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Posted: 8/17/2004 12:26:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 12:43:23 AM EST by KA3B]
August 13, 2004

New drawdown targets tens of thousands of sailors

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

The Navy plans to draw down its force to 320,000 officers and enlisted sailors by 2011 — the lowest end-strength since 1940 and just over half of the 605,000 people the service had in 1990 when the last drawdown began.

Navy Times, in its Aug. 23 issue, will report that these latest cuts are more than 37,000 more than were announced in February, when Navy officials confirmed they planned to shrink the service’s ranks to 357,200 by 2009. The Aug. 23 issue will be available Monday.

The cuts, although major, are manageable, officials contend. The effects on the deck plates, however, will be traumatic.

“We’re going to be very surgical in how we manage this drawdown,” said Rear Adm. Gerald Talbot, head of military personnel plans and policy for the Navy’s chief of personnel in Arlington, Va. “In the ’90s we took the top right off the Navy. This drawdown is all about managing the force correctly so we have the right human capital in the right place at the right time.”

Talbot dropped his drawdown bombshell on Aug. 10 at the annual Navy Counselors Association symposium in New Orleans.

Despite those promises, the cuts didn’t sit well with Joe Barnes, a retired Navy master chief and president of the Fleet Reserve Association, an Alexandria, Va.-based organization that lobbies Congress for equitable pay and benefits for all the sea services.

“FRA is especially concerned on the impact this will have on the career force,” Barnes said. “These reductions are ambitious and apparently driven in large part by the desire to reduce spending.”

Unlike past cuts that targeted ships and at-sea sailors, the future reductions will focus on the Navy’s shore establishment, which has remained largely untouched since the end of the Cold War.

Talbot said the troop cuts were necessary in order to pay for the new ships and aircraft the service says it needs over the next decade.

Of the Navy’s total annual budget of $115 billion, nearly two thirds, some $70 billion, goes towards manpower costs, Talbot said.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 1:44:36 PM EST
bump
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 2:02:58 PM EST
What happened to move up not out?

Glad I'm out.

ilike9s
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 2:16:10 PM EST
They're targeting the 'crat factor...

Finally, some common sense - if you're gonna cut something, reduce the number of REMFs...
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 7:37:28 AM EST
I think they are cutting the Navy too much. Problem with the military is they are always fighting the last war.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 7:40:33 AM EST
Backwards from the sea.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 7:40:36 AM EST
I'm glad I was part of Reagans Navy.............

damn bean counters are always ruining things
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 8:47:41 AM EST
They should offer them enlistments in the Army and Marines since these two forces need people.

Link Posted: 8/18/2004 8:59:57 AM EST
Negative on that one SS109. They might try to bring those silly bell bottoms with them.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 9:02:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
I'm glad I was part of Reagans Navy.............

damn bean counters are always ruining things



+1 ON THAT ONE
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 9:11:11 AM EST
What is the CURRENT size of the nave? How many sailors and officers are they talking about cutting TOTAL?
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 9:12:15 AM EST
does anyone see anything wrong with the size of the current military, i already think it is too small

cuts?

when it hits the fan you can bet we will not just be able to pull thousands of troop out of our but, but it takes years to increase the size of a military

so what happens when we need people, and need em now?
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 9:20:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By avengeusa:
does anyone see anything wrong with the size of the current military, i already think it is too small

cuts?

when it hits the fan you can bet we will not just be able to pull thousands of troop out of our but, but it takes years to increase the size of a military

so what happens when we need people, and need em now?



+1

If it ever does come to blows with the Chinese, the Navy will undoubtedly be the "first responders". A naval battle group is the fastest and most effective way to heavy conventional (or non-conventional if necessary) firepower into the theater. Not to mention the fact that without the Navy, the tanks, helicopters, Marines, supplies, etc. need to fight a prolonged conflict would be very slow in coming.

I can't believe that while we are engaged in 2 conflicts, with 3 more potential conflicts (Iran, North Korea and Taiwan) that we are actually talking about CUTTING the size of ANY branch of the military!



