It’s been reported that 4,000 new sailors expected for the Navy. The Navy requested the funds to grow the service by 4,000 active-duty sailors during 2018. The funding will be a part of the fiscal 2018 budget request.
Since the Marine Corps has grown and is still growing, the Navy has no choice but to grow. The Navy would like to go from 324,000 active-duty sailors to 327,900, with the majority of the growth coming from enlisted ranks.
This growth will help to restore readiness before the build-up year for ships next year. Most of the additional manpower will replace sailors not able to conduct regular duties due to many different reasons. The Navy would like 2,000 sailors to account for those listed as patients, holdees, TPPH, transients or prisoners. The additional sailors will allow the Navy to get sailors to their ships in a timely manner.
The Marine Corps is expected to grow, as well. The Marines will go from 182,000 to 185,000, which means they will need more Navy personnel to help with deployments. The Navy corpsmen provide medical aid, religious programming and many other functions for the Marines. Just one mission may require 160+ additional sailors.
The Navy Ticonderoga-class cruisers will also need 1,000 sailors to man the ships after the class completes a modernization period. Originally, the Navy was going to take about half the cruisers offline at once to help with the service-life extension maintenance plan and modernization. This would have reduced the manpower needed by many. However, Congress didn’t like this plan and has required the Navy to modernize two cruisers per year with no more than six out offline at one time.
Due to this request by Congress, the Navy needs additional sailors to fulfill the needs and remain in compliance with the mandate. The Navy also needs more sailors for the new littoral combat ship, which was introduced last year. This concept will require 450 more sailors, while another 373 will be needed for the F-35C carrier-variant.
In addition, the Navy needs 100 more sailors for the Herschel “Woody” Williams, which is a transfer dock or seabasing platform, which will enter service in 2018.
The total number of sailors needed is 4,086, which will help to increase the strength of the Navy. This, along with the planned shipbuilding plan will make the U.S. Navy stronger and larger. The budget request has yet to be approved, but will go to Congress for debate. It will face an uphill battle, however, due to the Budget Control Act and partisan disagreement.