By Adm. Scott Swift
Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Not long after arriving, I released my initial Commander’s guidance. In my 14 or so months since as the U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, I’ve had the privilege to travel throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater and witness first-hand our Sailors, allies and partners in action. Please understand that these are not mere pleasantries nor platitudes: I am truly impressed by the level of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness – those core attributes of our service – that I’ve seen across the board.
On balance the demand for Pacific Fleet forces will always exceed supply, and that would be true if every ship, aircraft and Sailor in the U.S. Navy were stationed between San Diego and Singapore. But with 60% of our Navy assigned to Pacific Fleet as part of the rebalance, I’m comfortable with the resources I have. At the same time, I recognize that whether generating readiness through inspections, maintenance and training at home, or consuming that readiness during operations, exercises and engagements in the region, it’s you, the men and women serving in ships, submarines, aircraft and installations throughout the arena who are asked to make up for any gaps. I’ve been where you are, and I get it – which is why I jealously guard your time and attention. An old saying goes that “If everything is important, then nothing’s important.”
It is important that you take two minutes and read my refreshed guidance to the fleet. I think you’ll find it aligns well with the Navy’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority and the U.S. Pacific Commander’s guidance.
We live in a complex world and an increasingly complicated theater. If we hope to be successful as an institution and as professionals, it’s fundamentally important we weigh carefully how we meet our responsibilities and treat each other.
The fleet’s vision is one that sustains an Indo-Asia-Pacific maritime domain where the established and enduring framework of international norms, standards, rules, and laws is preserved. In so doing, its mission is to advance Indo-Asia-Pacific regional maritime security and enhance stability in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Command by being where it matters, when it matters, with what matters to decisively prevail in all contingencies from war to peace. It’s ultimately about our naval power at and from the sea, in cooperation with the strength of our network of partners, preserving the inclusive, rules-based system that for 70 years has allowed so many maritime nations to achieve unprecedented levels of prosperity regardless of geographic size, military might or economic power.
U.S. Pacific Fleet forces at all levels and ranks will plan, operate and assess their activities in a manner that is: Thoughtful…rather than rash; Consistent…rather than erratic; Firm…rather than rigid; and, Patient…rather than reactionary. You’re all part of this.
If you’re a leader, share these standards and live them. I place all of you in the ‘leader’ category – because we are by virtue of our actions helping shape the attitudes and behaviors of those around us by our own example – regardless of rank.
If you’re a brand new Navy employee or the junior-most Sailor in the work center – read and internalize the guidance. You joined a world-class Navy team in the Pacific with a rich heritage and a bright future. The strength of our Navy team in the future depends on you. I am filled with confidence in your ability and look forward to all that you will achieve.
I’ve included the guidance below in its entirety.
A copy of the guidance suitable for printing and posting in workspaces can be found at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/guidance.
Commander’s Guidance to the Fleet
An Indo-Asia-Pacific maritime domain where the established and enduring international framework of norms, standards, rules, and laws is preserved.
To advance Indo-Asia-Pacific regional maritime security and enhance stability in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Command by being where it matters, when it matters, with what matters to decisively prevail in all contingencies from war to peace.
In executing our mission, U.S. Pacific Fleet forces at all levels and ranks will plan, operate, and assess their activities in a manner that is:
- Thoughtful…rather than rash
- Consistent…rather than erratic
- Firm…rather than rigid
- Patient…rather than reactionary
We focus and align our efforts to:
- Preserve a resilient workforce: Proactively value our military and civilian Sailors and their families by demanding behavior that reflects our values of honor, courage, and commitment and rejecting behaviors that place individuals at risk or treat them with anything less than dignity and respect.
- Be ready to fight: Man, train, equip and maintain the Fleet to support maritime and joint operations.
- Reinforce the international order: Advance and strengthen the network of regional naval forces committed to supporting international law and ensuring a stable maritime domain.
- Lead credibly: Clearly convey intent and resolve through coherent and consistent words and actions.
- Embrace opportunity: Enhance capabilities through new tactics and operational concepts — leveraging Sailor intellect always and technology where sensible.
- Project power: Posture forward physically and mentally to deter and, if required, defeat potential foes.
Focusing our efforts in these ways will ensure that:
- USPACFLT forces are positioned and postured to respond to crises, operating confidently across the region.
- USPACFLT forces operate together with other components, allies, partners, and friends in the maritime domain.
- USPACFLT forces are enabled by an innovative and resilient culture that empowers USPACFLT sailors to overcome adversity and offset resource constraints.
- USPACFLT forces are capable of defeating adversary naval forces.
S. H. Swift
Admiral, U.S. Navy