Fw: Civil Mariners To Help Run U.S. Amphib
- Defense News
November 15, 2010
Civil Mariners To Help Run U.S. Amphib
By SAM FELLMAN
The U.S. Navy will put a detachment of civil-service mariners on a yet-to-be named amphibious ship during the next year.
The trial will test the feasibility of “hybrid crews” aboard amphibious ships, a drastic change under consideration as the Navy tries to cut runaway manpower costs, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said, announcing the initiative November 10 in a speech in Washington. Fewer civilian engineers may be required to run the same engineering plant, he said.
The idea came up in a discussion when amphibs were compared with command ships and submarine tenders, which are already manned by hybrid crews, Roughead said.
“We looked at the logistics force and someone said, ‘You know, the amphibious ships are basically the same type of ship.’ They do have more complex combat systems on them that have a lot of need for sailors on board. And so I said I was comfortable with doing a pilot to see how it would work.” He said, “We’re going to take one ship and we’ll see what we learn. It may lead us to nothing more than having to make some modifications to how we run on some of the [Military Sealift Command] ships.” In July, Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet Forces Command, asked MSC to look at options for hybrid crews aboard amphibs.
If extended to the fleet, the idea may have large-scale consequences for the enlisted force. Engineering billets could be drastically cut; steam-specific ratings would likely disappear.
“It’s not simply a matter of running with a mixed crew,” Roughead said. “There’s some laws-of-war issues we have to take a look at where the ships may operate, but I do believe it will give us some good information.” Navy spokesmen declined to specify what ship or even what class would be involved with the trial, or what departments on board will be transferred to civilian management. The most likely candidate is the engineering department. Roughead noted that sealift ships operate with fewer engineers on board, a setup that may save money on amphibious ships, but he declined to specify how much. It also is possible that the civilians would take over other departments, such as supply or deck, both run by civilians on supply ships.
- Hybrid sailors already serve in several communities, including the patrol coastal crews, who trade hulls with other crews for training at Naval Amphibious Base Little ...www.navytimes.com/news/2007/08/navy_hybridsailor_070825 - Cached