Link Posted: 8/18/2004 9:21:47 AM EST
Naval Aviation is already feeling the hurt of this. The P-3 community lost 1/3 of it's aircraft and squadrons due to maintenance/cost, the S-3 is sundowning, and the training pipelines are not a happy place to be if you aren't performing too well (can we say attrite?). When the EA-18G comes online, the NFOs will lose over half their slots in the EA field (3 NFO seats in EA-6B, 1 NFO seat in EA-18G). I'm in training command, so I don't get to see the Fleet yet. How're the ships hurting? I know classically they always are.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:12:21 PM EST
You are a day late and a dollar short...


Originally Posted By SS109:
They should offer them enlistments in the Army and Marines since these two forces need people.


Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:24:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I think they are cutting the Navy too much. Problem with the military is they are always fighting the last war.

GunLvr

You're wrong. Navy surface ships are being run with fewer and fewer people, due to greater reliability, automation, and design improvements.
The Spruance-Class Destroyers used ~450 sailors. They are being phased out now.
Prior DD classes used more.
Burke-Class DDGs use 300 sailors.
The DDX class being designed / contracted now will sail with less than 200.

Re the drawdown - it still IS 'Up or Out'.

'Problem with the naysayers is they are always using outmoded cliches.'
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:48:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By SS109:
They should offer them enlistments in the Army and Marines since these two forces need people.




The Army is taking lots of former sailors and airmen. Certain specialties don't have to give up a stripe to convert - mostly MPs, small craft sailors, and civil affairs among others. USMC is doing fine without taking crossovers.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 12:43:48 AM EST
Issue Date: August 23, 2004

Drawdown plans target 60,000
Personnel cuts to pay for new ships, aircraft

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

The Navy plans to draw down its force to 320,000 officers and enlisted sailors by 2011 — the lowest end-strength since 1940 and just over half of the 605,000 people the service had in 1990 when the last drawdown began.

These latest cuts are more than 37,000 more than were announced in February, when Navy officials confirmed they planned to shrink the service’s ranks to 357,200 by 2009.

The latest rounds of cuts, although major, are also manageable, officials contend, but the effects on the deck plates will be traumatic.

“We’re going to be very surgical in how we manage this drawdown,” said Rear Adm. Gerald Talbot, head of military personnel plans and policy for the Navy’s chief of personnel in Arlington, Va. “In the ’90s we took the top right off the Navy. This drawdown is all about managing the force correctly so we have the right human capital in the right place at the right time.”

Talbot dropped his drawdown bombshell on Aug. 10 at the annual Navy Counselors Association symposium in New Orleans.

Unlike past cuts that targeted ships and at-sea sailors, the future reductions will focus on the Navy’s shore establishment, which has remained largely untouched since the end of the Cold War.

Talbot said the troop cuts were necessary in order to pay for the new ships and aircraft the service says it needs over the next decade.

Of the Navy’s total annual budget of $115 billion, nearly two thirds, some $70 billion, goes towards manpower costs, Talbot said.

Talbot said the service wants to avoid the mistakes of past drawdowns when sailors who were forced out were unceremoniously shown the door. This time, he said, the Navy plans to leverage and expand existing “force-shaping” programs such as the Perform-to-Serve re-enlistment approval program, reexamine high-year tenure marks, and offer more robust monetary incentives for those asked to leave.

Despite those promises, the cuts didn’t sit well with Joe Barnes, a retired Navy master chief and president of the Fleet Reserve Association, an Alexandria, Va.-based organization that lobbies Congress for equitable pay and benefits for all the sea services.

“FRA is especially concerned on the impact this will have on the career force,” Barnes said. “These reductions are ambitious and apparently driven in large part by the desire to reduce spending.”

Barnes is concerned the Navy is unwisely banking on potential manpower savings on technologically advanced ships that have yet to be built and delivered.

“These things look good on paper,” he said. “However it’s just not always feasible, and could adversely affect things like advancement opportunity, benefits and thus the morale of the force.”

For his part, Talbot said the drawdown has already started and contends it’s going well.

