NECC Forces Hold Operational Pause

Story by Chief Petty Officer Edward Kessler, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) forces took a pause from operations as part of a Navy-wide initiative in response to recent operational incidents in the western Pacific.

Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and NECC Pacific, addresses NECC members during an operational pause at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story, August 25. As directed by Adm. Phil Davidson, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, NECC joined other Commander, Task Force 80 units to plan and execute operational pauses in response to recent operational incidents in the western Pacific. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Travis DiPerna)


As directed by Adm. Phil Davidson, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, NECC and other Commander, Task Force 80 units planned and executed operational pauses to “address our commitment to the fundamentals, to convey the context and importance of the evolutions, details and duties that underpin those fundamentals, and to address our enduring commitment to evaluate and manage the risk in all we do.”

Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2 held an operational pause that consisted of a series of small group discussions focused on identifying barriers to performing operations successfully. Command members recognized the operational pause as an opportunity to be part of a Navy-wide effort to become a better force.

“I think the operational pause is a good and necessary thing, to take a step back and evaluate our operating practices and how we conduct business,” said Chief Equipment Operator Toby Davis, NCG 2. “This is a great chance for our Sailors to provide feedback to the chain of command on how we can perform our mission safer and better – not just for them but for the Navy as whole.”

Explosive Ordnance Group (EODGRU) 2 held an operational pause that included interactive discussions about leadership, accountability, risk mitigation and process improvement at the unit level.

“The operational pause increases our ability to operate effectively. By addressing and assessing our readiness, we have a chance to improve in all areas. I think it really shows Sailors that we care about them and the mission,” said Cmdr. Jon Haase, EODMU 2 Commanding Officer.

Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) analyzed and discussed acceptable risk and the implications of risks to their missions. Commanders hosted open sessions with Sailors to solicit their thoughts on the six tenants of watch standing success as well as the importance of planning, briefing, executing and debriefing.

“It’s good to pause to take a step back and analyze the root of the problems. We are taking a good look at our training and preparing for real world scenarios, and taking the necessary actions to mitigate mishaps in the future.” said Cmdr. Mark Wilhelm, NAVELSG Operations Officer.

Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) conducted operational pauses within the command’s departments and work centers.

Acknowledging the need for the pause, Lt. Courtenay Ngo, ECRC Processing Department’s Division Officer said. “During the operational pause, the processing team was able to take a moment to pause from our busy environment to discuss and identify workplace hazards and develop solutions to resolve them before someone gets hurt.”

As part of Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 2’s operational pause, command leadership gathered khaki and civilian leaders for an in-depth discussion of current issues relevant to the Coastal Riverine Force (CRF). Smaller, departmental level discussions followed.

During the discussion, Capt. Robert Cepek, Commander, CRG 2, spoke about the CRF’s responsibility to be combat ready.

“We’ve made great strides to improve every aspect of our Force. Some issues have been corrected; other issues are in the process of being corrected, said Cepek. We must continue to identify and correct issues, foster an environment of open communication both up and down the chain of command, and adhere to the ‘plan, brief, execute and debrief process,’ and six tenets of sound watchstanding.”

NECC forces are globally deployed, providing capability across the full range of military operations in the maritime strategy to include forward presence, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, sea control and power projection and deterrence. The forces that comprise NECC include Naval Construction; Coastal Riverine; Expeditionary Logistics Support; Explosive Ordnance Disposal; Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training; Expeditionary Intelligence; Expeditionary Combat Camera; and Expeditionary Combat Readiness.

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