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NEWS | July 21, 2015

CNP Holds All Hands Call With SERMC

By Dan Smithyman, SERMC Public Affairs SERMC

“Activities like SERMC are critical to deployment lengths and schedules,” Vice Adm. William Moran, the Navy’s Chief of Personnel, said during an All Hands Call at the Afloat Training Group auditorium July 16.


Moran met with Southeast Regional Maintenance Center’s active duty component and discussed many of the recent personnel initiatives announced by the secretaries of defense and the Navy.


There is no shortage of issues to discuss when it comes to this year’s personnel concerns.  Moran talked about meritorious advancement, uniform changes, physical fitness assessment revisions, extended maternity leave and more.  He hit home when he told SERMC’s military folks their role in deployment lengths.


He said the repair work SERMC does directly impacts ship deployment schedules.  Moran praised the efforts of the crew in dealing with emergent ship repairs and routine ship maintenance availabilities.  “You have the ability to lighten the load,” Moran said of current deployment lengths.


As for the Navy’s manning, the CNP said 328,000 billets are authorized and manned across the Navy.  Where the gapped billets occur, he called “friction.”  Friction, in this context, is defined as non-deployable assets such as LIMDU or pregnant Sailors, those in school, or even those in jail.  These non-deployable Sailors count against the authorized billets, but due to their status, the Navy will never be 100 percent manned.


“The priority is sea duty billets, and it’s the shore installations such as yours that are hit hard with gapped billets,” Moran said.


One of the things he offered to take back to Washington with him was why SERMC continues to receive Sailors right out of boot camp and “A” School when SERMC billets are for petty officers on their second tour (first shore tour).  While CNP agreed this is not preferred for the command, he and Fleet Master Chief April Beldo see the benefit to the Sailor to excel under the tutelage of senior petty officers, and the ability to earn NECs under the NAMTS program.


“Because you’re working in your rate, there’s an opportunity for you to excel,” Beldo told one of SERMC’s young first term Sailors.  “As far as you being competitive at sea, you can apply all you’ve learned here at SERMC to support your ship.  You’re going to know your job.”


There was plenty of information to digest, and Beldo recommended keeping an eye on the Navy Personnel Command web site, and regular NAVADMINs in order to keep up with the many changes occurring now and in the future.