From NSWC Dahlgren Division
Shaping the Navy for the future was the theme of a
all hands call at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
(NAVSEA) praised the
accomplishments of the division's workforce supporting Operation Iraqi
Freedom and the War on Terrorism.
"I am keenly aware of your contributions," said Vice Adm. Phillip
more than 1,000 Dahlgren Division employees
. "I have seen them as your
systems command commander. But, much more importantly, I have been your
customer for 33 years. I've sailed the ships that you have built,
and maintained, and I have benefited from the Sailors you've
Much of his focus was on the recent success of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"On many days more than 70 percent of our naval forces were deployed,"
said. "They were mobilized on the shortest of notices and it left the
in total amazement about America's resolve. A lot of the people who
that kind of resolve possible are sitting right before me."
In plain-spoken language, Balisle said the nation's current Global War
Terrorism is forcing specific and fundamental change of Navy
much of which will affect the workers of Dahlgren.
"Fundamental change is change that truly alters how you do business in a
major way that will be irrevocable," he said.
He explained that the change is promulgated by current events. In the
especially during the Cold War, the Navy knew just about everything it
to know about a battle group, what it needed and when and where it would
at all times. In addition, the Navy also
knew a lot about the enemy and
threats our nation faced from it.
"But look at today," he said. "We're in another war, with a very
enemy. We don't know when we will meet him or the terms under which we
meet him. Our job is to reshape the naval infrastructure
to meet him."
Balisle also pointed to Operation Iraqi Freedom to illustrate his point
about the changing face of warfare. He said that we saw for the first
the shape that war will take in the 21st Century.
"I believe a Russian general said it best (about Operation Iraqi
'The Americans have rewritten the textbook on war and it has changed
Balisle said in World War II America built
15 ships a week and 300
day at its peak, and that the war was won by coupling America's
output to the men and women who go in harm's way to fight. The United
States won the Cold War the same way, he said, by out-producing what our
adversary could bring to the table.
"But look at this current enemy," Balisle continued. "He doesn't build
anything. He buys his weapons from the commercial marketplace and his
and evaluation of them is when he uses them on us."
The key to shaping the future Navy, Balisle said, is Sea Power 21. An
important component of that strategy in which NAVSEA will play a major
is Sea Enterprise, streamlining processes and finding efficiencies to
a more effective naval force. Part of Sea Enterprise is the realignment
NAVSEA, the naval shipyards and warfare centers.
Balisle also fielded questions from his audience. The questions ranged
more frequent use of contractors to get jobs done at Dahlgren to the
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) issues now facing Congress
"In all BRAC issues, there can be only one winner and that is the United
States of America," Balisle said. "We need to make our facilities as
as they can be through realignments and subsequently eliminate our
redundancies so that when the BRAC people come they see our best."