Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fun with NAVSEA

First things first, on balance I like what Asst. SECNAV Stackley & VADM McCoy have to say - well - because it brings up issues about shipbuilding that we have been talking about, what Byron and Sid, years?

That being said, we are still not where we should be as Navy professionals working in DC, but not of DC.


Here we go. VADM McCoy and Asst. SECNAV Stackley's statement to the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditinary Forces on 30 JUL has coined something new for your Bu11sh1t Bingo card.

...even our most mature programs, we have experienced cost growth as a result of performance shortfalls and quality escapes.
What in the name of all that is holy is a "quality escape?" Can't we speak a little clearer? These are Congressmen and taxpayers you are talking to - not Six Sigma power geeks.

Seriously, google it. Half the stuff is about "quality escapes" to some island vacation somewhere for beer and booty - but the
Defense Contract Management Agency defines it as,
nonconforming material that has entered the supply chain
I'm sorry. In my Navy, the saved called that cr@p and everyone else calls it shi'ite, FOD, lowest bidder, or guv'munt. I am sure Byron has a few more colorful descriptions.

We also start with a mantra that everyone seems to feel a need to chant without saying how to get there.
Why don't we just get a Tibetan Buddhist wheel, Sharpie the phrase to the outside, and put it outside the Washington Navy Yard so everyone can give it a spin on the way to work?
The Chief of Naval Operations has outlined requirements for the future force, often referred to as the 313-ship Navy. In fact, the CNO has emphasized that 313 ships represents “the floor”, if we are to meet the full range of missions confronting the Navy in the next decade and beyond. Today’s Navy is a fleet of 283 battle force ships, well short of the future requirement. Inarguably the underlying challenge – indeed, the pressing requirement – before us today in shipbuilding is affordability
Yes, the testimony that keeps giving.

If I can be a bit snarky - why is it you can call something "the floor" if you are already under it? Like the guy that claims he would never sleep with a 200# woman right after he gets out of the shower with a 250# woman.

Let's have a translation contest. Do your best in comments.
Our ability to correctly predict the cost of our future shipbuilding programs has atrophied significantly over the past decade. We have been focused on projecting costs rather than developing “should cost” estimates. Projections accept and institutionalize inefficiencies while “should cost” estimates find and drive out these unnecessary costs.
I haven't seen that much spackle since I helped clean up from the last hurricane. Do your best. I am still in awe of it all.

You have to dig around, but there is some quality stuff here. One example, on page 5 is a hard truth,
Navy on-site oversight of shipbuilding is essential for the Navy to ensure shipbuilders comply with the contract requirements of vessels. This role is filled by the Supervisors of Shipbuilding in Bath, ME; Groton, CT; Newport News, VA; and on the Gulf Coast. From 1990 to 2006, the Supervisors of Shipbuilding experienced a 54-percent decrease in manning. By the end of fiscal year 2007, the Supervisors of Shipbuilding were funded to a level of manning significantly lower than both the (then) current workforce size and the requirement, and facing a 10 percent shortfall to current staffing over the next five years.
Perfect, I have a solution for you. Billets/BA/NMP are something we can change and prioritize. Let's make shipbuilding and aircraft our #1 priority. I know of a lot of do-nothing, make-work billets in the Navy's Diversity Enterprise that we can recode as fast as you can say "Room 222."

These are CAPT, CDR, LCDR, Senior Chief and Master Chief billets --- with a few CWO and LDO thrown in, that are begging to address real issues and real problems. OK, don't take them all, take 50% and give them to SUPSHIPS. Sure, I tease NAVSEA and SUPSHIPS a lot, but there are good people over there trying very hard to do a good job in a tough waterfront. Make it happen, or stop complaining. We have the billets - it just isn't a priority.

I have the PDF of the testimony if you can't find it online. If you want the whole thing, email me and I will send it to you.

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