Thursday, July 05, 2007

Navy to increase sea duty for sailors

Above: Sailors watch from the jet shop aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis during a Persian Gulf exercise to test the strike group's ability to defend itself against small boat attacks in June.

DALLAS — The Navy will send more sailors to sea in coming months and years as part of a new manning plan that emphasizes sea duty over shore duty.

As shore billets are slashed and the drawdown to a 320,000-person force has now been defined — nearly 20,000 fewer sailors than on active duty now — manpower officials say the percentage of sea-duty billets will increase and shore duty itself will more closely resemble a sea-duty tour.

In addition, Navy planners have announced that a 5/3 sea-shore rotation policy will soon become the fleet standard. That means five years of mandated sea time and three years ashore for most, but not all, sailors; exceptions to that model are expected, said the Navy’s chief of personnel, Vice Adm. John C. Harvey. Harvey shared the plans with sailors attending the annual conference of Navy career counselors here June 26.

Read the rest at Navy Times