NEWS | Jan. 21, 2021

Reserve Unit Conducts Afloat Cultural Workshops for Pacific Fleet

By LT Severin Walstad

Reserve Unit Conducts Afloat Cultural Workshops for Pacific Fleet
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | Reserve Unit Conducts Afloat Cultural Workshops for Pacific Fleet Reserve Unit Conducts Afloat Cultural Workshops for Pacific Fleet
Each year the Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) Reserve Unit averages 25 Afloat Cultural Workshops (ACW) in support of the Pacific Fleet’s mission to sustain superior performance fleet wide.

A biennial CNSP requirement, ACW’s are four-day workshops led by senior officers and enlisted personnel, giving respective triads a snapshot into the culture of their command. They help offer insight to why commands with similar operations, training and inspection schedules, resources, and human capital inputs, sometimes achieve vastly different results.

“The Afloat Culture Workshop experience leads to a method of interaction and in-depth discussion far surpassing any online survey.  We receive tangible feedback that allows us to continue building a strong command culture that adheres to procedural compliance and ensures our Sailors are being heard,” said Commander Michael Piano, commanding officer of USS Gabrielle Giffords (Blue).

During the week, ACW teams provide shipboard crews an opportunity to share their opinions and comments regarding communication, trust, and integrity within the command. The responses are then scrubbed to remove any identifying information for the Sailors who participate. This allows every member of the command to feel comfortable in providing their unvarnished opinions without pressure to soften their comments.

“The comments you’ll get from your crew will be more than what you’d receive from a climate survey. You’ll find out what your crews’ perception of communication, trust, and integrity is up and down the chain of command,” said ACW facilitator Boatswain’s Mate Master Chief Aubrey Lavitoria.

In the communications module of the workshop, the ACW team will discuss various modes of communication with the crew, including the plan of the day, email, and face-to-face conversations. Furthermore, there is a discussion on how the crew uses these methods across all levels of the command. The trust module delves into how Sailors perceive the messages and efforts of the command and the confidence they have in the character, ability, and truthfulness of each group. Finally, the integrity module reviews all the command programs and watches to ensure they have the confidence of every sailor and adhere to Navy regulations. The data from these workshops is provided to the triad to help them determine what lines of effort to pursue to improve operational excellent.

ACW’s are a trusted source for commanding officers and leadership to learn the pain points within their command. ACWs can be conducted at the request of the commanding officer, or as directed by the command’s Immediate Superior in Charge (ISIC).

“In just a few days our team is able to provide a 360-degree view of the command’s culture and actionable items for the leadership to focus on to become operationally excellent,” said Capt. Margaret Dean, commanding officer of CNSP’s Reserve Unit.