Fatigue mitigation and crew endurance management in the Royal Australian Navy and the U.S. Navy: a review of recent efforts and a collaborative path forward
Ryan, Katrina J.
Shattuck, Nita Lewis
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Formulating naval manpower requirements is a complex problem. The results from workload studies can assist in this endeavor in two ways, by improving endurance and performance for existing crews and by providing manpower planners with the information necessary to determine or validate crew composition and size. Many naval workload studies have been conducted for a variety of reasons. Results from sleep measurement studies in naval operations indicate widespread sleep deprivation. Scientific research shows that insufficient and/or poor quality sleep leads to reduced individual performance and decreased crew endurance, an unacceptable situation for any Navy. This thesis reviews field and simulator studies from the Royal Australian Navy, the United States Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the civilian maritime sector. Major gaps in the research include the assessment of sleep quality onboard ships, the formal design and conduct of evaluative research rather than descriptive efforts, and organizational level fatigue management policy and education. Fatigue risk management systems are still evolving but have not matured to a level guaranteeing that sailors routinely receive adequate, acceptable quality sleep at sea. Best practices for future collaborative studies are suggested, and recommendations for a ten-year Royal Australian Navy research strategy are included.
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