A sailor fires an M9 service pistol during a weapons qualification course in the Philippine Sea aboard the USS Green Bay, March 27, 2019. ANAID BANUELOS/U.S. NAVY
A sailor fires an M9 service pistol during a weapons qualification course in the Philippine Sea aboard the USS Green Bay, March 27, 2019. ANAID BANUELOS/U.S. NAVY

Changes to Navy culture after collisions lead to higher re-enlistment rates in Japan

by James Bolinger
Stars and Stripes

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Changes instituted by the Navy after two fatal collisions involving U.S. warships in 2017 are paying off with more realistic training, higher re-enlistment rates and a culture centered around combat readiness, the commander of Task Force 76 said recently.

The re-enlistment, or retention, rate for first-term sailors aboard Sasebo-based ships reached 80 percent this year along with an overall enlisted promotion rate at or above the Navy average, Rear Adm. Brad Cooper told Stars and Stripes in March.

“Every ship in the strike group won the retention excellence award, which sets minimum thresholds for retention across the Navy,” he said. “In our case, every ship exceeded those requirements, which is always an indication of morale. It really reflects a positive command climate across the waterfront, across the force and even exceeds what we accomplished last year, which was 72 percent.”

Cooper said the retention rate and other improvements are also adding to a culture among sailors at Sasebo that values readiness and lethality, goals laid out by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in January 2018.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.577097

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