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Stalwart
04-22-2014, 09:54 AM
In sum, looks like shifts on submarines are ok'd to transition from 6 to 8-hours and the work day will be a 24-hour day vice an 18 hour day.

I did 3 years as a Direct Support Officer on subs (longest deployment was just shy of 8-months & longest stint submerged was 95/96 days. It didn't take long to see that performance, attentiveness and plain attitude was impacted in part by a lack of rest. I know some surface vessels XO's who have played around with this for their watchbills & I am curious if the surface forces will look into this as a whole.

Navy Times: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140420/NEWS/304200027/Navy-OKs-changes-submariners-sleep-schedules

Salty Old Dog
04-24-2014, 01:16 PM
Little bit confused. Do bubbleheads not realize you can stay on a 24-hour schedule, by doing 4 on/8 off watch rotation?? :thumb

AJBIGJ
04-24-2014, 06:20 PM
Little bit confused. Do bubbleheads not realize you can stay on a 24-hour schedule, by doing 4 on/8 off watch rotation?? :thumb

It's pretty much just the way they've done business for as long as I personally can recall, at least as long as the majority of the subs have been nuke subs. In fact, I'm noticing a very common theme with that in particular...

Rusty Jones
04-25-2014, 12:20 PM
I understand that they're trying to fix underway watches, but what about life in port? Life in port (not shore duty, but being on a ship in port) is what pushed me over the edge. That, combined with some other factors, is why I got out after 11 years.

Four section duty, two five-hour watches for everybody, with the same fire and ATFP drills, and work to be done on the pier... and with reduced manning, E6 and below are doing the working parties and pier sweepers, when it used to be E4 and below back in 2005? Meanwhile, any work you had to do in your shop doesn't get done that day; and don't even THINK about any down time.

Being underway used to be BREAK from that. You wanted the hard life underway, just to get a break from the HARDER life in port.

I think that the bigger problem is that the Navy isn't doing anything about it, because no one is speaking up. The Community Editor even started a thread in the Navy section about that, and there were very few responses.

Stalwart
04-25-2014, 12:45 PM
I don't know nor have I heard much on too many efforts to effect life in port. I have heard of some efforts to eliminate some of the 'paper-chase' but that is about all.

My last ship (a DDG in Norfolk from 2010-2012) was in three section duty in-port for the entire tour. It was hard, harder on some sections of the ship since their divisions left them more to do in the evenings than others. Some of those really busy sections though still had really good morale which reflected into good retention. They felt what they were doing was important, they enjoyed what they did and were edified by their work -- A huge part of this was the leadership effort of some good DivO's and DivChiefs. On the other hand, I saw a really bad (poorly organized and poor leader) Department Head nearly drive that department crazy. This Department Head inherited a bad situation (previous DH was relieved for cause) but the lack of ability filtered down into frustration for the department and it started to impact the rest of the ship.

I do think a bad situation can be made better with good leadership -- even if you can't change the amount of work you can treat the people with respect, pay attention to their needs (professional & personal) and reward them for hard work (not necessarily medals and LOC's but compensatory time off etc.) and morale can and will help compensate for the pain not fix it or make it go away ... but make it easier to deal with.

I have had some frank talks with some seniors, who recall when three section duty was the norm / standard (which on some ships today it still is) who do not understand the frustration that Sailors are experiencing today with a four or six section rotation (I knew of a couple big decks in Norfolk that were on a six section rotation.) The talks revealed that the three section duty they remembered was augmented with shorter work days, many divisions being out by noon if all the work was done -- which is different than today with abbreviated manning and an increased amount of work making the plan of the day extend out to 1700/1800. So I can understand the nostalgia ... it just doesn't match the workload of many platforms today.

Rusty Jones
04-25-2014, 01:59 PM
I came in the Navy in 1999, but went to shore duty first and didn't get to my first ship until 2002. Although I didn't experience it myself, I do remember DDG's being in eight section duty until 9/11, when they added the roving watches. And then they went down to six section duty, before I arrived to my first ship (which was a DDG).

Back then, you only had one four-hour watch. And if it was your lucky day, you might not even have a watch. Still then, if you had a watch, you might get bumped off the watchbill; because someone else was given a second watch for missing muster or not showing up to topside sweepers. And that was the ONLY time you got a second watch - if you screwed up.

Even THEN, you still got to go home when the work was done. I remember going home when McDonald's was still serving breakfast. If you had duty that day, you had no problem having everyone's back when they left early; because you knew they'd have your back when they had duty.

That's the Navy I miss. Unless they bring manning back up to the pre-Vern Clark days, that Navy won't be coming back in the foreseeable future.

AJBIGJ
04-25-2014, 04:41 PM
I came in the Navy in 1999, but went to shore duty first and didn't get to my first ship until 2002. Although I didn't experience it myself, I do remember DDG's being in eight section duty until 9/11, when they added the roving watches. And then they went down to six section duty, before I arrived to my first ship (which was a DDG).

