Navy established Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) in January 2006 to lead and centrally manage our Expeditionary Forces. Just four years later, we have a large and diverse group of Sailors at the leading edge of the fight with the demand signal for these forces steadily increasing.

When we discuss Navy’s contributions to today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, NECC’s forces are – and will continue to be – at the center of that discussion. Our Sailors (Active and Reserve) have developed an extraordinary amount of experience and capability that we must continue to bring to bear to execute the missions our nation requires, today and in the future.

It is easy to create and manage a “single-purpose” warfare career field – like sub, surface, and air. My question to you: how do we best ensure that we institutionalize and take advantage of the extraordinary experience that we have gained in NECC over the past four years and will continue to need well into the future?

Cross posted from US Fleet Forces Command Blog


Posted by ADM John C. Harvey, Jr. in Navy

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  • WTH

    My perspective, solely from the surface side, is that if you want to sustain the capability you have to promote/select the folks that serve there.
    It can go two ways:
    1. A strong signal is sent via promotion/selection that NECC is a good place to go and a valued capability.

    2. A neutral or negative message is sent and competitive people avoid the NECC world like the plague with the associated negative follow on consequences.

    Words are just words, NECC viability has to be proven and where a lot of people look is promotion and selection rates.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Name an Admiral in the nineties who served in country in Viet Nam.

    When riverine forces were required in Iraq, what services provided them, in what order?

    Could the two be related?

    Exactly what capabilities is the Navy providing in Afghanistan?
    Mountain frogmen? Amphibious construction many thousands of feet above sea level and hundreds of miles from a beach? Submarine urban and rural reelectrification construction superintendants and supervisors?

    The ugly fact is that the Navy is acting in the role Pershing had in mind for the Marine Corps in 1917. Individual reliefs and replacements where transferable skills exist, to allow the army to cope with shortages brought on by battle casualties or bottlenecks in the mobilization process. In the current case the bottleneck is failure to understand that the nation is at war and what the consequences of that fact are.

    Since our national leadership has an eight year old massive case of raging DENIAL of what the world we live in has come to, the mobization bottleneck isn’t about to clear up.

    What is the point of institutionalizing the consequences of the seminal strategic gaffe; to wit, NO DECLARATION OF WAR, NO NATIONAL MOBILIZATION.

    Define, accurately, our current enemy. Have Congress declare war, or own the downstream consequences of failing to do so.

    Define and declare the war’s aim and terminal objective, based on a realistic understanding of the enemies war aim and terminal objective, and what conditions will force him to abandon them. Determine the strategy to obtain victory in view of the above.
    Mobilize the armed forces. MOBILIZE THE NATION COMPLETELY. Conscript as required to man and train the forces required.
    Wage unrestricted land, sea, and air warfare upon the enemy, until he surrenders. Hold war crimes trials, punish war criminals.
    Occupy and reconstruct the nations whose governments we have overthrown. Withdraw from the defeated nations. Demobilize.

    Ummm, taint likely. You will note we haven’t quite tidied up WWII, yet.

    Personally I fear my great grandsons and (God forbid, but probably) granddaughters, will be fighting this war fifty years hence, although they won’t call it the same war. Just as we split first half of the twentieth century into WWI and WWII, when it was one long screwup.

    My answer?. Archive EVERYTHING, keep everybody’s phone number.

    Because when we get to the end of phase one, that’s about the limit of what the budget will cover. ‘Til phase two.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Name an Admiral in the nineties who served in country in Viet Nam.”

    Grampa, more than a few guys mentioned that at Camp Lejeune at the time. The Navy officers the Riverine guys dealt with were less than enthusiastic, largely because they thought riverine ops was a sure career-ender. And perhaps it was. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  • Chris

    Quite simply, NECC budgets need to be maintained when they come under pressure for cuts following our eventual drawdown from Iraq and the subsequent reduction in MESF/RIVRON deployment tempo. NECC has plenty of oppportunities to stay gainfully employed conducting FID, TSC, etc., but we need to be creative about it.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    I dunno, come back with a significant gong with a V, teach 18 mos at Coronado, next stop Engineering Officer on an old LST, why would a guy think his career track wasn’t down between the crystal chandeliers used in lieu of streetlights on the fast track to flag lights.

    Maybe it was the battle lantern and sounding tape enclosed with the orders.