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25 Association of the United States Navy The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain enters Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 27 for the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. Twenty-five nations, more than 45 ships and subma- rines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC June 27 to Aug. 2 around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Lake Champlain was involved in one of a string of incidents involving U.S. Navy ves- sels when it collided with a South Korean fishing vessel in May 2017. response to questions that the command serves as "CNSP's [Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet] execu- tive agent for maintenance and training of Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan (FDNF-J) surface ships. Our team over- sees ship activities in the maintenance and basic phase, enforces the readiness assess- ment and certification processes within those phases, and closely coordinates with the ship's operational commander until a ship is certified Basic Phase Complete (BPC) by CNSP." Dromerhauser reports to VADM Rich Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. In an April 11 release announcing CNSG WP, Brown said, "Rebuilding readiness is my top priority. CNSG WP is one critical step in the process." CNSG WP's goal is to make sure that FDNF-J surface ships and crews meet operations, maintenance and training requirements, which subsequent reports pinpointed as major factors in the deadly collisions. "is will be achieved by implementing and rigorously enforcing a readiness assess- ment and certification processes during the maintenance and training phases until a ship is certified BPC," Dromerhauser said. "One of the primary goals of this strategy is to provide a standard, predictable Force Generation model for every FDNF-J surface ship to cycle through to protect their maintenance and training entitle- ments prior to operational tasking." CNSG WP will insist that surface ships and their crews have sufficient time, space and a disciplined protocol to operate effec- tively and safely, he said. "We are building a culture that rewards rigorous training and thorough, clear-eyed maintenance assessments," he said. "at includes unflinchingly asking questions and raising concerns by all involved. "Over the next year, we will continue to stress the importance of fostering a culture that emphasizes rigorous and robust training, and encourages questions and discussion of operational concerns on each and every ship in FDNF-J," Dromer- hauser continued. "Ultimately, we expect the highest degree of both safety and proficiency in our ships' operations. at is our common goal and I've been given the mandate and tools to make it happen." Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assess- ments, said that the reason for standing up the command is that the fleet in Asia needs an "honest broker for surface combatants." Why is this just a problem in Asia? Clark said that in other areas of the world, there's a squadron that is in charge of getting ships and crews ready for deploy- ment and grades them on preparations. ere's also a training organization that supports them in getting certified, and a squad commander in charge of making sure ships are ready for deployment. But in the 7th Fleet area of operations, there isn't that equivalent organization, so the fleet commander is in the position of being "both the recipient of forces and the generator of forces," Clark said. "Unlike in CONUS [Contiguous United States], where you have a squadron and then a fleet forces commander or PacFleet to get you ready, in 7th fleet you've got one boss, and he's in charge of both getting ready for deployment and using you in "Ultimately, we expect the highest degree of both safety and proficiency in our ships' operations. That is our common goal and I've been given the mandate and tools to make that happen." CAPT Rich Dromerhauser

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