WASHINGTON - The events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation. We will learn from them. But make no mistake, we are moving forward. The Navy has our orders and we are executing them.
As I write, we have thousands of Sailors on mission, above, under, and on the seas as well as here at home on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. We’re operating far forward on 90 ships, including three aircraft carriers and two big deck amphibious ships. Navy Cyber teams are defending our networks. Seabees are converting commercial buildings into medical facilities across six states. Three thousand Navy doctors, nurses and corpsmen, including hundreds of reservists, are caring for our fellow Americans on USNS MERCY, COMFORT, in New York City’s Javits Center, and in civilian hospitals. Hundreds more deployed to treat the sick in Dallas and New Orleans. The NIMITZ carrier strike group and her air wing at Lemoore are in 14 day Restriction of Movement (ROM) as they ramp up to deploy. Same for our SSBN crews. Countless more Sailors are leaning in to support them – across our fleet staffs, intelligence centers, training facilities, and supply depots. More than six thousand recruits at Great lakes are preparing to head to the fleet.
Given this, I have three priorities for us right now. First, our health and safety. Second, ongoing fleet operations and our support to the coronavirus effort. Third, continuing to generate the enormous amount of support required to keep #1 and #2 on track. I know much of that effort is behind the scenes and out of the limelight – but every bit of it is critical.
We must ensure the health of the force. And we must be laser-focused on the Fleet – from manning to maintenance, and from training to warfighting. Operational readiness is our job… and every one of us has a role. Nobody sits the bench.
Everyone must pull together. And in this new environment of coronavirus, we’re all learning, adapting, and improving by the hour. There is no better example of this than USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT – staring down an invisible enemy – dedicated in their efforts – making phenomenal progress, and providing lessons for the Navy and beyond.
America. Has. A. Great. Navy. Our nation counts on you and so do I. Never more proud to be your CNO.