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The Unresourced Burden on United States Navy Sailors at Sea

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis seeks to determine why U.S. Navy Sailors work longer hours than accounted for in Navy manpower models. The study focuses on at-sea tasks of enlisted Sailors aboard Guided Missile Destroyers. To address the question, we reviewed the full Navy Manpower Analysis Center model for Destroyer task requirements, interviewed Destroyer subject-matter experts knowledgeable about enlisted tasking, analyzed self-reported workload questionnaires administered to deployed Sailors, developed a comprehensive enlisted at-sea task model, and contrasted that model with Navy task models. The thesis finds that, over the past 25 years, Navy policy changes have resulted in decreased Destroyer manning, insufficient training due to revised methodologies, and deficient maintenance. Relying on technological advancements to reduce workload, the Navy cut manning levels. These manning shortfalls, combined with higher operational tempos, resulted in misalignment between actual at-sea tasks and manning models. The largest misalignment occurs in training, including on-the-job training and qualifications, warfare training, and underway drills. Additionally, the study finds that Navy wide policy changes were not vetted through OPNAV N1 to determine their effect on at-sea Sailor workload. This thesis recommends instituting centralized policy analysis for new initiatives potentially affecting Sailor workload and periodic reassessment of the Navy Availability Factor afloat wartime workweek.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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