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How the FSF-1 Sea Fighter Works

        Science | Navy

The Crew
The Sea Fighter is a small ship that offers great mission flexibility.
The Sea Fighter is a small ship that offers great mission flexibility.
Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Changes to the crew are nearly as revolutionary as the ship's design. The small Sea Fighter requires a crew of just 26 (16 Navy sailors and 10 Coast Guardsmen). The crew is made up of five officers and 21 enlisted personnel. With such a small crew, each member must be very knowledgeable of the ship and balance multiple duties.

"The thing that's really unique about this crew is that since there's only 26 of us, the engineers can't concentrate just on engineering and the navigators can't just concentrate on navigation," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Bryan. "Everyone has to know everyone else's business. So my engineers know how to drive the ship, my guys who drive the ship know how to go down and start the diesel."

The mix of Navy and Coast Guard crew will also provide a cross-section of expertise that can be used for various missions.

"I think the Navy brings their vast experience of operating in a Department of Defense environment," said Coast Guard Chief Operations Specialist John Leary. "And the Coast Guard will bring its unique international boarding authority that we have for international activities. Plus, we have more experience manning ships with smaller crews."

Inside the ship, the crew sleeps in three-man staterooms, a major difference from the large communal compartments on most naval ships. The ship can also be configured to accommodate a crew of men and women.

While the Sea Fighter is a test vehicle, elements of it will be used in other future Navy and Coast Guard ships, including the larger Littoral Combat Ship and the Coast Guard's Deepwater concept.

For more information on the Sea Fighter and related topics, check out the links on the next page.