PACFLT visits FLEACT Yokosuka forward-deployed forces
published: February 23, 2013
Sailors from various commands at Fleet Activities, (FLEACT) Yokosuka gathered in the Fleet Theater to attend an an all hands call with U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) Commander Adm. Cecil Haney, Feb. 19.
Haney spoke before a capacity crowd with regards to several hot topics.
One of which was the fiscal economy.
Prior to his speech, senior leadership expressed to the admiral that most Sailors in the area of responsibility were also concerned with the pending fiscal cliff, sequestration, and how that would potentially affect their ability to deploy and perform their duties.
“When you look at our history particularly since World War I, World War II – Korean War, Vietnam War etc., every time we come off of a major conflict we have done this thing of reductions associated with the defense budget so do I expect a reduction of some sort as we do wrap up the business in Afghanistan? Absolutely. You should expect that too. The real key is that hopefully this decision will be made with a lot of thinking.”
“The one thing that I would ask you to keep in mind is that when you look at the Pacific, the western Pacific where you’re located at, we have never slacked off in terms of
keeping capability out here to do the business that we must.” said Haney, as he referred to the presidents’ commitment of the pivot to Asia.
“As we adjust with the strategy that was signed by the president that gives a certain rebalancing to the Asian Pacific – that has not stopped,” said Haney. “The good news is wherever I have gone I have seen those improvements up to now. The real question will be will we continue to be able to modernize while at the same time sustain ourselves through the maintenance, through the training, flying hours and what have you, while we move forward.”
During the visit, Haney also spoke briefly about the importance of Sailors maintaining their responsibilities as unofficial ambassadors of the United States while serving in uniform in the host nation, due to the misconduct of Sailors and Marines over the past five months.
“I know that 99.9 percent of the population here are doing good things and are not in that category of bad behavior,” said Haney. “But this is an all hands on deck approach that I expect so that people are also on the team looking for solutions. I see still too many alcohol related incidents of folks that work for me. And quite frankly I have to ask, what were they thinking? This business of joining the military and donning the uniform does not mean that we are invincible. Yes we do the PRT (Physical Readiness Test) and so many things physically, but that doesn’t mean that we have a high tolerance for drinking as many alcoholic drinks as we think we can.”
According to Haney, he is not a fan of the current liberty policy.
“I am not proud of the liberty policy,” said Haney. “I would like to say that my sailors across the board are professionals such that its’ not required. Unfortunately, some of the data suggest otherwise and that’s why there is a certain differential between certain pay grades. What I ask you to do is again, use an all hands on deck approach and bring some of your ideas. If you decide to drink alcohol, do it responsibly.”