Changes in Navy Ship Overhaul Practices Could Improve Fleet Capability and Crew Effectiveness

B-133170: Published: Apr 8, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Navy could improve the manning of its ships at sea and make better use of skilled sailors if it would selectively reduce ships' crews kept aboard ships undergoing lengthy overhauls.

A major contributor to the lack of combat readiness of the fleet is the shortage of trained and experienced crewmen. The Navy could improve combat readiness by reassigning crewmen with critical shortage skills from ships undergoing lengthy overhauls to operational ships or other billets where shortages exist and rely more on the shipyard to accomplish required work on those ships. The use of such highly trained personnel as radar operators, communications technicians, navigators, and weapons personnel to do industrial tasks and administrative and support functions represents a waste of training and experience that is needed on operational ships and elsewhere in the Navy.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Navy to: (1) reduce ships' crews to the minimum number essential for maintaining safety of the ship and equipment during lengthy overhaul periods; (2) reassign trained and experienced sailors to the fleet to meet critical skill manpower requirements; (3) establish the necessary managerial policies and procedures to use civilians in shipyards to do work now being done by ships' crews; and (4) request Congress for the necessary operations and maintenance funds to accommodate the recommended changes.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »