Story Number: NNS140224-24Release Date: 2/24/2014 9:01:00 PM
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Elizabeth Thompson, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/ U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Chief of Navy Reserve spoke with Sailors about issues facing the Reserves and recognized personnel for their accomplishments during a visit to Jacksonville from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22.
During her visit, Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun met with commanding officers from Navy Operational Support Center Jacksonville, held an all-hands call and visited different commands to learn about the needs of locally drilling Sailors.
While in the area, she met with Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, and with Reserve Sailors supporting the command on Naval Station Mayport. She also spoke at the change of command ceremony for Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 60 (HSL-60) on Naval Station Mayport.
Ways to improve training, unit and overall Reserve force manning, and mission capabilities were top areas of discussion throughout the visit.
More than 150 Sailors attended the all-hands call at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville to hear about the latest developments in the Navy Reserve, to exchange information on challenges Sailors face in maintaining unit readiness, and to discuss possible ways to improve training and procedures.
"I always value the information and recommendations I get from the deckplate Sailors as they are working with the fleet and have first-hand knowledge of today's issues and challenges," Braun told participants.
In a meeting with commanding officers, Braun received reports on how units support the active component in Navy Operational Support Center Jacksonville's area of responsibility and on how Reserve billets are manned.
Two commands highlighted at the meeting were Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Seaframe and Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasure Mission Module Mayport, which provided pre-commissioning availability support aboard the USS Coronado (LCS 4) from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. Over that time period, 37 Reserve Sailors assisted their active duty counterparts with Anti-Terrorism Force Protection watch standing, completion of 602 Planned Maintenance System checks in five work centers, and 145 equipment validations.
Braun praised the work aboard the Coronado and stressed the importance of supporting the LCS community as the Navy continues to consider Naval Station Mayport as the future homeport for about 1,000 Sailors and 14 new LCS ships estimated to join the fleet by 2020.
"The work you are doing is proof of concept that this program is the right way to go," said Braun. "I commend you on the excellent work you are doing."
While on NAS Jacksonville, Braun toured spaces at Information Dominance Corps Region Southeast. During a pinning ceremony at the command, she recognized two Reserve Sailors for their completion of the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist Program.
Braun also traveled to Blount Island in the St. Johns River, where she toured the spaces of the 4th Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment (NELR), recognized three Sailors for their completion of the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Program, participated in advanced cargo simulator training, and asked about issues facing personnel assigned to the command.
4th NELR serves as the headquarters' element for two Navy cargo handling battalions and one expeditionary communications detachment comprised of about 660 Full Time Support and Selected Reserve Sailors from 10 bases throughout Navy Region Southeast.
Yeoman 1st Class (EXW/AW) Keith Henley, one of the Sailors pinned Feb. 22, said he appreciated the time Braun took to interact with Reserve Sailors and see some of the training 4th NELR does onsite.
"To have Vice Adm. Braun take time out of her schedule to visit a smaller command and have the cargo handlers get some one-on-one time with her is always nice," Henley said.
NOSC Jacksonville provides support to approximately 2,000 Sailors in 66 units at seven locations including NAS Jacksonville; Naval Station Mayport; Blount Island; Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay; Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy; Stuttgart Army Airfield, Germany; and Royal Air Force Molesworth, England.
For more news from Commander, Navy Reserve Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrf/.