Commander of Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet visits Sasebo
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — After Rear Adm. Victor Guillory returned to his White Beach Naval Facility headquarters in Okinawa following the 2005 Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia, one of the first items on his to-do list was coming to Sasebo.
“Since taking command last October, I’ve made it a point to visit Sasebo every opportunity I have to see the sailors and Marines that make up Amphibious Force 7th Fleet,” the admiral said.
“We’ve had a very busy schedule … with ships and units involved in numerous exercises and operations,” he added. “This is my opportunity to talk to these great sailors and Marines and see how they are doing, see how their families are doing and listen to any concerns they may have.”
Guillory arrived in Sasebo on Tuesday afternoon and planned to stay through Thursday. His meetings were to include one Wednesday with officers at the Sakibe Laydown Facility. Located about three miles northeast of Sasebo’s main base, it’s home to Assault Craft Unit Five, Western Pacific Detachment. It operates and maintains several Landing Craft Air Cushioned.
During the past 18 months, ships and personnel from Sasebo took part in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom along with the Unified Assistance tsunami relief and several major exercises, said Lt. Edward Sisk, Amphibious Group One spokesman.
“So, while I’m in Sasebo,” Guillory said, “I want to take time to thank sailors and Marines for their tireless devotion to duty.”
Guillory said he’s set several goals including three primary objectives.
“I took my first goal straight from the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark), which I figure is one we’d best incorporate. That one is, ‘Mission first, people always,’” Guillory said.
“We have to be ready when called upon to execute the mission, whether that is tsunami relief on short notice during the Christmas holiday or something of a more traditional issue involving potential conflict.”
His second goal is verifiable readiness. “It’s not enough to pass inspections or complete some check sheet,” he said. “I need to know that … our people are trained and that all the pieces will come together when I need it for a mission.”
Guillory’s third goal is to implement a mentality of effects-based leadership, which he said, “is all about making sure that whatever you do gets the results we want.” By itself, giving one’s best isn’t enough, he said. “You have got to deliver the results. That’s very important to me and I try to demonstrate that by example.
“That’s why when I’m out here walking around with the officers and touring their crafts, it gives me an opportunity to see if they are giving and getting the effects-based leadership I’m looking for.”
Asked about the shore support provided by Sasebo Naval Base, Guillory called it “one of the best ports in the Western Pacific.”
“I served at Yokosuka earlier in my career as an ensign on a destroyer. Now, Yokosuka is also very nice and very close to Tokyo. But it’s large and it can be tough to be noticed.
“But in Sasebo, the people are very warm and friendly, which means you can get to know people and develop relationships,” he said. “It’s a small community and I think the city of Sasebo is embracing us.”