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Caters for ADF families in the ACT
September 1, 2011
By Alisha Welch
CHIEF of Navy VADM Ray Griggs
has a key message for the personnel
under his command: "To a v
extent, we are in control of o
In the three months since t
over as CN, VADM Griggs ha
travelled around Australia and
Afghanistan, the Middle East
beyond, speaking with more
than 4500 officers and sailors
about the issues facing Navy,
many of which have been the
focus of the national media.
"We are working hard towa
the vision of the New Generat
Navy (NGN) program. We mu
our Signature Behaviours and
tinue to do this the culture wil
the negative reporting will bec
and less prevalent," VADM Gr
"In saying this, I think Nav
always represented fairly in th
Much of the reporting doesn't
represent our people or what l
Navy is all about." That said,
to deal head on with the issues
organisation -- it is only us who can take
these negative reports off the front page."
According to CN, Navy has made
significant progress with NGN but the
organisation still has a long way to go.
"My predecessor, VADM Russ Crane,
made it very clear from the start that
NGN was a long-term program," he said.
"We've seen early signs of change
but, to be frank, we've also seen people
sitting on the fence. I have made it clear
that we will continue on this path of
change because we simply do not have
any other choice. We have to modernise
our culture, our structure and the way we
lead if we are to have the right workforce
with the right attitude and skills by the
middle of this decade to tackle the new
capabilities coming our way."
VADM Griggs said he was honoured
to be leading Navy at a time of great
"I am very excited about what is
ahead of us," he said. "Great capabilities
are coming online over the next few years
which will position us well for the future.
However, I am not blind to the significant
challenges we have to deal with."
made," VADM Griggs said.
"In the past we have not treated Navy
engineering as a priority and we are now
paying the price, particularly with regard
to the amphibious fleet. It is important
to add that over the years people have
worked extremely hard to keep the ships
running but, in the end, they were over-
whelmed by the lack of resources.
"We need to increase resourcing in
our core capability management functions
and we are working through the report's
recommendations, trying to understand
the resource implications.
"The Rizzo Report was an uncom-
fortable read, however, it has given me
a solid platform to go forward with very
early in my tenure as CN. An external
person has had a good look at our situa-
tion and developed a very practical set of
VADM Griggs said the amphibious
problems had not suddenly developed but,
rather, had occurred over a period of more
than 20 years based on a combination of
if we con-
ll shift and
vy is not
ife in the
s facing the
Among the challenges he points to
are the problems confronting Navy's
amphibious fleet. Th
T e Rizzo Report,
which addressed problems in
the repair, maintenance and
sustainment of Navy's
support ships, was
released on July 18
and provided a
to reform the
Rizzo Report. I abso-
lutely agree with and fully sup-
port the recommendations that Mr Rizzo
CN proud of
strategic and tactical-level decisions that
blended together to put Navy in the posi-
tion in which is it currently stands.
"Last month I travelled to the UK and
Spain to see NUSHIP Choules and the
Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships
under construction and what that brought
home was the importance of getting our
capability management structure right,"
"The LHDs, in particular, are a signifi-
cant step up in terms of management and
sustainment complexity. Their complexity
rests in their sheer industrial scale. You
don't realise just how enormous they are
until you step on board one. So, we've
got some challenges ahead and the Rizzo
Report will help us deal with those."
When asked what he wanted to
achieve during his tenure as CN, VADM
Griggs said he wanted Navy to be
respected as much for its personnel and
capability management as it was for its
"We are a warfighting organisation,"
he said. "That is our reason for being. We
are an insurance policy for this country
in tough times. There is no point hav-
ing fantastic equipment, which we are
getting, and fantastic people, which we
have, if we don't have the right mindset.
We need to build resilience, reinforce our
warfighting culture, but lead our people
in a sophisticated and contemporary way
using our Signature Behaviours."
And his final message?
"The more I get out of Canberra and
meet the Navy members around Australia
and the world, the more I am reminded
of why I am in the Navy. I am incredibly
proud of our people."
Chief of Navy VADM
Ray Griggs inspects
the graduating Rankin
Division at the RAN
Photo: LSIS Paul
"YOU are at the sharp end of
what we do." This is the message
Chief of Navy has for RAN per-
sonnel deployed on operations.
"On any one day we have
around 600 people deployed on
operations," he said.
Prior to becoming Chief of
Navy, VADM Griggs was the
Deputy Chief of Joint Operations,
a position he held from May 2010
until June this year.
"The fantastic thing about
my last job was that I had the
opportunity to visit nearly all
of the places where sailors are
deployed. However, when I visited
Afghanistan again last month I
was able to look through a Navy
"There are sailors in
Afghanistan doing jobs most peo-
ple in Navy don't even know we
do. We have people patrolling with
the Mentoring Task Force on the
front line; we have people working
in explosive ordnance disposal;
and we have people in key roles in
different headquarters throughout
the Middle East.
"But by far the biggest opera-
tional focus for Navy is Operation
Resolute. Our people do an out-
standing job in a relentless and
grinding operation and have
shown, on several occasions, great
courage and bravery."
VADM Griggs said he was
immensely proud of the Operation
Resolute sailors awarded bravery
citations on August 22 for their
courage during the SIEV 36 trag-
edy on April 16, 2009 (see page 3
for the full story).
To the families of personnel
deployed, VADM Griggs said he
"deeply appreciated" their sup-
"Our deployed people perform
exceptionally well and I know we
couldn't achieve all we do without
the support of Navy families," he
IN CONTROL: Chief of
Navy VADM Ray Griggs
says Navy's people are in
control of their own destiny.
He is pictured here talk-
ing with Navy members
deployed to Headquarters
Joint Task Force 633 at Al
Minhad Air Base, UAE.
Photo: POIS Damian Pawlenko
Operations at the sharp end, says CN
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