Navy transformation changes announced

Many of you may have heard that important changes were coming for the RCN. Today these changes are being officially announced.  These changes include the creation of a new Director Canadian Submarine Force, a national Maritime Component Commander, a new Commander Naval Training System and a Director New Capability Introduction. This is only the first step in our effort to transform the RCN in a more effective and efficient organization.

Today, I announced a number of changes to the RCN that are being implemented as part of CF transformation. Over two years of careful analysis went into the development of these changes, all of which were assessed to be the most important next steps to improve the RCN’s ability to deliver on its core mission: to generate mission-ready, combat-capable maritime forces.

These changes are an integral component of CF transformation and were informed fully by DND’s broader program and spending reviews. They will serve to keep the RCN fully aligned with the broader DND / CF team and objectives through a period of significant strategic change. They will permit us to continue to operate both at home and abroad as one of the world’s best navies, even as we implement the most comprehensive renewal and modernization of our fighting fleet in our peacetime history.

These changes will make us leaner and more efficient in our core business, so we can shift our resources where they are most needed: to deliver the fleet as set out in the Government’s Canada First Defence Strategy, which will introduce into service an exciting range of new maritime capabilities that will be as significant to the fleet as was the transition from the venerable quote steamers unquote to today’s frigates.

The focus of Navy transformation Bound II is a move towards a quote one-navy unquote model, where the Navy’s core mission processes, including training, readiness and new capability introduction, are realigned around new pan-naval authorities, as follows:

• Resident in MARPAC, a new Director Canadian Submarine Force (DCSF) will oversee all aspects of submarine force generation, sustainment, and operations;

• The role of a national Maritime Component Commander (MCC), resident in MARLANT, is being formalized to provide advice and support to the CF’s operational commands (force employers) on all aspects of the command and control of deployed naval assets on international taskings. The national MCC will also establish and maintain key relationships with the Strategic Joint Staff (SJS), First Canadian Air Division and other operational commands. Regional MCCs in both MARPAC and MARLANT will continue to command naval assets on national taskings within their respective areas of responsibility;

• A new Commander Naval Training System (CNTS) is being established as we consolidate our five naval schools into a single Naval Training System. That authority will be assigned to DGNP;

• Personnel Coordination Centres (PCCs), already established in MARLANT and MARPAC, will also be brought under the authority of DGNP on a pan-naval basis. Among their more crucial roles, the PCCs will manage the efficient employment of personnel in the fleet through the intensive period of transition that includes the modernization, introduction and / or replacement of 4 separate classes of warship, getting the right sailor, with the right qualification and the right experience, to the right platform at the right time;

• Scheduling and readiness management functions currently duplicated in MARPAC and MARLANT will be consolidated through the creation of a single Fleet Scheduling and Readiness Management Authority. Resident in MARLANT, this officer will be responsible, on a pan-naval basis, for naval readiness standards and processes, as well as the coordination of fleet schedules;

• Responsible to DGMFD but resident in MARPAC, a Director New Capability Introduction (DNCI) will be created to serve as a focal point for pan-naval coordination of activities associated with the introduction of new platforms and capabilities into fleet service, including the modernized frigates, Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, and the Joint Support Ships;

Transformation is not a destination. It’s a journey, a process and culture of continuous renewal and improvement, informed by a clear vision of what we need to do today, as well as what we must eventually become. In relation to the challenges of the former, staffs in Ottawa and in the Formations have begun to examine other aspects of RCN business that will emerge as new thrusts for follow-on bounds of CF transformation. In relation to the challenges of the latter, we are looking not only at what type of future fleet Canada needs but also what type of leaders and sailors we need to produce, as well as what type of institution we must become as part of a joint and integrated Canadian Forces and defence team.

Over the past two years, much of the focus of our work was centred on senior staffs in Ottawa and in the Formations. The results have now arrived at the waterfront, to make us better at our core business, the goal towards which you labour with such dedication and commitment: getting our ships to sea and keeping them there, quote ready, aye ready unquote for the work our nation calls upon us to do. Many of you may see change right away. Many more will begin to see change only as new capabilities begin to arrive into the fleet, but today we are one step closer to that quote one navy unquote that I described in my Comd’s Guidance at ref A, one step closer to the new fleet and the modern sailor, as together we build tomorrow’s RCN.

VAdm Maddison, Comd RCN

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