Pacific Fleet Master Chief Visits Pacific Northwest
EVERETT, Wash. - Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez toured naval installations and tenant commands within Navy Region Northwest July 29 - Aug. 2.
In his first visit to the Pacific Northwest while holding the top enlisted position in the Pacific Fleet, Ramirez toured Naval Station Everett (NSE), Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), and Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), meeting with senior leadership and speaking to Sailors.
"The Sailors that I met have been capable, they are ready, [and] they are proud of where they are so that tells me a lot about the area," said Ramirez. "It's an awesome place to be."
Ramirez spoke to Sailors about a wide variety of topics at all-hands calls at NSE and NASWI, which included the restructure of naval forces into the Asia/Pacific Region, the mission priorities of the Pacific Fleet, budgetary issues, uniforms, and personnel issues.
"Our first priority is war fighting readiness, second is our partnerships, third is forward presence, and fourth Sailors, their families and the civilians that work for the military," said Ramirez. "War fighting readiness means to me that we need to know our rates, have all our quals and warfare devices, and be medically, dentally, and family ready."
Ramirez's visit also included a tour of base facilities at each installation, and tours aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) and the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727).
One of main reasons for the visit was to talk with Sailors, observe their working environments, and ensure that their needs are taken care of, said Ramirez. It is important to hear what is working well for Sailors, what challenges them, and then communicate that information back to fleet headquarters.
"He's here for the Sailors," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Travis Vinson, stationed on NASWI. "I think it's great that he has come to NASWI to share his wisdom and experience."
Ramirez also said that informing Sailors of what is going on in the Navy at-large is also a priority.
Master at Arms 1st Class (SW/AW) Antonio Neblett, who piloted a security boat during a tour of the NSE waterfront, said that he appreciated Ramirez's enthusiasm in learning about how NSE and its Sailors operate.
"It shows interest," said Neblett. "It lets us know that he is attentive and that he cares about what we are doing ... that he is interested in knowing the specifics of what we do on a daily basis."
Ramirez became the 16th Fleet Master Chief for the U.S. Pacific Fleet on April 30.