Wednesday, November 14, 2007

GSAs Gives Sailors More Options

More predictability for Sailors is the goal as the Navy transitions from individual augmentee (IA) assignments to Global war on terrorism Support Assignments (GSA), announced Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP), Nov. 7. "The more I talk to Sailors around the fleet the more I'm convinced Global war on terrorism Support Assignments is the right thing to do. I look forward to pressing ahead on this plan," said Vice Adm. J.C. Harvey, CNP, who released the latest GSA NAVADMIN 297/07, Nov. 7, to provide an update on the transition. The Navy first introduced the GSA detailing concept in June 2007, via NAVADMIN 147/07. This process allows Sailors to negotiate for an IA when it fits their needs. Eventually it will replace the need to pull Sailors from other assignments mid-tour in order to fill an IA, according to Rear Adm. Sonny Masso, Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel. "We're done studying the issue. We've tested enough billets to make sure the system will work. It's time to move out and make this happen," added Masso.The plan allows Sailors to negotiate eight-month or 14-month PCS orders to an Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) for an assignment in theater in support of GWOT, according to Master Chief Sonar Technician Surface (SW) James Stone, head, enlisted GSA detailer. In addition to billets in Iraq and Afghanistan, GSA detailing will also cover assignments to the Horn of Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany, South America, Cuba, Kosovo, Philippines, and even stateside duty in Tampa, Fla., and Arlington, Va. "The feedback from the Sailors I've detailed has been positive so far. They get to choose where and when they go, and it helps commands because they don't have to choose what Sailors they are going to send," said Stone. Currently Information Systems Technician, Master-at-Arms, and Yeoman are the most in-demand enlisted ratings, added Stone. However, Sailors with comparable skills sets from other ratings may also volunteer, said Stone. To date, more 372 Sailors have negotiated orders to an ECRC for GSA, which coordinates and supervises Sailors' pre-deployment training before sending them in theater. Approximately 1,500 enlisted GSA billets are currently available on Career Management System-Interactive Detailing, the program enlisted Sailors use to apply for orders.

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