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March Virtual General Membership Meeting: Rear Admiral Eric Ver Hage Addresses VSRA Membership

The March General Membership Luncheon meeting was held virtually on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 via VSRA’s Zoom account. The guest speaker was Rear Admiral (RDML) Eric Ver Hage, who is the Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center (CNRMC) and Director, Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization (SEA 21).

RDML Ver Hage began his presentation with his sincere appreciation for the many endeavors VSRA member companies have spearheaded, despite COVID-19, and praising the interaction between the Navy and ship repair contractors. RDML Ver Hage then spent time reviewing and discussing several hot-button topics impacting industry.

These topics included REA response time, which RDML Ver Hage addressed by discussing the importance of cooperation and persistence with Navy and industry, especially with the impacts of COVID still looming. He also addressed consistency within Navy maintenance project teams and mentioned that the Navy is working to determine the appropriate size and skill set to expeditiously move the contracts and align performance objectives.

RDML Ver Hage addressed long lead material times, which CRNMC has seen improve year-over-year. He acknowledged that the Navy had managed long lead time materials inefficiently in the past but added that productive recent meetings with industry had helped in highlighting these issues. He mentioned forthcoming guidance to RMCs regarding on time materials and the goal that materials be delivered 90 days before the actual availability. He also discussed the need to reevaluate how Navy defines long lead material, as many materials might be best left to the contractors to source.

He also discussed upcoming ship decommissioning’s and the impact that overdue availabilities have had on decom decisions.

RDML Ver Hage closed by thanking VSRA and those in attendance for all that they do to serve the Navy and committed to discussing the relevant concerns throughout the Navy leadership chain.

Rear Adm. Ver Hage is a native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Navy in 1984 and served as an electronics technician until his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and from the Naval War College in 2008 with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.

Ver Hage is a designated surface acquisition professional and has served in a variety of afloat and ashore assignments. His tours at sea include duty aboard four ships and three afloat staffs. Ship assignments include commanding officer of USS Carr (FFG 52); executive officer of USS San Jacinto (CG 56); commissioning operations officer of USS Higgins (DDG 76) and as strike officer and damage control assistant aboard USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).

Afloat staff assignments include flag aide to Commander Second Fleet/Striking Fleet Atlantic; exercise/regional engagement officer in Manama, Bahrain-based Destroyer Squadron Five Zero and as officer in charge of Tomahawk Afloat Planning System Pacific Team One embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) with Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Three.

Ashore, Ver Hage served in a number of acquisition and staff assignments with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as the major program manager for Aegis Ashore, where he was responsible for the design, development, testing, Ballistic Missile Defense System integration and fielding of the Aegis Ashore program capabilities. Prior to his MDA assignment, Ver Hage served as the U.S. national point of contact and program executive officer of Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) project manager for U.S. participation in the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) forum. Ver Hage served as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division and as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division. He also served as an associate fellow with the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) Strategic Studies Group XXVI and twice on the OPNAV Surface Warfare Directorate staff to include as a DDG-1000 action officer and as the Weapons and Sensors branch head.

Most recently, Ver Hage served as commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center/commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and led more than 27,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel, both civilian and active duty, at eight Surface Warfare Divisions and two Undersea Warfare Divisions. The Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) Warfare centers provide research, development, test and evaluation for the future Navy as well as in-service engineering and logistics support for the operational naval forces.

Ver Hage assumed duties as the commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center (CNRMC) and NAVSEA director, Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization (SEA 21) on Apr. 24, 2020.
Ver Hage’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various unit and service medals and ribbons.

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