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CHIPS Articles: Q&A with Commander, Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Len R. Hering Sr.

Q&A with Commander, Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Len R. Hering Sr.
By CHIPS Magazine - April-June 2007
The core business areas for Navy Region Southwest include human resources management, legal, administrative processes, public affairs, religious programs and business and financial management sub-functions, ship movements, harbor craft repair and logistics. CNRSW's mission area includes operations in Southern California at the San Diego Metro: Broadway Complex, Naval Base Coronado, NAVBASE Point Loma and NAVBASE San Diego. Other California locations include: Naval Air Facility El Centro, NAVBASE Ventura County, Naval Weapons Station China Lake, NWS Seal Beach, NWS Seal Beach-Detachment Corona, NWS Seal Beach-Det Fallbrook, NWS Seal Beach-Det Concord, Naval Air Station Lemoore and the Naval Postgraduate School.

CHIPS: Can you talk about the scope of your responsibilities?

Rear Adm. Hering: The Navy Region Southwest is an echelon III command responsible to Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) for the execution of Base Operating Support (BOS) for the fleet, family and fighter. We are responsible for maintaining and supporting all the infrastructure of the Southwest region, which has grown in size. We are now six states in the Southwest United States — Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and California — six big states.

CHIPS: What technology tools does CNRSW use?

Rear Adm. Hering: We are always looking for new technology. We have quite a few technologies that have been deployed and are helping us to manage our resources. They include things like our Total Workforce Management System, referred to as TWMS, which helps us to manage and access records for our personnel.

At the echelon II level, CNIC is developing a transitional hosting center which allows us the opportunity to manage our database and servers better on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet architecture. We are excited because that allows us to get to the next step and that is the transition from legacy applications to a supported operation that is consistent.

We are looking for a number of different opportunities in technology that can minimize and enhance the need for personnel in executing our antiterrorism force protection requirements — cameras, things like SmartGate and Blue Force locators — that allow us to manage our force in emergency management situations. We are also interested in biometrics for identification and support of those antiterrorism force protection requirements.

We are looking for things that help us manage our BOS better, technologies that will allow us the opportunities to incorporate our pass and ID system better and opportunities for us to manage our telephone systems better and more effectively. We just finished a business case analysis for voice-over-IP. We see a huge potential in being able to manage our base communications in the existing infrastructure of NMCI or the next generation — that will greatly enhance our capability to communicate with one another.

We are working hard with technologies that help us do our business better. We manage a database system called RSIP, the Regional Shore Infrastructure Planning support system, which is the backbone of our GIS, or Geographic Information System, capability on which every piece of our planning requirements resides. Additionally, they help us with our future plans. Navy Ashore Vision 2030, developed by the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) two years ago, utilizes that GIS technology to help us manage the infrastructure of the 21st century Navy.

We are relying on technology. We need to be aggressive in how those technologies can help us in the future and be willing to look at solutions that include technology as we move into the 21st century. It is the force-multiplier.

CHIPS: What organizations do you work with?

Rear Adm. Hering: We have a large requirement to operate in the emergency management realm. Our responsibility lies with each of the six states that I mentioned. My job is to be a coordinator for the defense civil support authorities that may be required of us in the terre ferme. It is our responsibility. I have emergency preparedness liaison officers, referred to as EPLOs, who are responsible to each of the particular states that they are operating in who should be cognizant of their plans and execution responsibilities and how I might plug into those plans if a disaster were to occur.

I also deal with some of our folks down south, our border partners in Mexico. We have a tie there between their law enforcement and our border shore patrol, and we also support the National Guard working at the border.

We host many of our coalition partners as they come through the area. That is an exciting part of our job. We are able to interact with those folks and show them how we do business, and we learn through that partnership how they operate and how we can help them out as we look to the future.

Areas of concern include the global war on terror, which is in the forefront of everything we do. We are focused on making absolutely certain that we have a proper balance and that our attentions are always toward the fleet, fighter and family. Those concerns are mixed with the concerns of being able to manage a limited budget and resource allocation that cause us to be careful with the way we execute our requirements. Our biggest concern is making sure that we have the mix right and that we have applied the right resource at the right level to provide the right readiness.

CHIPS: Does the CNRSW provide humanitarian assistance?

Rear Adm. Hering: We would provide humanitarian assistance if we were called to do so. We do have a tremendous outreach in the local community. We sponsor a huge number of volunteers in our school programs and in our local baseball and basketball leagues. We are involved heavily in environmental projects in and around the bay and throughout the region. We have a lot of opportunities with our neighbors in making sure that we are an active part of the community. We have the capability of providing humanitarian assistance and support should they need it, but we really look for the day to day interaction with the community. We are inextricably linked to the local community.

Rear Adm. Len R. Hering Sr.
Rear Adm. Len R. Hering Sr.
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