Monday, February 26, 2007

Scuttlebutt... put to bed

Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
There's plenty of scuttlebutt about the impending organizational changes with the Coast Guard. In keeping with Admiral Allen's desire for transparency, senior leaders are working to keep the rumors from getting too wild.

At HQ, there's an "ask the Chief of Staff" bit on the internal website. Recently, Vice Admiral Papp was asked, There have been many rumors about the reorganization of Headquarters filtering out to the field. Is it true that Areas, MLC's and possibly even Districts will be going away? What, if anything, will take their place?

His response was posted on CG Central, and I paste it here, verbatim.
Actually, the only person who is losing a job is ... hmmmm ... that would be ME!!! I'm going to see if I can do away with the Chief of Staff - just wait and see!! I can also say that Districts and Sectors will not go away - in fact, I believe they will be strengthened.

Thanks for your questions. I’m very pleased to have the chance to personally fill you in on the information I can pass at this time. As we pursue service-wide alignment and transformation, or as you phrase it, "reorganization," resulting from the ten Commandant Intent Action Orders (CIAO), I want to do my best to minimize any anxiety over possible changes that may affect the jobs and families of our Coast Guard members.

Let me begin by telling you that many of the actions that may develop from the CIAOs will take several years to implement and reach final operating capability (FOC). Admiral Allen's 10 action orders are not the first wave of many - rather, they are a compilation of those actions to be taken over the four years of his tenure.

If you go back and read Admiral Allen's initial Commandant's Intent message, the simple message is that he intends to organize the Coast Guard for optimal "Mission Execution." I can share with you that, in regard to the two Areas, the Coast Guard is developing an operational framework to ensure it is best organized to facilitate the timely and accurate flow of information and direction between the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of mission execution. This will result in a command and control system that will be more agile, adaptive and responsive. In addition to the districts and sector commands, plans are for the new organizational construct to consist of two intermediary commands, each commanded by a vice admiral; similar to the current Atlantic and Pacific Area commands.

Similarly, in order to better enhance Coast Guard wide logistical support effectiveness and efficiency, rather than having two specific major Coast Guard commands managing logistical support based on geographical areas of responsibility, the notional plan is to transform and realign the functions of the Maintenance and Logistics Commands into a new mission support structure. Asset-based engineering and maintenance related logistical functions will be shifted to four Logistics Centers (Aviation, Shore Infrastructure, C4IT, and Surface Forces). These Logistics Centers will be designed to provide focused logistical support for in-service assets through asset product lines similar to the way the Coast Guard Aviation Repair and Supply Center in Elizabeth City is organized today.

I ask that each of you bear in mind that unlike past organizational transformations (for example the mid-1990's streamlining evolution), the goals of these changes are not to enable workforce reduction, whatsoever. The Coast Guard would not be as successful, or highly recognized as we are today without each of you. And, considering today's dynamic operating environment, we need you now more than ever. Our current workforce numbers, and the exceptional professional expertise we currently maintain, will remain fully intact. Each of you is essential to our collective ability as an organization, for providing the first-class service the Nation expects from its Coast Guard. This transformation is simply designed to enable us, together, as the world’s greatest Coast Guard, to best serve into the future.

Please refer to "CG Central" for in depth information on the CIAOs and implementation plans. We can't answer every question in detail today, because we are still working policy and legislative issues through DHS, the administration and the Congress. Once we have validated plans, we guarantee you will have complete transparency.
Tom James (aka Brave Hart) recently noted that "talk is cheap." Let's hope this is one instance where that's not the case.

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