Navy chief: No more band-aid solutions

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    NEW Navy chief Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo yesterday vowed to end band-aid solutions in the Navy even as he said there will be proper maintenance of ships and equipment installed in them.

    “We have to change the mindset. For me, that is the biggest challenge – changing the mindset of sailors and marines from that of ‘legacy navy’ to that of a modern Navy,” Bacordo said in a phone interview.

    Bacordo said systems which he described as “counter-productive” will be ended. “You have to think modern and do modern,” he said.

    Bacordo formally assumed the post yesterday in ceremonies led by President Duterte at the Navy headquarters in Manila.

    The President thanked Adm. Robert Empedrad, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 yesterday, for his leadership and service to the nation and hoped Bacordo would follow his predecessor’s footsteps.

    “Admiral Bacordo, I am confident that our Navy under your leadership will continue to achieve more milestones in the campaign to protect the freedoms and democratic values that we hold dear. It is my hope you will become the embodiment of integrity and valor as you lead your Navy in securing the seas and the future of our land,” Duterte said.

    Bacordo is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987. He served as commander of the Philippine Fleet before becoming Navy chief.

    Bacordo said the Navy has to do away with “temporary solutions.”

    “Example is before, when there are leaking pipes in our ships, the solution is to wrap them with rubber strips. That’s a temporary solution. Five years later, you’ll still see the rubber strips (on the pipes),” he said.

    “The solution there is check the pipes. If there are rusts inside, then and replace them because you are dealing with multi-billion equipment (ships)… We should stop the temporary solutions. That is an example of changing the mindset,” he said.

    Bacordo said his other thrust as Navy chief “is to ensure the sustainability of (our) vessels.”

    He recalled how guns on Navy ships stopped working due to poor maintenance. He said four of six secondary gas turbine engines installed on the three Del Pilar class-ships are also no longer working due to maintenance issues.

    “Now, we are on a buying frenzy. How do we sustain these?” said Bacordo, referring to new ships that are being acquired by the Navy under the military’s modernization program.

    Bacordo said “higher level maintenance” should be incorporated in the package when buying new ships. “For example, the depot level maintenance and intermediate level of maintenance, they are not included in the package,” he said. – With Jocelyn Montemayor