Thursday, June 04, 2009

U.S. 3rd Fleet Joins Global Operations Network

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Krishna Jackson, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet received official notification of its preliminary accreditation as a maritime operations center (MOC) by U.S. Fleet Forces Command June 1 after successfully completing its accreditation exercise, Terminal Fury May 21.

"Each and every one of you, from the most junior Sailor to the top of the MOC echelon played a key role in the success of Third Fleet achieving its accreditation and I'm proud of all of you for your professionalism and dedication," said Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, 3rd Fleet commander, during a post-exercise commander's call.

The accreditation took place in two phases. The first phase consisted of the accreditation team observing how the staff operates on a day-to-day basis and comparing 3rd Fleet's organizational elements, equipment and training to established MOC requirements when not responding to contingencies.

Terminal Fury was the second phase and tested the 3rd Fleet staff's ability to execute core tasks during a major exercise designed to test their ability to respond and successfully manage multiple simultaneous events.

"We can now conduct centralized planning and decentralized execution and the last time we did that was when Admiral Halsey was here. We're more focused now on the operational level of war," said 3rd Fleet MOC Deputy Director, Capt. Kevin J. Baum.

"This is a big step toward completing a globally networked Navy that now has the ability to decisively and expeditiously respond to disaster relief, contingencies and operations around the world."

Third Fleet is now aligned with already accredited MOCs at Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; 2nd Fleet; 5th Fleet; 6th Fleet and 7th Fleet. Commander, 4th Fleet will be the last of the numbered fleets to be accredited during the annual multinational exercise PANAMAX 09 in August.

The MOC concept establishes an integrated global network of operations centers that are designed to deliver widespread maritime capability to a broad spectrum of operations. They enhance the Navy's command and control of forces at the operational level via headquarters manned by qualified personnel who specialize in global interoperability and the systems necessary to conduct those operations.

For example, collaboration as a MOC would enable 3rd Fleet to request and receive augmentation from 2nd Fleet if a natural disaster such as an earthquake were to hit Southern California. In such a situation, 3rd Fleet could then coordinate disaster relief efforts and still be able to support operations off the coast and in forward deployed areas of operation.

The accreditation team reported 3rd Fleet's ability to operate as a MOC including planning processes and coordination was the best observed, so far.

"Just a couple years ago we were not prepared to operate as a maritime operations center, and now we are recognized as the top performing maritime operation center in the Navy, so far, and it's because of people like you who are experts at what you do that made this possible," said Locklear while addressing his staff at an awards ceremony.

While following standardized processes, MOCs are flexible, scalable and can be tailored to support the execution of core capabilities of the maritime strategy.