US Navy Downsizing

January 4th, 2005  

Topic: US Navy Downsizing

The United States Navy is looking to lower its head count by 40 to 100 thousand men and women by 2008... This coming shortly after a huge budget cut by the Congress/White House. How is this supposed to help our operational capabilities worldwide? We are already severely over-extended throughout the world and with this budget cut, how are our troops overseas supposed to stay relatively safe without having to delve into their personal accounts to pay for supplies?

edit: all military branches in the US are looking to downsize, the navy however is looking to cut the most in man-power (seconded only by the army but I haven't seen their projections for the upcoming years)
January 4th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
i wasn't aware the Navy was downsizing. Do you have a link to a news article?
January 4th, 2005  
I'll try to find it, my brother is in the Navy and he was telling me about how they were bringing in career counselours on his boat to try to get non-critical personel to not reenlist after their term was up... but anywho I'll try to find the article and post it asap
January 4th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
wow! The military telling people not to reup. That hasn't happened much in the history of our military. Later today, I will look for any article on the subject.
January 4th, 2005  
found one for you;

The $10.5bn cut in the Raptor is part of nearly $30bn in spending cuts during the next six years expected to come in the Bush administration's 2006 budget request.

According to internal budget documents disclosed on Monday by the newsletter, the biggest cuts will come in about half a dozen programmes, including the C-130J, a cargo plane that will be cancelled for the air force and curtailed for the Marine Corps saving $5bn, and in missile defence, where a similar saving is sought.

Next to the air force, the most severely affected service is the navy. It will see two ships cut from its new destroyer programme, saving $2.5bn, and the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy retired, saving $1.2bn.

Despite the procurement cuts, the Pentagon's overall budget is expected to remain at 2005 levels because of continuing costs of Iraq.
January 4th, 2005  

here is a related Article i Found

Navy Downsizing Force to Pay for New Ships

‘Sea Warrior’ program will determine which jobs will stay, which will go

by Sandra I. Erwin

To meet growing demands for U.S. maritime presence around the world and adequately support the war-fighting regional commanders, the Navy says it needs more ships, but fewer sailors.

The desired expansion of the fleet—from 292 to about 375 ships—would be financed largely with cutbacks in personnel.

Although the Defense Department has not endorsed the Navy’s 375-ship goal, the expectation is that the Pentagon would not object, if the Navy paid for the additional ships with internal savings, without seeking significantly larger shipbuilding budgets.

Those internal savings only can be attained, officials said, by reducing the number of people in the Navy.

The exact scope of the downsizing has not yet been set, but it is clear that the chief of naval operations, Adm. Vernon Clark, has made this a top priority for the next two years.

“The CNO is going to recapitalize the Navy, and he is going after end-strength,” said Rear Adm. Robert Cox, director of total force programming, manpower and information resource management.

Some level of downsizing already is underway. For fiscal year 2005, the Navy is budgeting for 7,900 fewer people. A senior Navy official who briefed reporters last month said the cuts would generate savings of $254 million.

The Navy believes it can simultaneously deploy more ships and downsize the force, because ships will be more technologically advanced and staffed with smaller crews. Those crews, however, will be better educated and more skilled than ever before, Cox said in a briefing to the Surface Navy Association, in Arlington, Va.

Cox is overseeing efforts to restructure the human resources, training and education programs in the Navy, under a project called “Sea Warrior.”

Although the mandate from the CNO is to make the Navy more efficient and trim the size of ship crews, Cox said the approach is not to indiscriminately “cut to some level,” but rather to “analytically understand the work requirements and size the force accordingly.”

The current force is based on a “Cold War structure” that fails to meet the increasingly complex needs of U.S. combatant commanders, said Cox. “The combatant commander wants ‘effects-based’ operations, a specific effect applied to a specific mission,” he said. The Sea Warrior program was designed to both satisfy the combatant commanders’ demand for more skilled personnel and to improve the retention of that skilled workforce by making the Navy a more attractive employer, offering better career opportunities.

In the process, the Navy will eliminate those jobs that no longer are viewed as relevant.

The high retention rates of the past two years have resulted in overstaffing, said Vice Adm. Timothy W. LaFleur, commander of naval surface forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He said ships today are manned at 104 percent, on average.

Cox expects the official “launch” of Sea Warrior to get under way in the fall of 2005. At that time, the Navy will introduce a “wholesale change of our human resource system,” in the form of new career management programs and job requirements.

The Navy’s workforce today is about 960,000 strong—including active duty, reservists, civilians and contractors. The size of the future force has yet to be determined, but “it is going to be less than what it’s now,” said Cox.

