Story and photo by Paul Long, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – It was “standing-room only” Monday at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka’s Fleet Theater for an All-Hands call with the Secretary of Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus.
Mabus visited Yokosuka July 28, to say thanks to the Sailors and Marines forward-deployed to Yokosuka and to hear from the Sailors, Marines and civilians who he oversees as the Navy Secretary.
“I’m here to see you, our Sailors and Marines [and] to say ‘Thank You’ for what you do every day and to say ‘Thank You’ for what your families do, in order that you can serve and defend this great country of ours,” Mabus said.
During Monday’s All Hands Call, Mabus spoke about what he calls the ‘Four P’s’; People (Sailors and Marines); Partnerships (our allies); Platforms (ships and warfighting systems); and Power (reducing the Navy/Marine Corps reliance on fossil fuels) leading to another “P”, Presence.
“We’re sending our newest and most modern platforms into the Pacific because what the Navy and Marine Corps give to the nation uniquely is presence,” said Mabus. “We are where we need to be, not just at the right place at the right time, but the right place all the time to re-assure allies, to try and deter potential adversaries, and to be ready for whatever comes over the horizon.”
Mabus added that the Navy will move two additional guided-missile destroyers to Yokosuka, another amphibious ready group into the Pacific, and rotate groups of Marines for training in Australia, leading to 60% of the fleet deployed to the Pacific.
Mabus also said he’s focused on increasing the number of new ships being built for the fleet.
“In the five years before I became secretary, we put 27 ships under contract,” Mabus said. “In the five years since I’ve been secretary, we’ve put 70 ships under contract. We’re building the fleet; we’re going to get to 309 ships by the end of this decade, so that we can have that presence.”
One of the goals that Mabus has set for the Navy is the reduction of the Navy’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“I will make sure that energy can’t be used as a weapon against us, whether by price or availability,” Mabus said. “By 2020, at least half of all our energy use [will come] from non-fossil fuel sources.”
Following his comments, Secretary Mabus posed for photos with Sailors and Marines in attendance.