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USFF Takes Action to Man the Fleet

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Story Number: NNS091008-24
Release Date: 10/8/2009 4:44:00 PM

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- In an effort to address many of the fleet manpower challenges affecting the Navy today, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) has initiated a number of key actions to refine manpower issues across the fleet enterprise.

One of the most important roles for USFF is to man, train and equip the fleet with the tools necessary to be fully operational and carry out any mission the Navy may require.

USFF has already directed several specific actions to start the necessary refinements needed to meet the operational demand, and USFF is reviewing all options.

"These manpower adjustments are necessary to ensure we successfully operate the fleet with the numbers of Sailors that we currently have," said Adm. J. C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces. "As we continue to sustain this force over the long haul, I want to ensure that every Sailor is in a position to operate at maximum effectiveness and provide positive contributions to the fleet."

USFF has already initiated a large number of directives. The surface, submarine, aviation and expeditionary forces will all benefit from these actions, which address billeting, funding and manpower issues across the fleet.

Within the surface force, fiscal year 2010 manpower funding has been accelerated, resulting in an additional 122 billets, to include enginemen for Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships (LSDs), fire controlmen billets for ballistic missile defense capable guided-missile destroyers (DDGs), engineers, maintenance support teams and machinist mates for Wasp-class amphibious assault ships (LHDs).

Additional changes reduce the number of amphibious squadrons from nine to seven, revise the business rules for selecting individual augmentees (IAs) and adjust chief petty officer selects' policy to remain at sea or return to sea for their initial chief petty officer tour.

Within the aviation force, USFF has directed the funding of five electronic warfare billets at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and the prioritization of funding and issuing orders for A and C school graduates sitting in "pools" at training commands to the fleet.

Within the submarine force, USFF has directed the addition of one information systems technician billet for each submarine crew and is working to improve integrated undersea surveillance system (IUSS) watchstanding by requiring supervisors to have previous IUSS tour experience.

Within the expeditionary force, USFF has directed the establishment of a fleet cross functional team to develop a process to reduce Global War on Terrorism Support Assignment (GSA) holds at the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC), by ensuring IA Sailors have orders prior to demobilization. USFF has also reviewed the impact of Top Six Alignment (Phase I) on third class petty officer billets to ensure no Naval Enlisted Classification codes were lost as a result of the downgrade to second class petty officer.

With these actions in place, USFF is optimizing manpower at every level of the fleet. The fleet is in a stabilization period after downsizing, and sustaining an effective force over a long period of time will demand constant alignment and re-evaluation.

"We can always find ways to make our operations more effective," said Harvey. "At every level of leadership —from the fleet commander to the unit commanding officer — we continue to look at a wide range of options; everything is on the table for review."

A complete list of actions is listed below. For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf.

You can join the conversation on the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Blog, at http://fleetforces.dodlive.mil.

Within the surface force, USFF has already initiated a large number of directives:
• Accelerated fiscal year 2010 manpower funding, resulting in 122 additional billets, which have been allocated as follows:
o 16 engineman billets for Whidbey Island-class LSDs
o 11 engineering billets for Center for Naval Engineering Philadelphia detachment
o 30 fire controlmen billets for ballistic missile defense capable DDGs
o 30 billets for coastal patrol craft maintenance support teams
o 35 machinest mate billets for Wasp-class LHDs
• Approved the reduction of the number of amphibious squadrons from nine to seven, redistributing manpower among the remaining seven. Commander, Naval Surface Forces, has not yet determined which squadrons will be eliminated.
• Agreed to revise the business rules for selecting IAs from 90% on optimally manned deployable units to 95% for Individual Augmentation Manpower Management taskings.
• Working with Navy Total Force to adjust the policy to require chief petty officer selects to remain at sea or return to sea for their initial chief petty officer tour.
• Had Fleet Manning Control Authority address West Coast/East Coast inequities through the display of available jobs in Career Management System/Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID) and through directed manning.

Within the aviation force, USFF has directed the following actions:
• Funded 5 electronic warfare billets at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center.
• Had Fleet Manning Control Authority address West Coast/East Coast inequities through the display of available jobs in CMS/ID and through directed manning.
• Working to prioritize funding for and issue orders to A and C school graduates sitting in "pools" at training commands to the fleet.

Within the submarine force, USFF has directed the following actions:
• Added one information technician/local area network billet for each submarine crew.
• Established blue/gold unit identification codes for Surveillance Towed Array Sonar System vessels to better assess manning and readiness reporting.
• Working to improve IUSS watchstanding capability by requiring supervisors to have previous IUSS tour experience.

Within the expeditionary force, USFF has directed the following actions:
• Established a Fleet Cross Functional Team to develop process to reduce GSA holds at ECRC by ensuring IA Sailors have orders prior to demobilization.
• Had Fleet Manning Control Authority address West Coast/East Coast inequities through the display of available jobs in CMS/ID and through directed manning.
• Reviewed impact of Top Six Alignment (Phase I) on E-4 billets to ensure no Naval Enlisted Classification codes were lost as a result of the downgrade to E-3.



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