Shipbuilders and weapon developers, meanwhile, will be expected to design systems that maximize automation and lower the demand for human labor, he noted.

“We have to be very cautious and understand the implications of applying man-power.”

The Navy views “people” as its biggest expense. Of the Navy’s approximately $119 billion budget for 2005, about $37 billion goes to personnel costs, and $35 billion to operations and maintenance.

But replacing people with technology is harder than it sounds, said Gregory Maxwell, director of human systems integration at the Naval Sea Systems Command. His office is leading efforts to make future ships operate with less manpower.

“We’re constantly challenged with technology as the solution to taking people off of ships, and people say that like it’s easy,” Maxwell said at a news conference. “I don’t believe that all technology can replace sailors one for one. In fact, I think that needs to be assessed.”

The Navy already has introduced a series of programs, such as “optimal manning” and “distance support,” aimed at shrinking ship crews, explained LaFleur.

Under distance support, technicians are taken off ships and based ashore. They assist sailors by email or phone.

The Navy also is saving millions of dollars in labor and maintenance by scrapping outdated “legacy systems,” LaFleur told reporters.

A case in point is the decommissioning of old frigates and Spruance-class destroyers. By eliminating those ships from the active force, the Navy saves untold millions by not having to maintain supply lines, schoolhouses and other “tails that tend to be pretty expensive,” said LaFleur.

As part of the optimal manning program, he said, the Navy reduced the crews aboard the LHD amphibious ships by 100 people. Many destroyers have taken off 50 people, and cruisers eliminated about 30.

Despite senior leadership support for these downsizing initiatives, skeptics wonder whether personnel cuts realistically can be expected to generate enough savings for the new ships the Navy wants, namely the DDX destroyer and the Littoral Combat Ship.

The CNO has endorsed plans to possibly buy up to 24 DDXs and 56 LCSs. Each DDX would cost $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion, and each LCS would run about $220 million, without including mission equipment.

The Navy faces a procurement “funding crunch,” said Ronald O’Rourke, a naval analyst at the Congressional Research Service. The expectation that cuts in the force will yield the desired shipbuilding funds may be impractical, he said in a speech to the SNA symposium.

“Just how deep do the force structure cuts have to be?” he asked.

“Can the Navy live with those cuts for 15 years? That is how long the Navy wants to keep simultaneous procurement of two surface combatants.”

O’Rourke also cautioned that, by adding so many new ships to the surface force, the Navy may be unnecessarily sacrificing programs in other areas, such as undersea warfare and aviation.

“Trying to fund surface warfare platforms at the expense of other communities may not be a smart move in the long run,” he said. “Be careful.”

January 4th, 2005  
Originally Posted by Doody
wow! The military telling people not to reup. That hasn't happened much in the history of our military. Later today, I will look for any article on the subject.
Actually Doody, I've seen it happen any number of times over my 22 years. RIFs (Reduction In Force) have happened periodically and are generally caused by political cost cutting. I've seen the military use methods such as tightening the physical requirements, instituting/revamping the personnel evaluation process, reorganizations where slots are eliminated, closing of bases and so on. There are many methods that are used to accomplish the mandated cost savings.
When this has happened in the past it resulted in making the military an undesirable career option for new recruits. That slows down the bodies coming in the door. The other measures mentioned result in speeding up the exodus out the door. What results is a core of military trying to meet mission requirements with a lack of bodies and a lack of working equipment.
Eventually, the pendulum swings the other way (usually as a result of some glaring problem). All of a sudden re-up bonuses appear, new equipment shows up and slots open up to run the equipment. Guess what happens next? Yep, more reorgs. Then there's a big hustle for new bodies with the accompanying incentives (bonuses, tuition, pay raises, better benies, etc.)
My opinion is that this is just a sign of the latest swing of the political pendulum. Just look at the bottom line in this little clip (notice "Democrats that oversee defense spending")

Lockheed would lose $18 billion of business over the next six years, with fewer purchases of F/A-22 fighter jets and C-130J transports. Northrop may lose $8 billion of work as the Navy scales back purchases and retires ships, according to a budget document approved by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on Dec. 23 that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Rising U.S. budget deficits and costs for the war in Iraq are forcing the Pentagon to look for cuts to ship and aircraft programs, according to Senator Jack Reed and Representative John Spratt, Democrats on committees that oversee defense spending. "
January 4th, 2005  
I'm shocked the Navy is cutting personnel. But I am especialy shocked they are doing it during a time of war. That cannot be a smart move to make when we are at war with terrorism.
January 4th, 2005  
not alot of terrorism at sea as far as i can tell
January 5th, 2005  
Probably downsizing means new ships will be more automated..
But older ships will have to do with less crew on board.
So longer hours of duty