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Navy Creates Permanent Readiness Command To Monitor Japan-Based Ships

Water is drained from a dry dock at U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF JRMC) Yokosuka preparing the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) for a scheduled maintenance availability in July 2015. US Navy photo.

The Navy’s Japan-based ships are the pointed end of the spear and keeping them sharp falls to the recently created Naval Surface Group Western Pacific, CNSG WP that was just made a permanent command.

The CNSG WP reports to U.S. Pacific Fleet, and is in charge of managing such ship activities as maintenance, readiness assessments, and ensuring ships have proper certifications.

“Rebuilding readiness is my top priority,” Vice. Adm. Rich Brown, the commander of Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a release. “CNSG WP is one critical step in the process.”

In September, in the wake of last summer’s deadly ship collisions, resulting in the death of 17 sailors, the command was initially stood-up as a detachment to keep the balance between operations, maintenance and training, according to the Navy.

The idea for a permanent command charged with monitoring readiness for Japan-based ships was promoted by the Navy’s Comprehensive Review, created by Adm. Phil Davidson at the request of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. A follow-on report, created at the direction of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, was cool to the need for such a command.

“Standing up an additional oversight layer provides another headquarters staff and administrative control function that is likely to perpetuate ambiguous and conflicting authorities,” The Spencer-requested review stated.

Navy leadership, though, remained enthusiastic about establishing the new command and how it could help maintain readiness among the forward-deployed ships. The command is now considered an integral part of synchronizing maintenance and training in the forward-deployed fleet.

“Establishment of CNSG WP is an important step in providing the needed oversight of training and readiness production in FDNF-J,” said Brown in the release. “The success of the Surface Force is measured by properly manned, tactically trained and effectively equipped ships ready to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore.”