
Here’s to 10 more years of supporting the Fleet, Fighter and Family!
Happy birthday, CNIC team!