Ships and the Sailors Inside Them
Symposium paper 17-18 Mar 2004
NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Wooden warships sickened and killed their own crews due to poor food, disease and dangerous work. Iron shipbuilding allowed safer and healthier ships but their internal compartmentation created communication problems which were gradually solved with mechanical systems Ships developed their own nervous system allowing a central director to fire every gun. The creation of high-powered machinery meant that small ships were driven into seas up to the limits of human endurance. Coal fuel created its own back-breaking workload and industrial hazards until replaced by oil The displacement limits in arms reduction treaties forced Navies to study trading-off crew quality with carrying more armament. The adoption of the peacetime-forward- deployment mission meant sending ships to sea for 100-200 day periods that hadnt been seen since the days of sail. The loss of overseas bases and the threat of terrorist attack has greatly complicated going ashore for liberty compared to the 1950-60s. The long term trend of sailors job has been changing from providing muscle to brains. On submarines, aircraft carriers and low-signature surface combatants, sailors have lost places topside to quietly view the sea and sky. The seaman is gradually losing the pleasure of the contact with the ocean.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Marine Engineering