“This year the goal was to bring down the force by 9,000, and I think we’re going to meet that goal,” he said. Proposed future cuts will slice more than 20,000 people over the next two years, with 7,900 coming in fiscal year 2005 and another 13,300 in fiscal 2006.

After that, the plan is to cut 7,000 each year until 2011.

“That’ll take us to a Navy of about the size of 320,000.” Talbot said. “We started FY 04 with about 380,000 so that’s a reduction overall of about 60,000.”

Without divulging specifics, Talbot said planners have determined where 40,000 of those cuts will come from, and have “another 20,000 to go.”

Ongoing initiatives such as optimal manning, he said, have proven the Navy can reduce manpower and still operate its ships.

Meanwhile, Navy planners are setting their sights on shore establishments for future cuts.

“There are a lot of jobs on the shore side that may be better performed at a better value by a civilian or a contractor,” Talbot said.

Talbot said the Navy will become “sea centric” as shore tours will be done much closer to the waterfront where sailors will be used to support their sea-going counterparts.

That will require reworking how shore duty is thought of today, and Talbot thinks it’s about time. “I don’t like the way we’re organized around sea and shore duty — it makes the sea business look bad,” he said. “I want the Navy to be all about sea duty, but at the same time be able to bring them along in their careers and have a normal life, including having a family.”

However, the realities of a Navy with optimally manned ships will require planners to re-think existing sea/shore rotation policies because shipboard manning levels will be critical if crew sizes are slashed. For example, Talbot said, if an optimally manned cruiser loses a first class fire controlman due to illness or injury, “it’s not like you can absorb that loss. We need to get a replacement there very quickly,” he said.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 12:44:34 AM EST
Issue Date: August 23, 2004

Service looks for new ways to ease the pain
Getting a pink slip could be lucrative

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

With a cut of 13,000 sailors looming in 2006 — and nearly 7,000 more each year until 2011 — Navy personnel planners are looking for innovative programs to help ease the pain of those being given pink slips.

Rear Adm. Gerald Talbot, head of military personnel plans and policy for the Navy’s chief of personnel in Arlington, Va., outlined several proposals under consideration, some of them controversial.

“A lot of perceptions about how we manage military personnel systems have to be overcome,” Talbot said. Those perceptions, he concedes, exist not only in the military itself, but also in Congress and the White House.

Here are the proposals:

• Increased separation pay.

Once a sailor passes the six-year service mark, he’s eligible for involuntary separation pay if forced out of the service. That sum is based on a percentage of basic pay multiplied by the number of years served. Under those calculations, for example, an E-4 with eight years of service would rate a payout of $18,158.40.

Talbot would like to boost that figure by as much as three times, “so when you walk out the door you don’t think you’ve been fired.”

In addition to the cash, Talbot wants to see sailors who are separated receive six months of military medical and dental benefits to ease the transition to civilian life.

The cost of providing those benefits would be offset by an estimated savings of $600,000 per sailor — what the Navy would have paid in retirement pay and benefits if the sailor had stayed in uniform, he said.

• Early retirement boards for chiefs and officers.

Talbot said he’d like to have the authority to resurrect these boards for officers and chief petty officers; the boards were last used in the 1990s.

• Stricter high-year tenure.

One way to reduce manpower is to toughen existing personnel policies as competition to stay in the Navy increases. Talbot is considering dropping the high-year tenure gates for E-5s from 20 years to “somewhere between 12 and 14 years of service,” he said. If enacted, this could affect nearly 1,700 second class petty officers who’ll pass the 14-year milestone this year. On average, Talbot said, it takes sailors 14 years to get promoted to E-6 in today’s Navy.

Doing this would conceivably require an additional $50 million per year in involuntary separation pay.

• Tougher re-enlistments.

Talbot called for expanding the existing Perform-to-Serve re-enlistment approval program, which now only affects first-term sailors, classified by the Navy as Zone A.

“We’re considering expanding the program into Zone B,” Talbot said. “We’ve got to look at it because I need that tool to effectively manage the force.”

Expanding PTS to sailors with between eight and 13 years of service would help restructure the force by converting sailors from overmanned ratings into the ratings with shortages.

