The Navy has requested funding for an additional 4,000 sailors under the fiscal year 2018 budget request, according to new reports.
The sailors would be used to man a variety of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), and would keep on track with the growing size of the U.S. Marines, who have already begun to bolster their forces from 183,000 to 185,000.
The additional 4,000 sailors would bring the Navy’s overall capacity to 327,900 men and women. Officials said in a report that “much of the additional manpower would simply replace sailors who weren’t able to conduct regular duties for a variety of reasons.”
The breakdown includes 2,000 sailors for individual Augmentees; 163 sailors to be trained as Corpsman and sent to Marine units; 1,000 sailors to help man Ticonderoga-class cruisers; 100 sailors to operate the new expeditionary transfer dock Herschel “Woody” Williams that is set to be fielded in 2018; 373 sailors for the Navy’s new carrier-variant F-35C; and 450 sailors for the Littoral combat ship program, otherwise known as LCS.
This brings the complete number to 4,086, which the Navy feels will give it the breathing room it needs to move forward with the mission as other service branches continue to grow after the drawdown.
The budget request will go before Congress for approval ahead of the 2018 fiscal year.