Longer floats

| January 10, 2013 | 26 Comments

The Washington Times reports that the Navy says that their sailors and Marines are going to be on longer sea duty tours because the USS Enterprise has been retired and the USS Lincoln is undergoing four years of refitting and maintenance bringing the number of carrier groups to nine;

“We need 11 carriers to do the job. That’s been pretty clearly written, and that’s underwritten in our defense strategic guidance,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said recently.

Carrier deployments have lengthened gradually over the past decade, from six months to as long as nine months.

Adm. Greenert said it will be at least two or three years before carriers return to six-month deployments, as the Navy strains to keep operational its flattop fleet and the battle groups of combat and supply vessels that support their missions.

Well, I don’t know how the wetter services feel about these types of deployments, but I’m guessing it won’t help retention much.

Category: Marine Corps, Navy

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  1. RivRonOne says:

    It may not affect the overall retention drastically; times are kinda tough, and it doesn’t hurt too many people’s feelings to get deployment money for 9 months. Unless of course you have a wife back in home port spending up all your money and/or fucking a bunch of dudes because you’re gone all the time. In that case, yeah, it sucks.

  2. Chip@NASA says:

    @1 RivRon
    I was not Navy, but yeah, all those trips to the PI, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the like where your hooking up with LBFMs sucks a bunch. I’m sure it’s going to *kill* retention having to do 3 more months of that.
    {;-P

  3. CBSenior says:

    With major draw downs taking place, the Navy does not give a shit about retention. Leaving makes their job easier. Just look at some of the new proposals and it is easy to see that a younger, more pliable work force is what they are looking for anyway.

    P.S. Hey Master Chief how is the MCPON’s new guidance grabbing you. Dinner and a Hand Shake. Tradition starts now.

  4. Hack Stone says:

    Civilians don’t need thirty round magazines, and the Navy doesn’t need eleven carriers. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the “right to bear aircraft carriers”.

  5. RivRonOne says:

    @ CBSenior
    As a soft, pampered cake-eater, I always enjoyed seeing the various shenanigans that took place at different commands after new chieves were selected. The RIVRON was especially entertaining, but this last year my new command fucked my team over after selection so now I get to revel in the delicious schadenfreude at all the butthurt.

  6. FatCircles0311 says:

    Libo ports!

    Floats are awesome. Yes, being stuck on ship with nothing to do for Marines but to be screwed with by higher sucks but the libo ports make up for it. Some of my best times in the Corps were on these mythical ships involved in the ocean.

    Southeast Asia woooooooooo!

    Time to earn those sea legs, gents.

  7. Charles says:

    Except that the fun ports you can old pharts remember are out and instead it has been something like Naples, ditch, OIF/OEF with plenty of Bahrain and Dubai action. There NCIS and the local morality police have all the hooker hotels under observation. Get caught violating TRIP rules and you can kiss your career goodbye. While WestPac has been Japan Singapore and the Desert with the same rules about TRIP being Applied

  8. NSOM says:

    Welcome back to the 90′s. It’s the era of “do more with less” and “fuck you if you don’t like it”.

    Next up: the boomers and the Marines’ aviation assets.

  9. teddy996 says:

    Carriers do not hit the amount of ports that small boys and subs do. They draft too deep or contain too much fissile material for most ports to tolerate. The ports they do hit, they are usually moored out to sea, and liberty boats ferry the people to shore. Rough seas mean no boats. No bots mean no liberty. The Med is rough during the fall, and I spent two port calls on ship, within sight of land, during one of my deployments due to this. Shitty.

    It will be a bad thing for those unlucky enough to be stationed on a carrier. Not too bad for their ecorts, though.

  10. USMCE8Ret says:

    I’m with Hack Stone in #4 on this one. We should ban aircraft carriers.

  11. NSOM says:

    re #10

    There’s nothing wrong with regular aircraft carriers. It’s the assault carriers with their aggressive deck paint, hard angles and modular mess decks that are unreasonable. I very much doubt the founding fathers had freaking assault carriers in mind when they laid out the need to “provide and maintain a navy.”

  12. USMCE8Ret says:

    @11 – Nope. Not budging on this one. An aircraft carrier is an aircraft carrier, no matter how you look at it. Whether it carries 6, 2, or 4 squadrons on it, it’s still dangerous. We all know the founding fathers were talking about masted sailing ships, and not these things.

  13. Rindvieh says:

    Even though I was Army I’ve always been curious about life on a ship work sleep cycle etc. Is it really 4 hours sleep 4 work on and on and on. Sounds like a hell of a grind for 6 months never mind 9 months.

  14. NHSparky says:

    In theory on a boat it’s 6 on, 12 off. But then keep in mind in that 12 hours you’re doing maintenance, cleaning, training, quals, etc., etc…

    When I was a non-qual, it sucked. When I got qualified, it sucked worse. In port wasn’t so bad if we were 3-section duty and basically were on board only about 80-90 hours a week. At sea we were doing well to get 4-5 hours of sleep in any 24-hour period.

