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24 Navy | Winter 2018 MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS NARDEL GERVACIO In light of the tragic accidents with the Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald and John S. McCain June 17 and Aug. 21, respec- tively, what changes do you see being made with regard to training, manning and equipping to restore readiness? Let me first say that any loss of life is a tragedy. I met a lot of very special people during those tragic situations — family members, loved ones — and I would have very much preferred meeting those family members under much different situations. I say that because folks want to talk about the way forward with the Navy, but we always think about them first. We will never forget about those families and the Sailors that we have lost. And because we think of that first, it's why we give such great vigor and thought to what we're going to do in the future — training, manning, readiness, as you say. You see the Strategic Review that took place, the Comprehen- sive Review that took place, the operational pause that took place, the oversight that's taken place to get at each one of those things that are identified, not just as a result of some things to a particular platform, a particular fleet or area of responsibility, because what we found was, we had some things in the Navy we need to look at. And training is one of them. How are we training our Sailors today? How are we conducting watchstanding out there, effective watchstanding prac- tice? Are we conducting enough drills — sets and reps, if you will — to ensure that? … What training does is it repli- cates process. It replicates reaction. Early on, we give them education. Education allows them to reason, but when you're out there at sea and you're placed forward in some tough environments and these duties, what gets you through all that is not always the ability to reason. It's the reps and sets, it's the replication of training. So we need to, maybe, take a step back, look within ourselves, and go, "Hey, are we doing enough of those things to reinforce that?" Again, that's not just centric to Seventh Fleet or PACFLEET (Pacific Fleet), that's our Navy. e same regard with manning. In those cases, as you look at manning on those particular platforms, we've actually increased manning over the years. Sometimes that doesn't get captured in the story, but we've actually increased manning on those platforms. We did extremely well ensuring we had the right number of manning onboard with the right skill sets. e other piece that I think we learned a lot from, which is probably more critical than most, and this gets back to the whole empowerment piece, is leadership. What are our leaders doing out there? And understanding what being a leader means, especially at the unit level, a commanding officer, a senior enlisted leader out there advising that commanding officer on the safe operation of those platforms, and everything that goes into that — the training, the reps and sets, all those things. I think that's a key element in this. Do we have a true appreciation for that and then how are we reinforcing that and can we do more to continuously develop those leaders? What should they focus on to become better leaders? We don't need to overthink things. I think the Navy does an extremely great job identifying and building those people with the potential to be senior leaders at every echelon level. I think we're very effective at that. But sometimes I think we forget one very simple thing to do as a leader: When we face chal- lenges, adversity or something's Giordano talks with Sailors and senior enlisted leaders during an all-hands call Jan. 8 at Bloch Arena in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he conducted a tour of area commands onboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

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