Uh Oh – Not Enough Berths for Chiefs on New Ford Carrier

A line buried deep in the Pentagon’s 2013 evaluation of major systems says the Navy has underestimated the berthing requirements for its next generation aircraft carrier, the $12 billion USS Gerald Ford, slated to join the fleet in 2016.

A variety of new-fangled systems was supposed to reduce manning requirements on the Ford from the 6,000-person crew on previous carriers. Those estimates were too generous, the Pentagon test report said, and “analysis indicates the present design has insufficient berthing for some ranks.”

“Current manning estimates have shortages of bunks for Chief Petty Officers (CPOs),”  a gross oversight when it comes to taking care of the enlisted backbone of the Navy.

Based on my experience as a Marine on a bunch of Navy troopships, I have a hunch the chiefs will quickly and efficiently resolve this problem by taking over the berths allocated to ensigns and then lieutenants (junior grade) if needed.