By MC2 (SW) Rebekah Blowers, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs
Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, briefed the Pentagon press corps on the maritime strategy, building the future Fleet and his priorities as CNO, Feb. 12 at the Pentagon.
Roughead talked about releasing and executing the maritime strategy and highlighted some of the trips he has made in the last four months, including visiting Sailors in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Roughead praised the work of Sailors on the ground and at sea, and the contributions they're making.
"The individual augmentees that we have there are doing great work," Roughead said. "They bring a range of capabilities and capacities to the ground forces that are there and when they come back to our units they bring a perspective that I think is healthy for our Navy and actually enhances who we are."
The CNO also spoke about his recent eight-day trip visiting shipyards across the country.
"The other thing I have been able to do that is very important to me is to go out and visit the shipyards. To get a sense of what are the new processes and procedures and what are the issues that the shipholders face," he said. "Because at the end of the day the Navy and the shipbuilding industry have the same desire; to build ships, to build capable ships for our Navy."
Roughead explained what he sees as his priorities during his time as Chief of Naval Operations.
"As I look at the future and my role as CNO, I lump it into three very simple things – to build tomorrow's Navy, to maintain the readiness of today's Navy and to ensure that the policies that we have in place for our people continue to attract, recruit and retain the young men and women of America who can come to the Navy and fulfill themselves both personally and professionally," Roughead said.
During a media question and answer session, the CNO elaborated on the importance of building a future force.
"As I look at the future fleet and the size of what that fleet needs to be, the number of 313 ships is what I consider to be the floor because my experience commanding both in the Pacific
and the Atlantic is that we need at least that number to be able to engage, to be present and to develop relationships. And from that relationship comes the trust that goes with being able to conduct cooperative and collaborative operations around the world," the CNO said.
He said building the fleet of the future goes hand in hand with being a global force capable of executing all core capabilities outlined in the maritime strategy.
"Being out there does require a Navy that has the capacity and the capability, and equally important, the balance across a range of mission areas that allows us to operate as a global Navy," he said.