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Adm. Bill Gortney’s Budget Cut Message to Fleet

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Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, addresses the crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on Feb. 21. US Navy Photo

Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, addresses the crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on Feb. 21. US Navy Photo

The following is a March, 6 message from Adm. Bill Gortney, commander U.S. Fleet Forces, to the Fleet on implementation of sequestration and Continuing Resolution budget cuts that expects to trim almost $9 billion from Navy coffers this fiscal year.

SUBJ: CONTINUING RESOLUTION SEQUESTRATION FLEET IMPLEMENTATION//

UNCLASSIFIED/
SECINFO/-/-//
NARR/REF A IS SECNAV MSG DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY RESPONSE TO
SEQUESTRATION.
REF B IS CNO MSG FY 2013 ACTIONS FOR CONTINUING RESOLUTION AND
SEQUESTRATION
UPDATE 1. REF C IS USFF SECRET P4 MSG CONTINUING RESOLUTION AND
SEQUESTRATION FLEET IMPLEMENTATION.

1. TODAY, I AM DIRECTING THE EXECUTION OF SUBJECT PLANS TO IMPLEMENT THE REDUCTIONS, CANCELLATIONS AND OTHER CHANGES TO OUR OPERATIONS, TRAINING AND SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BASED ON THE GUIDANCE IN REFS A AND B. FULL DETAILS ARE PROVIDED IN REF C. AS BUDGETARY DECISIONS REMAIN UNCERTAIN, WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR AND PROTECT ESSENTIAL RESOURCES TO MAINTAIN OUR SITUATIONAL AWARENESS, ASSURE ALLIES AND PARTNERS, DETER POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES, AND MAINTAIN A CREDIBLE FORCE TO RESPOND TO CRISIS. WHERE FUNDING MIS-MATCHES OCCUR, SUCH INCONSISTENCIES MUST BE IDENTIFIED TO US FLEET FORCES COMMAND FOR RESOLUTION.

2. OUR NAVY’S ABILITY TO DEFEND NATIONAL INTERESTS HAS ALWAYS
DEPENDED ON THE INITIATIVE AND RESOURCEFULNESS OF OUR COMMANDING
OFFICERS. WE WILL HOLD OURSELVES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE SAFE
AND EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLANS WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE. IT
IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSESS IF AND WHEN YOUR COMMAND IS
APPROACHING THE LIMITS OF SAFE OPERATIONS. IT IS THEN YOUR DUTY TO
EXERCISE YOUR AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND OPERATIONS TO PREVENT MISHAPS.
IF UNABLE TO EXECUTE, SUBMIT PERTINENT DETAILS AS SOON AS FEASIBLE.

3. IT WILL BE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT FOR COMMANDERS TO FOCUS ON
THREE THINGS TO SAFELY EXECUTE ASSIGNED MISSIONS IN THE UPCOMING
FISCAL ENVIRONMENT: HUMAN FACTORS, ADHERANCE TO WRITTEN PROCEDURES,
AND UTILIZATION OF RISK MANAGEMENT IN PLANNING AND EXECUTION. 100
PERCENT OF FLEET MISHAPS IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS HAVE BEEN A RESULT
OF HUMAN ERROR, SO IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU KEEP YOUR PEOPLE
FOCUSED ON THE TASKS AT HAND AND ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS FROM THOSE
THINGS THEY ARE UNABLE TO INFLUENCE, LIKE THE FISCAL CLIMATE.

4. THERE WILL BE IMPACTS ON SUPPORT ACTIVITIES, FACILITIES AND
FUNCTIONS. WHILE THE POTENTIAL FOR CIVILIAN FURLOUGHS REMAINS
REAL, MILITARY PAY AND HOUSING ALLOWANCES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED.

5. THE FINANCIAL LANDSCAPE IN FY13 WILL CONTINUE TO BE A CHALLENGE.
AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME WE HAVE NO PROGNOSIS OF IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL
RELIEF. I ASK THAT YOU REMAIN INTENTLY FOCUSED ON THE TASKS AT
HAND. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO INJURE PEOPLE OR BREAK EQUIPMENT.
AS WE WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT PERIOD, WE MUST
GO NO FASTER THAN SAFE, AND ONLY DEPLOY READY UNITS.

6. ADMIRAL GORTNEY SENDS.//
BT