CNO’s Deployment Update

Five things every sailor needs to know

(NAVY TIMES 27 OCT 13) … Tony Lombardo

The Navy’s carrier-based sailors are heading to “a new normal” where deployments will last about 7 1/2 months, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert says. But it’s not coming right away, and in the meantime, some sailors are still going to have to sacrifice.

Greenert shared this revelation, among other deployment news, during an all-hands call Oct. 23 aboard the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Va. What you need to know:

1. Longer deployments.

When the Navy switched early this year from a 2.0-carrier presence in the Persian Gulf to 1.0, it caused what Greenert called a “domino effect.”

“When we stopped doing two carriers in the gulf and we went down to one, and the Truman stayed here instead of going, we started reducing training and some of the shipyard work started kind of coming down,” Greenert told sailors.

This chain of events is adding deployment time to the next string of ships:

  • The Navy anticipates the George H.W. Bush will spend about nine months at sea, from next February to November.
  • The Carl Vinson will spend nearly 10 months, from next August to June 2015.
  • The Theodore Roosevelt will spend about eight months, from March 2015 to November 2015.

2. The ‘new normal.’

Greenert said the Navy is getting closer to introducing a 71⁄ 2-month deployment cycle for carriers and carrier strike groups – and Roosevelt is a reflection of that.

In early October, at another all hands, CNO said deployments would average six months for subs and seven months for destroyers and amphibs. “Once you get out there, if something happens, you might get called upon,” Greenert warned the Bush sailors.

3. Nimitz to return.

Sailors aboard the Nimitz had their deployment extended when military action against Syria appeared imminent. The Nimitz, at sea for about seven months, recently entered the Mediterranean and is expected home by Christmas, a Navy official told Navy Times.

4. Syria duty ending.

Two Norfolk-based destroyers also tasked with monitoring Syria, the Barry and Gravely, should be heading home in the coming weeks, the official said. The destroyers Stout and Ramage, which left Norfolk in August, will remain deployed in the area.

5. GW replacement?

During the Bush all-hands, Greenert was asked which carrier would replace the forward-deployed George

Washington, which is slated to leave Japan for a multiyear refueling and overhaul.

“We haven’t announced that yet, and so I don’t want to do that right here. We have selected it,” Greenert said, adding that it wasn’t going to be the Bush.

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