Crew? What crew? To reduce total ownership costs, manpower has recently been stripped to the bone in the Navy’s newest ships. Now, designers seem to have arrived at a more reasonable—and efficient—crew complement for the new DDG-1000 guided-missile destroyer.
the 2008 decision by Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, to curtail the DDG-1000 Zumwalt -class destroyer program at just three ships—the original goal was 32—does not diminish the value of this warship. In addition to leading-edge off-the-shelf operational capabilities for today’s Fleet, it will be the primary technology bridge to the “Navy-after-next,” helping shape next-generation aircraft carriers, surface combatants, amphibious ships, and even auxiliaries and other craft. 1 As Admiral Roughead explained to the House Armed Services Committee in February 2010, “The DDG-1000 Zumwalt guided-missile destroyer will be an optimally crewed, multi-mission surface combatant designed to fulfill long-range precision land-attack requirements.” 2