By Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
Recently the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps announced goals and objectives for Fiscal Year 2015, which began this past Wednesday.
Their top goal: “Take care of our people.”
Among the objectives under that goal are “support health and quality of life for military and civilians” and provide support for veterans and wounded warrior reintegration.
Other FY15 goals are related to readiness, sustainable energy, and innovation. All are important to those of us in the center of the rebalance here in Hawaii, but it’s clear—as the top goal with the most objectives for FY15, “people” is still the top priority for our leaders.
Our military depends on the support of good citizens in and out of uniform—parents willing to entrust us with the lives and futures of their sons and daughters, men and women in uniform willing to face hardships to serve their country, and military families who sacrifice during moves, deployments and times of uncertainty.
We are successful in large part because of the support of our families.
Last week and this week, I joined our public-private venture partners Forest City for a series of open town hall meetings in residential housing areas on Oahu. We provided information about security, energy, maintenance and support services. Most of all, we listened to residents.
There was a relatively low turnout, so I assume most people are satisfied; however, I intend to continue to hold these community meetings with Forest City and ensure we’re responding to any issues and questions our service members and families raise. We can always improve communication. We can always clarify perception.
A few topics that came up over the past two weeks include: landscaping around homes, move-in inspections, communication through ombudsmen, and energy conservation. We see a lot of interest in our “Know Loads” (know your energy loads) team, who are poised to assist and offer suggestions to residents who want to reduce their electricity consumption and lower their bills.
We’ll be providing more information about the specifics raised in the open house meetings and, with regard to energy, we will continue to provide more details about energy conservation at our Energy Outreach page on our website. By the way, the theme for the Navy’s Energy Month in October is “Energy Action = Mission Success.”
I think we have a strong partnership with Forest City, and I’m pleased to see the willingness to continuously improve to meet the customers’ needs, whether it’s energy consumption or other issues. I encourage everyone in our residential housing to continue to communicate and provide feedback, and I thank everyone who is working to improve life for our military work-force and their families.
When we take care of our people, it reduces stress and increases efficiency and effectiveness. Quality of life equates to quality of service, which makes us stronger, happier and more fulfilled.