Battling fiscal constraints, dealing with training back-ups and under-manned crews, and flexing with unpredictable deployment schedules, the Navy is skilled at accomplishing the mission in less than optimal conditions. Sailors adapt and evolve and get the job done, but it comes at a price that often results in increased stress on service members and their families.
Navy leadership has been working to address these issues. U.S. Fleet forces and Pacific Fleet have worked together to develop the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, or O-FRP. O-FRP is a full realignment of the Fleet’s maintenance, training and deployment cycles to fit in a standard 36-month rotation.
O-FRP has been developed to enhance the stability and predictability for our Sailors and families by aligning carrier strike group assets to a new 36 month training and deployment cycle. Beginning in fiscal year ’15, all required maintenance, training, evaluations and a single eight-month deployment will be efficiently scheduled throughout the cycle to drive down costs and increase overall fleet readiness. Under this plan, we will streamline the inspection and evaluation process and ensure that we are able to maintain a surge capacity. O-FRP reduces time at sea and increases home port tempo from 49 percent to 68 percent for our Sailors over the 36 month period.
The plan includes aligning the chains of command for Naval Component Commanders (NCC), Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) and Warfare Commanders, as well as combining work-ups and training inspections. CSGs and associated surface combatants will be aligned with a single Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) and will aggregate for training and certification. Major workups and evaluations, such as Joint Task Force Training (JTFX) and Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), will be combined to standardize train the entire CSG as a whole. Manning will also be aligned with the 36-month cycle to increase the number of Sailors who participate in the workup cycle and complete deployment. The aim is to produce a more comprehensively manned and completely trained Naval force that is ready to deploy on a more predictable schedule.
Initially focused on Carrier Strike Groups, O-FRP will ultimately be designed for all U.S Navy assets from the ARG/MEU to submarines and expeditionary forces. O-FRP will be integrated into the fleet beginning with the TRUMAN Carrier Strike Group in November 2014.