Story by PO3 Marianne Guemo on 08/20/2019Vice Adm. Rick Snyder, Naval Inspector General (NAVIG), visited Navy Region Southeast as part of an area assessment on Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Aug. 13-15.
Snyder met with base leadership to tour multiple facilities in Mayport and Jacksonville to conduct an inspection and investigate areas of interest to the Secretary of the Navy and the Department of Defense.
"The Navy team at Mayport, and across the Jacksonville area, is doing great things for the Navy," said Snyder. "We wanted to assess those efforts firsthand. This visit was planned about a year ago with a particular interest in Littoral Combat Ship operations."
Snyder said that these visits are important so that he and his team can provide candid, objective, and relevant analysis and advice to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations.
"We have a team of about 50 subject matter experts (SME)," said Capt. Mark Bailey, Assistant Director Inspector General. "They are all SMEs in particular areas including anything from the child development center to security."
Bailey said that Snyder and his team interacted with the region commander to discuss issues, review concerns, and to identify any obstacles that may arise.
"The goal is to be optimally effective," said Bailey. "This could be anything across the board. Do families have the housing they need? Is there childcare? Do ships and squadrons have the parts they need? Everything matters."
The Inspector General (IG) team conducts focus groups made up of people randomly selected from alpha rosters and online surveys. The data collected is then analyzed by a psychologist assigned to the IG team.
"There is often a negative connotation concerning IG visits," said Bailey. "We also want to know what is the Navy doing right? What are the good things?"
The area assessments serve as an opportunity for commands to address concerns and communicate them with senior leadership.
"Bottom line, one of the biggest things we do is advocate for Navy commands that might need help in certain places," said Bailey. "We can look at the data and try to advocate to the best of our ability once we validate the concerns that these organizations have.
According to Snyder, the NAVIG advocates for the best practices and for areas that may need additional attention and support.
"We want to come away with a good assessment of the support being provided to Sailors, Navy civilians, and their families, as well as an understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the execution of Navy missions in the Jacksonville area," said Snyder.
The NAVIG conducts area assessments three times a year in different locations and is slated to conduct a similar visit to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet next year.