WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Daryl Caudle, spoke at the Surface Navy Association’s 35th Annual National Symposium in Washington, D.C., Jan. 11.
Caudle shared his perspective as a fleet commander of what success looks like and how the surface force will continue to dominate at sea.
“Our imperative across the forge and the fleet is to field a hard hitting, resilient, agile fighting force that is consistently ready in peacetime, and deadly in combat,” said Caudle. “In everything we do, we must prepare ourselves, prepare our ships, and prepare our crews for war, both mentally and physically, as well as technically and tactically.”
During his remarks, Caudle didn’t shy away from the fact that today’s Navy faces a more dynamic maritime environment and near peer competition on a level not seen in decades.
“Without question, when our surface forces pass the final marker buoys and make way for international waters, they are doing so in one of the most dangerous maritime environments in history,” said Caudle. “The notion of ‘routine operations’ is a fleeting memory.”
Driving his point home, Caudle said in the last ten years maritime traffic has seen a 100-fold increase in merchants, competitors, offshore oil rigs, cable layers, windmills, fisherman and maritime militia. This dangerous environment, he said, leaves no room for commanders to make miscalculations or for the surface force to be behind the power curve.
To achieve this mission, Caudle outlined his priorities for maintaining lethality.
Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement at every level
Move beyond fit to fill and critical NECs to a model that ensures ready manning
Continue to invest in Ready Relevant Learning and Future of Sailor Maintenance
Forge a combination of the right capabilities with the right quantities
Ordinance locations that are distributed, plentiful and built to rapidly return ships to the fight
Continue to improve shipyard availability times and the ship decommissioning process
Immediately following his remarks, Caudle fielded questions from the audience, where he was asked about supply chain issues. His response was a call to action to the defense industry that drew applause from the crowd.
“I’m not as forgiving of the defense industrial base, I’m just not,” said Caudle. “I’m not forgiving of the fact you’re not delivering the ordnance we need.”
He stressed the importance of on time delivery of ordnance to winning during strategic competition.
“We’re talking about warfighting, national security, and going against a competitor here, and a potential adversary, that is like nothing we’ve ever seen,” said Caudle. “It’s so essential to winning. And in my position, and for the people in the room in uniform, that’s all that matters and I can’t do that without the ordnance. That’s how we actually win.”
“Despite what we may read in the media about our adversary’s Navies or attempts to build some asymmetric gadget, or even the internal challenges we face with uncertain budgets, manning levels, or the challenges and pace of modernization – I can guarantee everyone listening today: Our surface warriors are feared; they are absolutely ready to take the fight to the enemy; and are an integrated part of a strong Navy that owns the maritime environment from the seabed to space – hands down, no exception,” said Caudle. “No adversary in their right mind wants to confront our surface fleet.”
USFFC is responsible for manning, training, equipping and employing more than 125 ships, 1,000 aircraft, and 103,000 active duty service members and government employees, and providing combat-ready forces forward to numbered fleets and combatant commanders around the globe in support of U.S. national interests. USFFC also serves as the Navy’s Service Component Commander to both U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Strategic Command, and providing naval forces in support of joint missions as Commander, Naval Forces Northern Command (NAVNORTH) and Commander, Naval Forces Strategic Command (NAVSTRAT). USFFC is the Strategic Command Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC STRAT), and executes Task Force Atlantic in coordination with U.S. Naval Forces Europe.
Complete transcript of his remarks here: https://www.usff.navy.mil/Press-Room/Speeches/Article/3265058/surface-navy-association-national-symposium/
|Date Posted:||01.11.2023 14:53|
|Location:||WASHINGTON D.C., DC, US|