Navy Force Structure: Actions Needed to Ensure Proper Size and Composition of Ship Crews, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 2MB]
"In 2001, the Navy began reducing crew sizes on surface ships through an initiative called optimal manning, which was intended to achieve workload efficiencies and reduce personnel costs. In 2010, the Navy concluded that this initiative had adversely affected ship readiness and began restoring crew sizes on its ships. The conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 included a provision that GAO [Government Accountability Office] review the Navy's reduced manning initiatives in the surface fleet. This report examines (1) any trends in ship operating and support costs and maintenance backlogs, (2) the extent to which the Navy's manpower requirements process accounts for ship workload, and (3) any manning challenges and implications for the future. GAO analyzed and reviewed data from fiscal years 2000 through 2015 (the most current available) on crew sizes, operating and support costs, material readiness, and the Navy's manpower requirements determination process. GAO also interviewed Department of Defense (DOD) officials and ship crews to discuss workload, manning levels, enablers of smaller crew size, and implications for the future. GAO is making four recommendations that the Navy (1) reassess the standard workweek, (2) require examination of in-port workload, (3) require reassessment of the factors used to develop manpower requirements, and (4) identify the personnel costs needed to man a larger fleet. DOD concurred with each recommendation."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/