NECC Hosts Expeditionary Leadership Symposium

Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
Story by Chief Petty Officer Karen Rybarczyk

Date: 07.22.2019
Posted: 07.22.2019 15:53
News ID: 332482

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) Leaders from the U.S. Navy expeditionary community gathered at Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) headquarters on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia for a three-day symposium.

The symposium covered the status of Navy expeditionary combat forces (NECF) today and took a look at the future needs of the Navy and the expeditionary community.

Rear Adm. Brian J. Brakke, commander NECC, set the tone for the symposium with his opening remarks on his Commander’s Priorities and the NECF Strategy.

“Expeditionary forces have a critical role to fill in today’s global power competition,” said Brakke. “It’s up to each one of us, as expeditionary leaders, to ensure we fulfill that role.”

The NECF is comprised of Sailors skilled in a diverse set of specialized capabilities. These expeditionary Sailors support the entire U.S. Navy fleet while serving as members of Coastal Riverine and Naval Construction Forces, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Diving and Salvage Units; and as part of expeditionary units that provide unique intelligence and logistics capabilities.

U.S. Fleet Forces Commander, Adm. Christopher W. Grady, expounded upon the importance of NECC’s mission and how that mission supports the National Defense Strategy. Grady also spoke on the historical value and agility of the NECC mission and how that mission has come full circle since its conception.

“Expeditionary forces have the ability to fight in contested environments; an ability born and cultivated during World War II. It’s as if we are back to the future.” Grady said. “Your ability to proactively adapt and deliver that agility [now] is absolutely critical.”

Adm. J.C. Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), spoke to the symposium via video teleconference on his priorities for the region.

“I need your help to execute three objectives – win the high-end fight, win without fighting, and build and sustain fleet readiness,” Aquilino said. “Take those objectives back to your teams and build battle-minded, confident and capable Sailors. Make sure they are ready.”

Aquilino also stressed the need for feedback from the fleet about obstacles to effective warfighting.

“I need leaders to tell me what’s not working,” Aquilino said. “If there’s something preventing you from doing your jobs, I want to know right away so I can fix it and you can focus on generating lethal combat power.”

In addition to the key note speakers and briefs from NECC’s echelon IV commands, the symposium included spotlight briefs from Navy Expeditionary Forces Command Europe and Africa, Central Command, and Pacific, helping to better align the NECC forces in this era of great power competition.

Brakke concluded the three-day event with his thanks to the force.

NECC is responsible for organizing, manning, training, equipping, and sustaining Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces (NECF) to execute combat, combat support, and combat service support missions across the full spectrum of naval, joint, and combined operations which enable access from the sea and freedom of action throughout the sea-to-shore and inland operating environments.