mental and energy issues, providing
more than 120 product lines to
enable our warfighters and their families to do what they do best. Having
served at sea and also commanding a
base means I’ve been both a customer
and a provider for my current mission in command of a Navy region. I
strongly believe in always remembering where you came from.
The installation business is quite
unpredictable. Many of the aspects
of a small city are also resident on
our bases … airports, seaports,
neighborhoods, hotels, restaurants,
hospitals, a police force, firefighters,
power and water plants and, last but
not least, good citizens and bad citizens. Routine days are rare, and
events pop up when you least expect
it. Each one of our bases is unique,
with a different set of tenants and
missions, running the gamut from
strategic deterrence to expeditionary
forces to aviation training.
Just as each base is unique, so
are the relationships with the communities outside the fence. Our
local communities are the glue that
holds us together. Our communities are vital to help us protect our
missions and avoid encroachment.
They support our personnel and
their families, and open their arms
to our children and our veterans.
As a region commander, my staff
and I support the 18 bases in the
region so that the bases can support the warfighters. That’s our job
— to enable the warfighters.
Force protection is my top priority. We are living in a dynamic time in
terms of protecting our personnel,
whether they’re on or off base.
Second is making sure that we understand the condition, configuration
and capacity of our infrastructure.
Whether through sustainment or
modernization, our facilities must be
able to support the warfighter.
In general, our ships and our
aviation squadrons spend about
two-thirds of their life cycle in
their homeports training and
maintaining. If the homeports are
not able to support them — everything from the runways and the
piers, to the gyms, entry-control
points, family support, to school
liaison officers — if all those things
are not working as they should,
then it degrades the readiness of
Every bit of resourcing we get is
very precious. The responsibility
and accountability of ensuring we
are good stewards and doing the
right thing for our Navy is challenging. The hard work makes a difference in peoples’ lives. I’m right back
where I started … the mission is
exhilarating and rewarding. The
Navy has welcomed me into a profession I never dreamed of,
and for that, I’m indebted.
Rear Adm. Mary M. Jackson, commander, Navy Region Southeast, speaks during the commemoration of the Duval
County Veterans Memorial Wall in Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 18.