Monday, February 26, 2007

Define: Deployment, Dwell, Homeport TEMPO

From a couple of emails I have received, it looks like the FlagSESemail making the rounds all over creation and back is fair game. Good stuff to chew on.
Subject: FlagSESWeb Mail - Deployability and Employability

Admirals and Senior Executives,

In the last few months, we have been reviewing the deployability and employability of our naval forces with the fleet. The thrust was to examine the ways in which we might increase our operational availability
- the percentage of time our forces are available for operational tasks and missions - while still preserving our overall readiness and the quality of service for our Sailors and their families. This has been important work designed to strike the right balance between our need to provide rotational forward forces, our obligation to prepare both independent and major forces in a variety of surge scenarios, and our time at home.

As a result of the review, we are changing some deployment policies and revising some definitions and deployment metrics in the new Personnel Tempo of Operations instruction. While we increased the time available for employment in support of the nation's Combatant Commanders, I want our Sailors to understand that we have carefully considered the potential for personnel impacts. We are deliberately taking action to ensure leadership has the right kind of visibility and oversight into these new deployment metrics. We have preserved our traditional 50% time-in-homeport standard for our Sailors, taken steps to account better for our deployed time, while providing the most predictability we can in our deployment and operating schedules.

I want you to inform your leadership teams and Sailors of these actions when you engage them. I want them to recognize our responsibility to the nation. We must always be prepared to respond as the security environment dictates. That is why the nation has a Navy, and why we are establishing these new metrics.

I have attached a slide that maps our new terms and metrics to the old. You will want to be familiar with the following terms and definitions:

- Deployment. A deployment is time spent generating forward presence to Combatant Commanders (COCOMs) regardless of deployment length. The previous 56 day deployment minimum has been eliminated. Any forward deployed time now counts.

- Dwell. Dwell is the ratio of the number of days a unit spends between deployments and the length of the last deployment in an operational cycle. Dwell is a joint term that formally replaces the Navy's term Turn-Around Ratio.

- HOMEPORT TEMPO. HOMEPORT TEMPO is the percentage of time a unit is in homeport within an operational cycle. This metric is calculated by dividing the unit's days at home by the number of days in that cycle, which is usually about 27-32 months in length.

We will manage our deployments so that our Sailors and their families are not routinely subjected to excessive operational tempo. As such:

- I have reaffirmed our long standing goal of spending no more than 50% percent of the time away from a Sailor's homeport/home station across the operational cycle. Units will be scheduled in a manner that provides 50% HOMEPORT TEMPO. My approval will be required if HOMEPORT TEMPO drops below 50%.

- We will maintain Dwell ratios at greater than or equal to 1.0. While this is a significant change, the fleet has been operating under this policy in a de facto sense during the War on Terror. This change aligns Navy limits with those of the other services under our current wartime DoD policy.

- Maximum planned deployment length will be 7 months - only when necessary - for commands with a single deployment within an Employment cycle. If multiple deployments are required within an Employment cycle, the maximum planned length limit will be 6 months. In either case, we will not routinely schedule deployments longer than 6 months. Operational necessity may require an extension of these deployment lengths, but with rare exception and only with CNO approval.

Concurrently, I have also approved deploying an additional two surface combatants with each CSG (increasing the number of surface combatants assigned to a CSG from three to five). I will be releasing a NAVADMIN reflecting both this decision and our new PERSTEMPO terms and metrics shortly.

As we communicate these new terms and definitions to our Navy, I will need your help in aligning the message. In a time of war, this new approach to employability and deployability will do much for our ability to defend the nation, deter our adversaries, positively engage our partners and friends, and balance these priorities with time at home. Family readiness is a vital part of Fleet Readiness. We must make it clear we value the contributions and sacrifices of our Sailors and their families.

Warm regards, Mike
If you want "Mike's" email, go to NKO - I cut out that bit.

Overall, I think the changes are fair - though the Staff work on the email needs some help and is sloppy.
I can't help myself - but the CNO's Staff work just isn't up to the VADM Cutler Dawson standard. Way too much passive voice. Too many words.

There is one thing there that has become the norm - that Ensign Salamander would have found shocking.
Concurrently, I have also approved deploying an additional two surface combatants with each CSG (increasing the number of surface combatants assigned to a CSG from three to five).
A Carrier deploying with as few "escorts" as they do. That is the sign of the benign seas we now travel in and/or the threadbare fleet we now have.

BULLNAV asked a good question in an email on this subject - where are the extra Ships coming from? Methinks they are taking them from other things. Small Fleet means smaller global footprint. Can't be at two place at once, and if you are a LCS, can't do more than one mission at a time.

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