Surface Forces: February 21, 2000


The U.S. navy achieved unprecedented strategic moves during World War II by using hundreds of supply ships and tankers to chase after the fleet and resupply them while the warships moved thousands of miles in weeks to keep the pressure on the enemy in the Pacific and elsewhere. Running these ships comprise some of the least attractive jobs in the navy. So, faced with recruiting problems, the navy has increasingly relied on civilian crews to run their 110 ship Sealift Command. Some 7,500 sailors keep it all running, but only 1,100 wear a uniform. The rest are civilians. While 4,700 are civil service, the other 1,700 are civilians, contract employees. In other words, temps. 




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