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Navy_Pete said:The biggest issue for the ship is lack of bunks for extra people; this was a lot easier with 280s where you had almost another extra 100 bunks and could squeeze in almost 300 folks. The frigates top out around 250. The biggest issue overall is probably we have more commitments then ships to do them, so they'd have to cut tasks to do something like this with the heavies, plus the MCDVs are usually pretty busy as well, so everyone is spread pretty thin. :dunno:
If you were to do it, depending on what the goal is, you could go without any kind of air det/boarding party. If you don't want much of an ops room presence, that could get dropped to a skeleton crew. There are lots of reg force sailors that also need sea time, so you could do some focused cert 2/3 training, BWKs, small boat training etc. There are a few trades with that are only getting the minimum number of sea days required for their tickets, and that's never a good thing over the long term. From experience, it works a lot better too when you bring on extra staff to supervise the trainees, as everyone else is still busy doing their normal job.
I think we'll probably beat the heck out of a few frigates badly enough they'll be too broken to be deployable, but would still be able to do some coastal training activities, so it'd be good to use as a dedicated force generation platform to do stuff like this. Like the air force, the maintenance and operation of ships is pretty platform specific, so you can't just head out without the right mix of maintainers and operators that know that specific class of ship, but it'd be nice to have some reservists with cross training, as we've got a number of reg force with MCDV experience and qualifications to keep them going to sea.
Wrt to teaming up with a specific ship, the thing to keep in mind is that the ships go into the dry dock every five years so there is about an 18 month window to ramp down, dock and ramp up where there wouldn't really be a unit. Also, the sailors have a 'home coast' vice a regiment, so there is a lot of movement between ships. Stuff like that might be okay for a social connection, but might not be practical for a unit to unit operational relationship as there will be long periods where there aren't really ship operations at all during the normal cycle.
Normally the ships have a relationship with the hometown, and the 280s had them with the respective FN tribes (which was pretty neat, and the tribal crests and slogans were generally more appropriate for warships then the city class ones).
That sounds a lot like the old West Coast 4 Squadron!