From the Office of Captain Obvious…

| July 16, 2019

Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Recruit Jose Rivera, a helmsman aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), maintains an ordered course through the North Sea on Jan. 9, 2019. US Navy photo.

Somewhere in the maze of corridors that makes up the Pentagon, Navy Surface Human Factors Scientists and Engineers have made an astounding discovery- people are more efficient and effective when well rested. Fewer accidents are incurred, and reaction times improved as well with circadian rhythms built into the daily schedule.

The Aviation Community has known this for years, observing crew rest requirements prior to taking flight. I’m glad the Skimmers are coming around to the obvious.

Fleet Finding New Sleep-Sensitive Watch Schedules Boosts Crew Performance, Efficiency

By: Megan Eckstein

ABOARD USS GRAVELY, IN THE BALTIC SEA – A year and a half after surface navy leadership demanded ships implement new work schedules to ensure sailors got enough sleep, officers aboard a destroyer say the new scheduling has made them more effective at sea and they’re not looking back.

Among the findings in deep-dive looks at the surface navy following two fatal collisions in 2017 was the fact that many officers were standing watch during pivotal evolutions – refuelings at sea (RAS), strait transits, pulling into port – on little or no sleep. With the medical community firmly stating that being sleep-deprived can impact alertness and performance in ways similar to drinking alcohol, the Navy ordered in late 2017 that all surface ships create a watch standing schedule that allowed sailors to sleep at the same time every night with seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Lt. Josh Womack, the combat systems officer and the senior watch officer on guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107), joined the ship’s crew in October 2017, just before the switch to the circadian rhythm scheduling in January 2018.


“And then you’d work the full day, just like you normally would, and meetings would often go well into the night, sometimes 2000 or 2100. You would stand watch throughout that time; sometimes you would have a night watch, so you would work the full work day and then have watch from 2100 to midnight or midnight to 0300. So very very possible that you could have a full work day with two to three hours of sleep, and that was kind of accepted as the norm.”

The entire article may be found here: USNI News

Category: Navy

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Comm Center Rat

“The problem at this point is that there is a problem.” ~ Captain Obvious


“The Aviation Community has known this for years, observing crew rest requirements prior to taking flight.” It all depends what the meaning of “crew” is is. When I was flying on P-3’s/EP-3’s, the cockpit, the radar op, and the nav were crew. Screw everybody else. Of course, I am 100% down with safety of flight and the importance of crew rest for that safety, but I always thought it a bit funny that the guys and gals who did the friggin’ mission got eaten up so bad. At the end of the day, there isn’t much you can do about that. The mission must be accomplished, but sometimes it got a bit ridiculous. At least during the Cold War, the motto of VQ-1 could have been “10 oh or we don’t go!” There were many times when an EP-3 would get to the airfield early and the EWAC would circle the field rather than land to make it to 10.0 hours flight time. And don’t get me started on flight surgeons. One of them cleared me to go on deployment. Two days later I was in the hospital with a life threatening bleeding ulcer. If I had gotten on the plane to deploy to Westpac, I could very well have kicked the bucket en route. Trust me, he should have recognized what was going on. Or my favorite was the flight surgeon who, while giving my crew 120 hour flight physicals, came out to chat with the O-gangers. She mentioned that she always knew when a crewman needed to be given a down chit: their pulse was too high. Well, I was next in line for my “extensive” flight physical. Resting pulse: 120 bpm. “So, how do you feel?” “Okay I guess.” “All right! Here’s your upchit!” Sheesh! One more and I’ll shut up. We “tube rats” always had loooong post flights. At least 5-6 hours. Well, during one series while supporting Southern Watch, we flew 5 days in a row and racked up 20 hour days each time. I was comatose at the 4 day mark. No biggie. That… Read more »


“A bitchin’ Sailor is a happy Sailor.”



Nukes need not apply.

36-40 hours up a couple times a week was the norm.

Oh, sure, the CO “SAID” all watchstanders should get 5 hours uninterrupted sleep on a duty day.

But, duty section training, cleanup, drills, maintenance, etc., that shit got completely blown out of the water. And everyone knew complaining would do zero fucking good.

