Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The top Navy commander in San Diego says the region benefits from growing Defense Department spending.
The top Navy commander in San Diego says the region is benefiting from growing Defense Department spending.
Admiral Len Hering, Commander of the Navy Region Southwest, spoke to the San Diego Military Advisory Council a month before he hands over his command.
He says a national strategic shift of naval resources to the West Coast means more ships arriving in San Diego Bay and more Defense Department dollars pouring into the county.
“There is more Department of Defense money than any other county in the United States,” Hering says, “and it’s going to get larger. We are on track to not only increase, but substantially increase the Department of Defense budget in the San Diego area.”
Hering says the Navy must invest in replacing an aging infrastructure on base. “We cannot operate the force of tomorrow in the infrastructure that was intended for first World War generation’s fighters,” he says. “And we are in that environment, my building is one of them.”
Hering says he’s disappointed that building a new Navy Headquarters on Pacific Highway downtown is on hold, due to litigation over developer Doug Manchester’s Navy Broadway Complex.
New barracks buildings are going forward. Hering says the Navy must invest in better housing or it will have trouble maintaining a volunteer force in the future. He says many enlisted personnel who train with the latest technology still live in substandard accommodations.
On the business front, Hering says the force is working to cut energy costs. He says the Navy in San Diego has reduced electricity consumption by more than 40 percent in the last 4 years, and cut water usage by one billion gallons over three years.
Rear Admiral Len Hering will hand over command of 75,000 active duty sailors in the Southwest Region to Rear Admiral William French next month.