Years after sailors and planners realized the crew size of littoral combat ships was too small, the U.S. Navy has decided to increase the number of sailors on the ships.
The changes will be made on the first LCS, the Freedom, starting in July — in time to beef up the crews for next year’s 10-month deployment to Singapore.
Twenty additional berths will be permanently installed onboard Freedom — two for officers, two for chief petty officers and 16 for other enlisted — but the final manning plan has yet to be decided, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, the director of surface warfare, said during a June 26 interview at the Pentagon. The ship right now has a core crew of 40, but because there is no manning plan, it’s still unclear how many sailors will be added to the crews.
Not one single feature of this program has gone as planned.