Back then, you only had one four-hour watch. And if it was your lucky day, you might not even have a watch. Still then, if you had a watch, you might get bumped off the watchbill; because someone else was given a second watch for missing muster or not showing up to topside sweepers. And that was the ONLY time you got a second watch - if you screwed up.

Even THEN, you still got to go home when the work was done. I remember going home when McDonald's was still serving breakfast. If you had duty that day, you had no problem having everyone's back when they left early; because you knew they'd have your back when they had duty.

That's the Navy I miss. Unless they bring manning back up to the pre-Vern Clark days, that Navy won't be coming back in the foreseeable future.

It's a little of that and a little bit of post COLE/9-11 ATFP procedures. Part of the reason things got tougher was fewer sailors but another part is that those sailors were now manning additional watch stations in port.

Stalwart
04-26-2014, 11:52 AM
It's a little of that and a little bit of post COLE/9-11 ATFP procedures. Part of the reason things got tougher was fewer sailors but another part is that those sailors were now manning additional watch stations in port.

Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...

AJBIGJ
04-28-2014, 07:19 PM
Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...

Not a smallboy WEPS in the Navy who hasn't felt that pain!

Rusty Jones
04-28-2014, 07:31 PM
Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...


Not a smallboy WEPS in the Navy who hasn't felt that pain!

And, there goes another gripe I had... the fact that, while the enlisted crew numbers were cut, officers were overmanned.

There's not supposed to be a "WEPS" department on a smallboy. At least not a DDG. Think I'm full of it? Go ask any 3MC on a DDG. "WEPS" on smallboys only exist in practice, but not on paper because they need to find something for all of these officers to do. What you've been led to believe is "WEPS" is actually Combat System. Yes, they might be legit "WEPS" on bigger ships, but not DDGs.

Hell, the last DDG I was on had an FSO! And he wasn't even Supply Corps - just a straight unrestricted line officer! Only amphibs and carriers are supposed to have FSOs, to my knowledge. On DDG's, the only officers in supply are the SUPPO and the DISBO.

Stalwart
04-28-2014, 10:53 PM
There's not supposed to be a "WEPS" department on a smallboy. At least not a DDG. Think I'm full of it? Go ask any 3MC on a DDG. "WEPS" on smallboys only exist in practice, but not on paper because they need to find something for all of these officers to do. What you've been led to believe is "WEPS" is actually Combat System. Yes, they might be legit "WEPS" on bigger ships, but not DDGs.
.

BUPERS has billets for them there and there is a whole course of instruction for DDG WEPS at DH school ... I know what you are getting at with 3M, but per the SORM ... DDGs have a Weapons Officer.

At the same time, they are also supposed to have a Electronic Warfare Officer & Signals Warfare / Cryptology Officer, but on DDGs those are mostly combined into the same guy (the RL SIGWO.) I was our Operations Officer for a large portion of my tour since our OPS was relieved and no replacement came aboard ... steep learning curve but it worked out.

AJBIGJ
04-29-2014, 12:20 PM
BUPERS has billets for them there and there is a whole course of instruction for DDG WEPS at DH school ... I know what you are getting at with 3M, but per the SORM ... DDGs have a Weapons Officer.

At the same time, they are also supposed to have a Electronic Warfare Officer & Signals Warfare / Cryptology Officer, but on DDGs those are mostly combined into the same guy (the RL SIGWO.) I was our Operations Officer for a large portion of my tour since our OPS was relieved and no replacement came aboard ... steep learning curve but it worked out.

That and it allows for a nominal back-to-back DH tours for SWOs. I know the going in mentality is they wanted CSO to be a Second Tour slot due to the complexity and this gives the opportunity for a junior DH to get some seasoning on the same platform first.

Stalwart
10-13-2014, 01:03 PM
"Officers get more sleep than enlisted, but neither get enough, survey finds"

http://www.navytimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014310120012

This article makes some good points / raises some good issues:

-Officers have staterooms, yes ... if I wanted I could go to my room, shut the door and take a nap. I did on occasion.
-I never heard of an enlisted berthing area that was "off limits" during the work day. But can see that during sweepers (daily cleaning) it would be impossible to get sleep.
-Telling people that they cannot go to sleep until they get X number of signatures on a PQS that day is stupid. Some signatures are simple (state the mission of the Navy) and some are incredibly complicated (trace the route of a molecule of air from intake through the gas turbine to the exhaust point.)

When on a DDG and underway, everyone is a watchstander and there is a certain level of "suck it up buttercup" that everyone endures. I think the only time I ever got 8 hours of sleep in a row was when I came off the eve watch on Sat (2200) and could sleep undisturbed until my next watch. The Navy really screws up the concept of rest though, and we do it (for the most part) to ourselves. Yes, there are times that manning is low or a turnover of that renders you good on numbers / low on qualified people (I stood TAO in a port & starboard rotation for 5 weeks as a result -- CSO and I got spelled on occasion by the XO or CO when we needed a bit more rest.)

