Top sailor sets a course for the future

VAdm Norman

VAdm Norman addresses sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy during a ship visit.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has a new roadmap to establish the navy’s direction and strategic priorities for 2013 to 2017.

The RCN Executive Plan, launched in early December by Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander RCN, will help guide the organization through the most intensive period of transition and renewal ever in its peacetime history.

In the Executive Plan, VAdm Norman sets out his four main priorities: to ensure excellence in operations at sea; to enable the RCN’s transition to the future fleet; to evolve the “business of our business”, leading to more effective management of resources; and finally, to energize the entire RCN institution.

VAdm Norman is confident the Plan will allow the Navy to realize these goals. To this end, the RCN has set in motion a series of changes in its governance, readiness processes and structures as it seeks better, leaner and smarter ways to deliver on its mission. These changes, collectively known as “Navy Renewal”, represent the RCN’s contributions towards the broader Defence Renewal effort.

“The organizing principle for Navy Renewal is ‘One Navy’, by which we will realign the RCN’s core readiness functions and processes around pan-naval authorities who will exercise their responsibilities on behalf of the entire RCN regardless of where they are located,” VAdm Norman explains.

The creation of pan-naval authorities includes a clear separation of roles and responsibilities between the strategic and operational levels of command. The Naval Staff in Ottawa is being realigned toward its corporate functions, such as ensuring the delivery of the future fleet, and further decentralizing operations to the coasts.

At the operational level, functions are being delegated to one of the two coastal commanders. Commander Maritime Forces Pacific will assume responsibilities for Naval Training Systems, individual training and education, as well as governance of the Personnel Coordination Centres. Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic will focus on collective and operational training, operational planning, fleet readiness, and warfare policy.

The Naval Reserves will continue to be realigned toward a more traditional Canadian Armed Forces model of reserve service, supplementing the Regular Force at home and abroad through part-time and full-time service, in addition to strengthening public awareness of the RCN as a whole.

“While the ‘One Navy’ concept refers to this functional realignment, it is also about our culture,” says VAdm Norman. “It’s about celebrating our legacy in Canadian history and our contributions on the world stage, and about embracing agility and change as we look ahead to a future of exciting new capabilities that will be essential to our success. Each of us has a unique and equally important role to play in sustaining the RCN today and preparing it for tomorrow,” continues VAdm Norman. “The Executive Plan will allow us to do that, by uniting us in a common understanding of our challenges and our opportunities, as well as a shared vision of where we’re headed.”

-Navy PA Ottawa

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