The Navy Is Seeking A Few Thousand Good Men

news
Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Sailors man the rails as the ship pulls in to Norfolk, Virginia, after conducting builder’s sea trials. The first-of-class ship -- the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – has spent several days conducting builder's sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies.
Photo via DoD

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.


U.S. Navy officials confirmed this week that the service will need "on the order" of 350 ships to accomplish its global mission in the coming decade.

And with that ramp-up in shipbuilding must come a significant surge in force strength, the chief of naval personnel told members of Congress on Wednesday.

Speaking to members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel, Vice Adm. Robert Burke said the service will require between 20,000 and 40,000 additional sailors to man a fleet of that size, depending on how fast the ships are built.

Currently, the Navy has 275 active ships and 335,000 active-component sailors. The proposed ramp-up represents roughly a 28 percent increase in the size of the fleet and an increase of up to 12 percent in force end strength.

"The infrastructure that we have in place in terms of our recruit training command is sufficient, given shipbuilding timelines, to put enough sailors through there," Burke said. "We would have to ramp up additional drill, recruit division commanders, and perhaps additional training capacity, but probably not additional infrastructure is where we are with that right now."

In addition to shipbuilding speed, one factor that will affect the size of the required Navy ramp-up is how many of the new ships are manned, Burke said.

"We think that that force also needs to be a mix of manned and unmanned vessels," he said. "So that could also reduce the manpower increase. But we're very much looking at that."

In an assessment of the future Navy released on Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the future fleet will include unmanned surface ships and underwater platforms.

While the Navy would work to prolong the service lives of ships already in the fleet and get more value out of existing platforms by adding new technology, Richardson said, the plan would ultimately require the service to build more, and fast.

"There is kind of a demand for presence at different parts around the world," he said. "And this has been an important part of that body of studies. You really need to be there to provide credible options. You can't be virtually present and provide that credible option."

While some analyses have suggested that the Navy needs three decades to reach its target size, Richardson said he wants to build to this bigger, more powerful fleet by the mid-2020s in recognition of global threats and rising adversaries.

Still to be determined is how the Navy plans to pay for ship construction, as well as the additional sailors. Richardson said the service believes the buildup will cost "far less" than the $102 billion per year assessed by the Congressional Budget Office last month, but did not provide any cost estimates Wednesday.

And while Navy officials have not cited a need to create additional infrastructure to support fleet growth, the service's civilian workforce will also be growing.

Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, then the Navy's acquisition chief, said in January that the service is already prepared to ramp up to meet increased ship production demands.

The article originally appeared on Military.com.

More from Military.com:

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less