  15. teddy996 says:

    @13- It was 5 on, 10 off for me, doing the same job as Sparky, but on a carrier. Had three watch teams, so that every 4th watch that you stood was four hours long, on the 2200-0200 shift. Other than that, the rest was the same as what Sparky posted in 14. Three section duty while in port, 6 on and 6 off or 12×12′s on watch for your duty day. Three by nine’s or 4×8′s if you were really lucky. And, just for an extra “fuck you” to people in our profession, our cruise started three days early and ended a day late due to reactor startup and shutdown times.

    Other departments had different schedules, and I cannot speak for them, though.

  16. Lobster says:

    Going to sea for up to 9 months? Cry me a river. You still get hot chow, warm bed, hot shower, and you’re not dodging IED’s. Boo hoo squids.

  17. teddy996 says:

    @16- You’d be surprised how much you take sunshine for granted. Or fresh air. Or open spaces.

    Also, you may not know this, but it takes practice to run a ship correctly. You don’t just up and deploy right from the pier. There are constant one to two month long work-up cruises leading up to a deployment, sometimes with only three or four days of home port time in between them. Then you’ve got to get the airwing used to ship life, so you do even more cruises with them, while they practice catching and launching planes.

    Going to a nine month deployment cuts down the refit and rest schedule by three months, shortening the whole cycle.

  18. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I spent one night on a ship at Amphibious School in Little Creek. That was one night too many.

  19. Rindvieh says:

    Great responses, I’ll bet you were expected to find time for PT on your own.

  20. Roger in Republic says:

    Try a 12 month deployment on a 600 acre island with 30 other male Coasties. Running a LORAN station 24/7/356 with half the allotted crew, a disgraced academy CO, and an insane BMC was a lot of fun (not). The nearest doctor was a 4 hour C-130 flight that only came in on Friday. We had to medivac one of our guys whose appendix ruptured at 32000 feet half way to Okinawa. As you know an island cant’ run from a typhoon. At 11 feet above sea level it don’t’ take much of a wave to wash most of the island away. Man, I miss those days. Even as miserable as they were at the time.

  21. NHSparky says:

    You still get hot chow, warm bed, hot shower, and you’re not dodging IED’s.

    Unless you’re hot-racking or doing the Vulcan Death March, and oh, the evaporator is down, so no showers, and I bet you never had any DFAC cook try to pass off corned beef hash as spaghetti sauce.

    And to add to what teddy said, try no mail, no fresh food, no sunlight, etc.

  22. teddy996 says:

    You’re lucky that the island didn’t capsize from taking on water. Hank Johnson assures me that this can happen.

  23. Charles says:

    Lobster, its amazing how fast that hot water can go away and how fast you dodge got chow because of poor watch relief or work. I was an Airedale on a carrier and worked 18 on with six off (should have been 12-12, but if you are a troubleshooter you work flight schedule) and spent more time eating MRE’s or potted meat with crackers then I wanted. Also don’t forget being woken up at various times of the sleep for something that usually didn’t involve me or because of drills or maintenance in my living spaces. It is also amazing how fast a carrier can get small after the first month.

  24. jerry920 says:

    #18, I spent 3 days at Little Creek for a LogEx with an M1A1 and an M2. Beautiful little post.

    What you Navy guys do, I could not tolerate. I worked inside of tanks, but I could always step out and walk away, get some air. I don’t think I would deal with being trapped in a ship for months at a time. It takes special people and my hat’s off to those that can do it.

  25. NHSparky says:

    It’s called Sea Pay and Sub Pay, jerry. Yeah, I’ll never forget “boat smell” but ever since the days of the smoke boats the expression was, “Smells like dollars!”

  26. Helosar says:

    OK this (really old) Old Salt is still and and getting ready to do his uhh 1..2..3 ….9th long cruise. This equates to roughly 1600 days AT SEA, just on the actual cruise portion of my life. This does not include the 6-9 months of work ups (almost all sea time) spent away from family BEFORE the 9 months spent away from family. On top of the time the Nav has a manpower shortage. Yep they are pulling bodies from ships and squadrons JUST returning from haze gray love and sending the right back out to ships and squadrons leaving for haze gray love. 12 on 12 off 6 section duty is an opium dream from a prior century. 18 on 6 off is more the norm with 3 or 4 section duty. Libo ports like the PI and Pattaya Beach are history and the Sandbox is now Sailor reality. That sucks mucho grande. Since I am deploying on the Bush we have the added extra fun of dun dun dun dunnnnn! Vacuum toilets. Yes the modern marvel that doesn’t freaking work. So to recap for the close: A 9 month cruise is really a 15-18 month cruise, A/C in the Gulf is intermittent, there are not enough sailors to do the work of an already overworked Fleet, no more LBFMs (or Eastern Europe equivalents), shitty liberty and not a decent fix in sight. I miss AFG.

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