By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
(YOKOSUKA, Japan) – Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Director for Fleet Maintenance Rear Adm. (Sel.) Stephen F. Williamson recently visited Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) and held All Hands call sessions respectively to the Japanese Master Labor Contract (MLC) higher supervisors, the U.S. civilian contractors, and the U.S. Navy Sailors, Dec. 10, 2015.
Williamson spoke to MLC higher supervisors about a range of topics such as their leadership, mindset, preparedness and human resources.
“The [U.S.] civilian, Japanese and military workforces are what actually make SRF better than any other repair organization,” said Williamson. “I spent three years at SRF-JRMC as Officer-in-Charge of Detachment Sasebo, wishing I could always be around people like you who do work like you do.”
He also touched on SRF’s strategic initiatives on workforce development, communication among employees and the difficult aspects of ship repair.
“There is value in self-evaluation, self-reflection,” said Williamson. “It’s important that you know your strong points, but it is equally important that you also know what you are not good at.”
He also elaborated on the supervisors’ attitudes toward their subordinates. “How many of you regularly meet with the people who work for you, and tell them, ‘they did a good job?’” And in comparison he asked, “How many of you meet with people you work with and tell them “they didn’t do a good job?” According to him, both attitudes could be productive in terms of the behavior of supervisors.
Williamson additionally noted that they should speak up about certain things when it is necessary. “Do you know how to say ‘no?’” he asked them, “Do you understand that it is okay to say ‘no’ when we can’t do that? You are the professionals in ship repair maintenance, and nobody knows more than you do about your work capacity.”
In closing, he stressed the importance of metrics to determine the workload capacity, predict future work and set a clear direction. After each session, Williamson opened the floor to the attendees for questions and concerns.
Williamson’s previous tours of duty includes: Deputy Project Superintendent and Docking Officer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Mine Warfare Type Desk Officer at Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic; Officer-in-Charge of the Fleet Technical Support Center Detachment Mayport; Combat Systems Repair Officer, Southeast Regional Maintenance Center; Officer-in-Charge at SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo; Business, Production and Operations Officer at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility; and the 48th Commander of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.