USA – Mullen Issues Statement on Gates Initiatives

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2010 – Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement today supporting initiatives announced by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates designed to make the Defense Department more efficient.

The chairman was in Washington state today, where he met with soldiers and airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Here is the text of his statement:

I fully support the Department-wide initiatives Secretary Gates has announced today. In fact, having been intimately involved in their development from the very start, I welcome them as real opportunities to improve not only our efficiency as an institution, but also our combat readiness.

Needless redundancy and fiscal bloat detract from, rather than support, our efforts to defend the nation. Encumbered by more people than we need, more contracts than we can track, and more force structure than we can support, we quickly become fixated on process rather than focused on results. I fear this has happened to a degree incompatible with our purpose.

In a time of two wars and great sacrifice, when our troops and their families continue to give and to serve, we cannot afford such luxury. Everything we do — everything we buy — must make us stronger. If it does not, then it does not belong. We cannot escape our responsibility as good stewards of the taxpayers‘ dollars.

I want our troops to have everything they need to accomplish the mission. They expect nothing less. We, as leaders, should expect nothing more.

These measures, each and every one, are geared to that end. I appreciate the Secretary’s methodical, comprehensive approach in deriving them. They will streamline our use of contractors; sharpen the rolls of our senior ranks; eliminate costly and redundant reports; and deliver sound doctrine, training and force management functions to a Joint Force now ready to assume these vital tasks.

The Joint Chiefs and I, as well as our Combatant Commanders, look forward to accepting this challenge and to realizing the opportunities resident in all the efficiency initiatives Secretary Gates has outlined.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

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