Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead left the Pentagon, Jan. 7 on an eight-day trip to visit private and public shipyards throughout the U.S.
As detailed in the 2007-2008 CNO Guidance, building the Navy's future fleet is a top priority. This trip will serve to deepen Roughead's understanding of the shipbuilding industry and help inform shipbuilding decisions.
"It is vitally important that I have up-to-date, first-hand knowledge of the latest developments, technological advances, and infrastructure improvements in the shipyards," CNO explained.
He said that a stable shipbuilding plan relates directly to the quality and quantity of ships the Navy acquires.
"Shipbuilding is complex, and the decisions I'll make regarding it are critically important to the future of the Navy," Roughead added.
The trip includes visits to Portsmouth Shipyard (Portsmouth, N.H.), Bath Iron Works (Brunswick, Maine), three Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sites
to include Ingalls (Pascagoula, Miss.), Avondale
(New Orleans, La.) and Gulfport (Gulfport, Miss.), Austal USA Shipbuilding (Mobile, Ala.), Marinette Marine (Marinette, Wisc.) and National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (San Diego).
Additionally, Roughead will meet with MIT Security Studies Program faculty and other academic and business leaders, visit the Naval War College and Senior Enlisted Academy, and conduct All Hands Calls during his station and shipboard visits.
This visit will also play a larger role as CNO emphasizes his commitment to making the Navy a "Top 50" workplace. On this trip and in those of the future, Roughead will meet with Sailors, Navy civilians and family members, as well as business leaders and educators to help define the Navy's way ahead and integrate change, as needed.
"I'm a firm believer that if you don't walk the ground, you will not have a good sense of what's going on," Roughead said.