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US Navy wants 5.000 new sailors by fiscal year 2020

The Navy plans to shed about 3,100 medical personnel in Fiscal Year 2020 while adding 5,000 active duty sailors to staff aviation units and a crop of new ships, according to Tuesday’s Department of the Navy budget request.

US Navy wants 5.000 new sailors by fiscal year 2020 U.S. Navy medical providers assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) carry a simulated casualty inside the flight-deck triage during a mass-casualty exercise while underway in the East China Sea (Picture source: US Marine Corps)

The U.S. Navy is proposing to divest six expeditionary medical facility units (five active duty units, and one reserve unit) during FY 2020. Currently, the Navy has 14 expeditionary medical facilities.

Cutting the number of expeditionary medical facility units is in line with the National Defense Strategy and the Navy’s own operational plan to focus on frontline personnel. Up to 5,300 medical personnel positions will be cut during over the course of the five-year Future Years Defense Program.

“We need to essentially cut the excess,” Rear Adm. Randy Crites said. “It will be managed very carefully through normal attrition.”

If approved by Congress, the Navy would finish FY 2020 with an authorized force of 340,500 active duty enlisted and officer personnel. The service has 332,904 sailors as of today. By FY 2024, the Navy wants to grow its force by nearly 14,000 active duty members.

The service is now short about 6,200 sailors to meet its current at-sea requirements, and that shortfall in personnel could grow as more ships come online. While the Navy’s budgeted end strength is rising, and the Navy has met its recruiting goals, long-term the Navy is not keeping pace with the staffing levels to field a 355-ship fleet.