• Reduced retirement annuities.

This idea would require approval from Congress. Talbot called for a reduced retirement annuity for those with at least 14 years service, and who get forced out. Under that plan, “we could offer you some amount of cash right up front and then a reduced annuity after that, with possibly six months of medical and dental on top,” he said.

In the end, Talbot conceded that his proposals are just that, adding, “I can’t tell you if they will be approved or not.”
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 12:49:57 AM EST
Issue Date: August 23, 2004

Reserve billets to shrink at least 15,000 come fiscal ’06

By Christopher Munsey
Times staff writer


Starting in fiscal 2006, more than one out of five Naval Reserve billets will disappear as part of an extensive restructuring of the force recommended by the ongoing Zero-Based Review.
The biggest change recommended for the Reserve is a cut of 20,000 billets, said Rear Adm. Dave Anderson, director of Force Integration for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. These cuts would be partly offset by an increase of 4,000 to 5,000 billets, for a net reduction of 15,000 to 16,000 billets.

To make this happen without slashing personnel, sailors in billets targeted for cuts will be able to move into billets being added, while most of the other cuts will be made through attrition and reduced recruiting.

Anderson outlined the changes recommended for the Reserve by the review in an Aug. 10 telephone interview with Navy Times.

“It’s going to get smaller, no doubt about it,” Anderson said.

Until he formally presents the review’s results to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark on Aug. 20, Anderson declined to give any specifics on the 20,000 billets recommended for elimination.

“Is there a person who is a hard-charger, and all of a sudden he shows up to drill and his billet’s gone? No. We don’t think that’s going to happen. We’ve got plenty of lead time, and we can manage the force using the tools we’ve got to use,” he said.

If approved by the CNO, the changes would mainly be built into the Navy’s budget planning for fiscal 2006 and beyond, he said.

Adm. William Fallon, commander, Fleet Forces Command, ordered the review last November after Navy leadership declared that determining the capabilities the Reserve provides to the active Navy was a top goal for 2004.

Anderson has received input from active Navy commands, which have been looking at all their reservist billets, deciding whether they can be cut or if more are needed.

The congressionally mandated end strength for the Naval Reserve is 83,400 drilling reservists and full-time support sailors for fiscal 2005.

Because the review currently calls for cuts and growth, the end result will be a reduction of between 15,000 and 16,000 billets from the Reserve’s current size, Anderson said. Some sailors will be realigned, from billets that are going away to those being added.

Anderson said Reserve realignment areas include:

• Military Sealift Command, which will likely shift a number of reserve staffing billets to force protection/anti-terrorism roles over coming years, to give MSC its own surgable ship protection units.

• Naval Coastal Warfare. This Reserve community, which provides harbor surveillance and protection, has been hard-pressed since the 2000 attack on the destroyer Cole and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Anderson said some of its Reserve units should shift to active duty, to better balance the overall force.

• Intelligence and cryptology. More analysts who can “surge” to meet an intelligence-analysis task are needed.

The Total Force steering group, a panel of top admirals, has been briefed on the review throughout its progress, Anderson said.

The Navy still needs approval from Congress to make big Reserve end-strength cuts, he said.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 1:45:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 1:46:17 AM EST by Unknown1Sailor]
If this BS keeps up, there won't be any shore billets. I know of several rates where already there arent any except for recruiting and instructor duty.

And as for that remark about "if our FC1 goes down, we're up a creek without a paddle", well duh? Ships do get hit, and people will die. Who's gonna man a firehose if there isn't any more live bodies to put on it? A computer?
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:54:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By Unknown1Sailor:
If this BS keeps up, there won't be any shore billets. I know of several rates where already there arent any except for recruiting and instructor duty.

And as for that remark about "if our FC1 goes down, we're up a creek without a paddle", well duh? Ships do get hit, and people will die. Who's gonna man a firehose if there isn't any more live bodies to put on it? A computer?



i agree

this cut nonsense is just horrible, we need fighting men in service, and ready for action right when we need them, not 2-3 years later
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