Naval Air Station North Island has a new head honcho.
Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. “Bullet” Miller III was named the new commander of both the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s air wings and all Naval Air Forces worldwide on Thursday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Miller, who is replacing three-star Michael “Shoe” Shoemaker, fortuitously begins his leadership just as the Navy is about to receive $1.5 billion of extra Pentagon funding, a boost that follows almost five years of tight budgets and carrier shortages, according to the Union-Tribune.
During a speech, Miller, 58, spoke of introducing a new generation of technology that will revitalize the naval fleet.
“Not that they fundamentally change the way we do business, but those platforms, we’re going to have to learn as we evolve the tactics, techniques and procedures that have made us so successful as we go into the future,” Miller told the Union-Tribune.
But he will still have his work cut out for him.
In recent years, the naval fleet has suffered from a lack of aviation readiness, due to a combination of budget cuts and almost nonstop operations since 9/11. This has not only resulted in a shortage of mission-capable flyers, but also several dangerous crashes, as aircrews are forced to delay discrepancies that are not deemed as “major.”
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William F. “Bill” Moran spoke of both Miller and Shoemaker as unselfish and compassionate military leaders.
“They don’t find it useful or interesting to ask, ‘What’s in it for me?’ They always find it interesting and useful to ask, ‘What’s in it for us? What’s in it for the team?’” Moran told the Union-Tribune. “And I’d argue there’s no more important time for this kind of leadership than right now.”