So be more inclusive, Navy

I don’t see this shortage of sailors being a problem that adding twenty-five thousand women, transvestites, and low-IQ immigrants to the Navy can’t fix:

The Navy is short about 6,200 sailors to meet its at-sea requirements for its current force, and that gap could grow as the service adds new ships to the fleet, the head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command told a House panel on Tuesday.

Those sailors will, in part, be used to plus-up crew numbers on each surface ship after the Navy had previously gone to a lower “optimal manning” crew size to save personnel costs, Adm. Chris Grady told a combined hearing before the House Armed Services readiness and seapower and projection forces subcommittees.

“As we sailed through that environment, we recognized that that was too few, and indeed since 2012 the number on a DDG was 240; in 2017 it’s about 270 and will be funded back up very close to the original size of a guided-missile destroyer in 2023 at about 318,” he said. “Personnel is expensive, and that number did not work out well, and we’re now buying back to a larger size crew complement for a destroyer.”

According to the written testimony from Grady and U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. John Aquilino submitted for the hearing, the missing sailors are from the mid-grade and senior enlisted ranks that will take years to train and place in the fleet. The pair indicated there wasn’t a specific set of billets they needed to fill with the new sailors but rather that they were needed across platforms at sea.

That number could grow as the Navy adds ships to the fleet and personnel needs rise, Grady said. Growing sailors fast enough to the level of technical ability to operate the proposed 355 ships is set to be a major challenge for the service and a key focus of the Navy’s ongoing surface reform effort.

Acute manning problems were found to be a factor in the fatal collisions of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John McCain (DDG-56). For example, Fitzgerald did not have lookouts on the bridge wing immediately before the crash, and sailors aboard McCain weren’t qualified to use the helm controls which contributed to its collision.

I wonder how many of those expanded destroyer crews of 318 are going to be pregnant and unable for deployment when the ships go to sea? Or, is the real number required 240, but so many sailors are unable to deploy that they need a nominal crew of 318 in order to fill the real number needed for the mission?