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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