San Diego, California - Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus visited the newest and most technologically-advanced amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), Wednesday, to address recent Navy changes with Sailors during his farewell tour in San Diego.
More than 500 Sailors and Marines from various commands at Naval Base San Diego attended the all-hands call, and participated in a question-and-answer session to address current and future changes in the naval organization.
"I was in [the Navy] 45 years ago ... there were radiomen and signalmen," said Mabus. "How many of those do we have today? None. We change our ratings all the time."
Mabus reiterated the importance of a strong naval presence and efforts to modernize the new Navy, including the recent implementation of the Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) Rating Modernization. He stressed the importance of the Navy's mission and establishing presence in the fleet.
"Nobody touches the United States," said Mabus. "We have the greatest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known."
While aboard America, Mabus addressed specific concerns and fielded questions from Sailors on topics such as advancements, dual military co-location, additional 24-hour child care facilities, maternity leave, and world events.
"I really want to give you a 'Bravo Zulu' for a job well done," said Mabus. "We don't get to see how hard the jobs are."
Mabus' stop to America, which is homeported at Naval Base San Diego, is part of his farewell to Sailors in the fleet. He has served longer than any other secretary of the Navy and will retire at the end of the year after eight years of service to the country.