Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT) Rear Adm. Jesse A. Wilson Jr., hosted a two-day leadership training symposium at the NATO Allied Command Transformation headquarters, Aug. 16-17.
More than 140 waterfront leaders, including flag officers, commodores, commanding officers, command senior enlisted leaders and COMNAVSURFLANT staff members, gathered to discuss the manning, training and equipping of the surface force.
The symposium provided an opportunity for surface warriors to network, learn and exchange dialogue about topics impacting the force. The event underpinned Surface Force Atlantic’s top priority, which is to provide ready ships, ready Sailors and ready civilians that are prepared to fight and win operations as we return to great power competition.
Wilson emphasized the importance of leadership and talked about changes made across the force in areas like fundamentals, assessments, training, culture and safety of navigation. “Navigation is a team sport. If you can’t navigate, you can’t operate,” explained Wilson. “Contact management is the first stage of combat management.”
He also explained that we must demonstrate ownership and own the fight. He directed waterfront leaders to “prioritize leadership, safety of navigation, warfighting and lethality.”
Throughout the symposium, leaders presented briefs and answered questions regarding surface warfare officer career path changes, ship deployment insight, safety of navigation, maintenance planning, supply, manning, the Comprehensive Review, Strategic Readiness Review and Readiness Reform and Oversight Council.
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Christopher Grady, provided keynote remarks and spoke about having “One fight, one Navy.” He emphasized the requirement to have one fleet-wide standard for manning, training, assessing and certification to support combat readiness and distributed maritime operations while increasing our lethality, agility and maneuver.
Wilson concluded the symposium and explained, “We have to be ready for the fight. It is not a matter of if a fight will happen, but when. The maritime environment is faster, more complex and competitive.” He added, “We must continue to evolve and to function as a team. We will be successful if we are driven by technical competence, proficiency and forceful backup.”
SURFLANT previously hosted a training symposium in January.