August 2, 2018 – Last week we hosted the second in our series of “industry days.” For this event, leaders from the shipyard and ship repair industry, operating companies under contract, and members of our staff came together to discuss areas of mutual interest and build partnerships to solve challenges confronting Military Sealift Command.
Serving as a forum for collaboration, we began the day committed to three important principles:
– MSC needs strong partners in the shipyard and ship repair industry;
– MSC is committed to continuous improvement; and
– Robust partnerships require effective two-way communication.
To give everyone a baseline for subsequent dialogue, we first discussed our operational and financial focus areas including:
– Changing operational environment;
– National, Department of Defense, and Department of Navy strategy and guidance;
– Need to “Bend the Curve,” in order to stay relevant and ahead of competitors;
– Aligning resources to requirements and risk;
– Strengthening partnerships with industry and the Joint Force; and
– Focusing on cyber as the greatest asymmetric threat.
We also provided our partners with an overview of our forthcoming ship-class force generation model, our contracting processes, the command’s small business engagement strategy, and a discussion of safety on our ships and in shipyard facilities.
The important work of the day occurred in the break-out sessions where industry told us things we could be doing better in the areas of requirements planning and contracting to reduce negative impacts on industry; and we communicated to industry areas where they could improve such as in proposal development and contract execution to minimize operational impacts to our fleet. These sessions were about collaboration, process improvement, and identifying ways to increase our collective performance.
For our next industry day we will host partners from the information technology and cyber industries. I look forward to maximum staff participation in this forum.
A common thread running through these industry days is the importance of coming together with the industrial base that we rely on to accomplish our mission. Working together in a collaborative, team-based setting, overcoming obstacles and seeking innovative solutions, is how we will adapt to the changing operational environment.
I’ll close by extending my thanks to the staff who facilitated the shipyard and ship repair industry day. The prepared briefings, assisted discussions, and administrative support contributed to the success of the event.
United We Sail,
Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN
Commander, Military Sealift Command