Big picture is that this is a safety issue. The aviation community has the 'crew rest' concept -- requiring a set amount of rest before a mission. Some submarine platforms have gone this route and seen productivity and morale improve, the surface fleet is much less inclined and the only reason I really see is an aversion to something out of the norm "this is the way it was for us, so this is how it should always be." I have read many ... many JAGMANs on collisions, untoward incidents and "near misses" and proper rest is almost always at least a mitigating circumstance.

JoeMorgue
10-15-2014, 11:24 AM
"Officers get more sleep than enlisted, but neither get enough, survey finds"

And in other news fire is hot and water is wet. Next you'll be telling officers eat better then enlisted people but overall military food still sucks or that officers get paid better then enlisted people but overall military pay still sucks.

Seriously is there anything you could put into X where "Study finds X is worse for enlisted people than officers, but overall X still sucks for the military" wouldn't be 100% accurate?


-Officers have staterooms, yes ... if I wanted I could go to my room, shut the door and take a nap. I did on occasion.

I've never met an officer that had an issue hitting their pit for a little while when they needed it.


-I never heard of an enlisted berthing area that was "off limits" during the work day.

Because enlisted berthings are almost without fail p-ways with racks in them. You don't have to go through a stateroom to get somewhere. There's no care put into the quality of life of blueshirts so putting a berthing in such a place as crowds of people have to walk through it to get places makes perfect sense to the Navy.


The aviation community has the 'crew rest' concept -- requiring a set amount of rest before a mission.

Yeah but if we start making a list of things the Aviation Master Race gets that us poor redheaded surface sailor stepchildren get we'd be here all day.

Respect, dignity, sleep, clothing that doesn't kill us in a fire. We obviously don't deserve such things like all the Mavericks and Gooses and Icemen do.

But my point is like most issues this isn't a problem with a policy or a rule. It's a mentality. I don't if "the book" says every sailor has to get 8 hours of sleep in a dark room with no noises, a Chief or Officer that doesn't care about his people will still find a way to screw that sailor over and a good Chief or Officer isn't waiting on big Navy to give them permission to treat their sailors like humans.

Stalwart
10-15-2014, 01:04 PM
And in other news fire is hot and water is wet. Next you'll be telling officers eat better then enlisted people but overall military food still sucks or that officers get paid better then enlisted people buts overall military pay still sucks.

It is more often than not the exact same food, served on plates instead of trays.


I've never met an officer that had an issue hitting their pit for a little while when they needed it.

Nor should they have an issue before taking the deck of a warship, standing TAO etc. ensure they are able to assume their watch. The bigger point is that junior guys should also have that available.


Because enlisted berthings are almost without fail p-ways with racks in them. You don't have to go through a stateroom to get somewhere. There's no care put into the quality of life of blueshirts so putting a berthing in such a place as crowds of people have to walk through it to get places makes perfect sense to the Navy.

On the LHA's, DDG's, CG's and SSN's i have deployed on they aren't really passageways, but yeah ... In a 75 person berthing space you have to allow for foot traffic. I have how're seen many ships & boats that if the berthing residents while underway could keep the space clean would only do sweepers every other or every third day, so people could rest. I don't want someone missing an inbound suspicious track, not securing a line properly, or cutting an energized wire because they can't keep their eyes open.


Respect, dignity, sleep, clothing that doesn't kill us in a fire. We obviously don't deserve such things like all the Mavericks and Gooses and Icemen do.

Nope, usually it is smoke, fume and/or flame. In 24 years, 11 at se I have seen exactly 3 fires; I personally helped fight 2, the point there -- we have to be ready for fires, combat, etc ... but by and large that is something most will never see ... dangerous but routine evolutions populate our Plan of the Day and we have to be smart about it. I have seen far more collisions, mishaps and mistakes because people had been awake 24, 36, 48+ hours ... Which barring constant combat is a failure of the people in charge. Now, for respect and dignity ... Take care of people and they take care of you, plain and simple. Rank gives someone authority and that is all. People surpass the bare minimum because they are motivated, some people are self-motivated and some are motivated by leaders; a collar device does not make someone a leader.


But my point is like most issues this isn't a problem with a policy or a rule. It's a mentality. I don't if "the book" says every sailor has to get 8 hours of sleep in a dark room with no noises, a Chief or Officer that doesn't care about his people will still find a way to screw that sailor over and a good Chief or Officer isn't waiting on big Navy to give them permission to treat their sailors like humans.

I don't know more than 1 or 2 khaki's I ever saw trying to screw a Sailor over. Admittedly, the system isn't perfect, which is the point. LCS's have enlisted staterooms to make this better, newer big deck amphibs are equipped with better berthing spaces ... But yes, the culture is in need of addressing. Why is it a point of pride in the surface and subsurface force to needlessly endanger the ship and her crew for the sake of not developing a better watch rotation than the one we currently use? I have jumped out of various aircraft 247 times, until the point I exit the aircraft my life is in the hands of the pilot, the cre chief, the maintenance guy, the guy who chicks and chains the bird etc.; I don't want them to cut a corner (conciously or not) because they are tired. I don't want the OOD, or GSE to make an entirely avoidable error.