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Balancing Quality of Life with Mission Requirements: An Analysis of Personnel Tempo on U.S. Coast Guard Major Cutters

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The U.S. Coast Guard USCG has a broad set of missions in the maritime domain, including11 statutory missions across the categories of maritime safety, maritime security, and maritime stewardship. Among its assets for accomplishing these missions are major cutterslarge, ocean going vessels capable of spending substantial amounts of time away from their home ports. The USCG fleet includes over 200 cutters more than 30 of these are classified as major cutters. Historically, the operational tempo OPTEMPO of the USCGs major cutters has been measured in days away from home port DAFHP per year. The upper DAFHP limit for major cutters calculated as a two-year average generally has been about 185 days per year. Personnel tempo PERSTEMPO in the USCG is measured as an individuals DAFHP per year. The USCG calculates a two-year running average for service members 185 days is the upper threshold for an individual. The USCG faces a challenge in determining the optimal number of DAFHP for personnel on major cutters. Confronting this challenge requires an understanding of how PERSTEMPO relates to USCG service member behavior. However, the empirical relationship between the optimal pattern of DAFHP and service member behavior is unknown. To help address this knowledge gap, the USCG asked the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center HSOAC to analyze how service members respond to various levels of PERSTEMPO, as well as the effects of working conditions and incentives on these responses. The USCG also requested that HSOAC examine alternative employment strategies for scheduling major cutters, given PERSTEMPO constraints and the costs and mission trade-offs for each employment strategy considered.

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Technical Report




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