Friday, October 16, 2009

Manning quote of the day ...

From another of Phil Ewing's articles,
Ensign Eric Wynn, of the cruiser Vicksburg, said he thought the effects were even worse for junior officers, who work, stand watches and study to get qualified as sur face warfare officers in a climate of smaller crews.

“A SWO JO gets a hard lesson in time management during the first 18 months on board,” Wynn said, estimating that young officers get only three or four hours of sleep on busy days.

“Lean manning at sea means one thing: sleep deprivation,” he said. “Sleep deprivation leads to mistakes, injuries, neglected equipment maintenance and repair, and poor crew morale. All of these affect mission readiness and success.

We’ve known for years that sleep deprivation can have the same effects as being drunk.” Big Navy knows the fleet is unhappy with lean manning. Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet Forces Command, used one of the earliest posts on his official blog to ask sailors what they thought about manning in the Navy. And he acknowledged to Navy Times on Sept. 28 that the Navy was still adjusting to its current end strength of about 330,000 people, after cutting about 60,000 sailors over the previous six years.

“We’ve hit where we think our floor is,” he said. “Now, how do we best live with this number? I know we have not got it right in all the particulars.” So Harvey and other fleet lead ers are working on a series of moves to put sailors in hard-hit ratings where they are needed most. For example, Harvey wants to consolidate nine amphibious squadrons into seven, send more fire controlmen to Aegis ballistic missile defense ships and send more qualified engineers to the gator fleet.

But even though the Navy has stopped shrinking, it probably — if ever. And the cost of sailors, which is the Navy’s most signifi­cant expense, won’t abate, either. That is why Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and other top leaders remain commit ted to reducing ships’ crew sizes as much as possible, because every body taken off a ship frees up money the Navy can spend elsewhere.

“We must strive to put in place the systems that allow us to reduce the crew sizes as much as we can,” Roughead said last year in a meeting with Navy Times reporters and editors.

“I do not advocate reducing peo ple just to reduce people. We have to be able to compensate with technology or something that needs to take place … but my thrust is, as we look to the future, and as we build new ship classes, we have to bring the ship’s crew down,” he said.
From a long time emailer, a response;
With all the data available to them, still senior leadership continue with the Optimal Manning Happy Talk. We havn't hit the floor, Admiral, we're well into the sub-basement and THOSE floor joists are creakin' real loud too. The way they address manning betrays their attitude that they do not believe that the people ARE the Navy. The people are NOT just another operational cost item and this whole problem began when some MBA weenie started labelling them as such.
When I read, "Adm. Gary Roughead and other top leaders remain commit ted to reducing ships’ crew sizes as much as possible, because every body taken off a ship frees up money the Navy can spend elsewhere." I shake my head.
Hey, Admiral, why not look to free up money elsewhere to spend on sailors so we can get back to robustly manned ships. I swear, Optimal Manning, may make for realy keen PG School/War College papers, but when we get into a serious shooting war it is going to mean dead people and sunken warships.
btw, when I was down in Norfolk [REDACTED] and a half ago for [REDACTED]l, I had to cross over [REDACTED] to get to her. I was shocked to see that [REDACTED] was qualified to be called a rust bucket and I'm talking about watertight doors rusted so bad it looked like the door and frame were ready to fall right out of the bulkhead. Simple rust streaking would have been an improvement.
Optimal manning - suboptimal ships.

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