RAND National Defense Research Institute Santa Monica United States
Maintaining the fleet of surface combatants that the United States has built is challenging. The United States spends approximately 5 billion annually on ship depot maintenance. In addition to being costly, ensuring that the U.S. naval fleet operates at peak efficiency requires meticulous planning and execution of deployment schedules, crew training, and maintenance availabilities. The careful employment scheduling of ship deployments, short-term or long-term maintenance periods, and crew training ensures maximum readiness, efficiency, and expected service life of the ship. Combatant commanders demand for surface combatant presence is high, and as the fleet has decreased in size, deployment lengths have increased to meet this demand.