Smart Gator: an analysis of the impact of reduced manning on the mission readiness of U.S. Naval Amphibious Ships
Pringle, Cedric E.
Doyle, Richard B.
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The increasing cost of manpower in the United States Navy and the decline of the defense budget generated a new initiative called the Smart Ship Program. Smart Ship, using a combination of technology and nontraditional policies and procedures to reduce manning on U.S. naval vessels, was first implemented on the USS Yorktown (CG 48). However, some of the technology and concepts were not readily transferable to other ship classes. The USS Rushmore (LSD 47) was chosen to implement and evaluate Smart Ship concepts on an amphibious ship through the Smart Gator Program. This thesis evaluated the impact of Smart Gator on the mission readiness of the Rushmore by conducting interviews with key Smart Gator Program personnel, reviewing pertinent data and analyzing the Rushmore's Engineering Certification Report of October 1998. This study shows that the initial reduction in manpower, combined with increased training required on new equipment, produced an increase in the crew's workload and negatively impacted mission readiness. Additionally, the interviews indicate that Navy research and development funds should be dedicated to this effort in order to properly execute the Smart Gator Program
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