NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy –
In today's environment of great power competition, the actions of the U.S. military are increasingly important. We must be able to get our ships, aircraft, submarines, and personnel to where they need to be, when it matters. Being there when duty calls requires communication, coordination, and support from the shore. Whether it’s getting destroyers out to sea, launching and recovering aircraft on a pitching flight deck in 12-foot seas, or submerging a nuclear powered submarine into the depths of the world's oceans, it all requires precise consideration regarding potential risks as well as a laser focus on safety.
There is inherent danger represent on the shore side as well. From loading and unloading tomahawk missiles onto warships bound for sea to landing and recovering advanced surveillance aircraft, safety is critical. Our shoreside warriors ensure our deployed Sailors and Marines have the equipment and supplies necessary to deter, defend, and if necessary, defeat any threat. As such, safety is paramount. We cannot afford to lose any piece of equipment, any of our sophisticated platforms, or our most valuable advantage, our people. This is why the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples' safety award is so significant, as safety is mission critical.
On Friday, it was my great honor to present and personally congratulate the team at NSA Naples for earning a 2018 Chief of Naval Operations Shore Safety Award, which recognized the command’s outstanding achievement in safety and occupational health. The Shore Safety Award recognizes the naval installation with the best overall safety program. NSA Naples achieved excellence in efforts including a reduction in the command’s lost work time, and a decrease in compensation costs, vehicle accidents, and on/off duty mishaps. The result of these efforts is more resources for the mission.
NSA Naples excelled in directly supporting the Secretary of Defense’s 50 percent mishap reduction goal, thereby improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, demonstrating safety leadership, and promoting a world-class safety culture. An outstanding safety program contributes to operational readiness, and conservation of resources through effective risk management beginning with leadership.
Capt. Todd Abrahamson, commanding officer of NSA Naples, mitigated risk with a safety program based on four pillars: a command safety policy, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion. These four pillars planned, coordinated, and implemented by Capt. Abrahamson and his safety team resulted in a safe and healthy work environment for the military and civilian employees, as well as our families and guests at NSA Naples. The NSA Naples safety team has a thriving program that thoughtfully works with its host nation through differences that stateside installations do not encounter; differences in customs, processes, and even electrical voltage.
Furthermore, NSA Naples is comprised of four separate installations and three government-leased areas as well as more than 55 tenant commands and activities. There are hundreds of acres and facilities that must maintain an outstanding record of safety to enable the forces operating under U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, a tenant command of NSA Naples, to achieve its mission. Each of our military members, U.S. civilians and local national employees, as well as their families matter, and it’s our collective responsibility to keep every single member of our workplace family safe.
I cannot overstate the importance of safety. I care about each member of our community, and even one safety-related mishap is one too many. Unsafe conditions in the workplace degrade our mission readiness and compromise our effectiveness as a command. Safety enables readiness. Please continue to empower all personnel from our highest rank to our most junior to speak up when they see something isn’t safe. Encourage accountability and communicate the need to always be as safe as possible – in the workplace and beyond. Make safety an essential part of everything you do – on and off duty.
Let me end by saluting our safety leadership team and everyone who works and lives at the facilities of NSA Naples. You took the command’s core value “safety is everyone’s responsibility” to heart. Safety is indeed everyone’s responsibility. Let’s stay the course.