And they wonder why they can’t keep people around even with 100k reenlistment bonuses.

Bubblehead Ray

I laughed out loud at this. I’ve been night shift since my oldest daughter was born, and the reason I’ve been successful at it was my training in the Navy prepared me to be able to adjust to abbreviated sleep schedules. I remember being up for 30 hours because our CO had the brilliant idea to have a Port and Starboard “War watch bill” during Mk 48 certs. My section was on for the 6 hours between exercises and then we spent the next 6 hours in SONAR doing torpedo shots. This went on for a full day and a half. Our last watch between “modified Battle Stations” the CO came into the shack all showered and freshly shaved, took one look at me and said,”We need a shave”. I looked at him and said “Yes sir, we need to change our underwear too, but haven’t had time to do either for two days”

He didn’t seem amused, so when he left I called the off watch Supervisor to come up and relieve me while I took a quick shower and shave in case that SOB came back and gigged me for it.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

I’ll take shit that never needed a study in the first place for $100 Alex….

After leaving the military and entering civilian life I saw a young man die in an industrial accident after working what was roughly 30 hours without anything more than a couple of hours break.

Large expensive, dangerous equipment operated by extremely tired personnel never works out for anyone.

5th/77th FA

^WORD^ We talked about this on the accident threads. I could never understand why Big Navy would wink wink nod nod on overall crew rest. Wonder who got a promotion and a gedunk ribbon for figuring this out at the puzzle palace.

Ma Bell’s official policy was no more than a 12 hour shift, 13 days on 1 day off, in emergencies. (storms ect) Maximum of 16 hours before a break. The big T 40 placing trucks would try very hard to kill you, or even worse, hurt you real bad. It was up to the individual technician to keep up with the time and if a foreman was insisting they keep going, all they had to do is throw down the safety card. That crew would be relieved almost immediately or as soon as another crew could be brought in from where ever. I worked many a call out traveling a hundred miles or more in a vehicle that averaged 52 mph to relieve other crews. Had crews do the same for my crew.

Toxic Deplorable B Woodman

I remember when I was in Germany (Cold War era), on a week long FTX, SPC4 or SPC5, I was in charge of commo, and had the COMSEC book on a lanyard around my neck. At the end of the exercise, we were loading up, attaching trailers to tractor-trucks, getting ready to go, when I realized I didn’t have the COMSEC book. OH SHIT! WAS I EVER IN THE DEEP SHIT!! I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to find out where in HELL I’d left that book. Come to find out I’d already turned it in. And I didn’t remember a thing. Sleep Dep 101.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

If I remember, revellie was at 0600hrs and quarters on the hanger bay was at 0700 or 0800 hours then turn too until chow call and back to turn to continue ships work. At 1600 hours came knockoff ships work. Watches were 4 hours so plenty of sleep time. Mid watch watch standers had a late sleepers card on their rack which let them sleep until around 0700 hours or 0800 hours. I remember working all night on the no 1 high pressure air compressor down in the hole (boiler room) to get it online. I got to sleep in all day. Once in awhile, their were 4 on and 4 off watches in B div. Most of the time it was 4 on and 8 off. I think that it was the same deal during Op Power Pack and we were on one of the wartime cruising numbers which I don’t remember. In port, it was Liberty Call while in port. When at sea and operating in the Carib., I used to knock off around 15-20 minutes before lunch and catch some rays up in the stern 3in.50 gun tubs.


Naw, really?! (See also: Duh!)

Retired Grunt


Im very sorry all you squids and puddle jumpers out there. Everybody knows that you do not operate heavy machinery without appropriate rests. They do not let commercial airline pilots fly if they’ve been over there required hours. I’m a grunt, you can expect me to trudge through and that’s fine it’s what I signed up to do. The only time you mighty Warriors who operate heavy machinery should be required to work without appropriate rest is during total war or during at least a declared war. Granted, your performance may be limited during that war based upon your lack of sleep but during peace time there is no reason to risk your life like that. That’s just one old infantry mans opinion. God-bless us all.