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TITLE OF COLUMN HERE 3 Association of the United States Navy A s we focus on accel- erating the capabil- ities of our Navy, it is important to remember that the answer to improving capabilities is not just technical. I am reminded of an experience I had as the captain of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship. When I assumed command, she was nearly brand new and, in fact, I soon took her on her first deployment. It was a very successful deployment, if I do say so myself, and the ship and crew performed magnifi- cently. When we returned from deployment we soon began our mainte- nance phase, which to my surprise included replace- ment of one of our missile systems. e installed system was relatively new, had a flawless readiness record and the crew was very familiar with its maintenance and oper- ation. e answer to my question of "Why?" was, in hindsight, obvious: We were getting greater capability. Faster, farther, higher, lower, more lethal — all the promises of technology. But were we getting all that capability right away? No. e crew and I did not yet know how to use this new marvel. We wanted to know how to get the most capability out of this system. What is the envelope? What are the tactics? What are the vulnerabilities? How do we maintain it? How long would it take to learn all these things? As captain, I felt my ship was going to be more vulnerable with this new system for some time. My point is that by accelerating capability — by replacing a system with which we were very familiar, experienced and confident — we were for a time losing some capability. When you think about it, it happens all the time. Two steps forward, on step backward. at is the nature of improvement sometimes, even more so now in this time of breakneck advancement and competition. Eventually, we would gain back that capability and more. But before that happens there is certainly some risk to those charged with maintaining combat capability at the highest levels all the time. Capability is not just about the equipment. All of this points to the importance of Chief of Naval Operations ADM John Richardson's "Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority," specifically the impor- tance of achieving high-velocity learning at every level. (You can find the publication at http:// CNO_STG1.pdf ) As he points out to us, we must do everything we can to seize the poten- tial of technology, and that includes both the technology itself as well as the learning that goes with it. Technological improvement is accelerating, and so must our learning. In fact, if you feel comfortable with brand-new technology, you may not be getting the most out of it. RADM Christopher Cole, USN (Ret.) AUSN National Executive Director FROM THE DESK OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Eight O'Clock Report To Accelerate Capabilities, We Must Accelerate Learning AUSN; MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS NATHAN LAIRD Chief of Naval Operations ADM John Richardson tours the Southwest Region- al Maintenance Center Mobile Innovation Center (MIC) Feb. 7 in San Diego. The MIC is an additive manufacturing mobile training center where Sailors and Navy team members can turn ideas into prototypes.

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