Navy has adopted a policy of adjusting its ship schedules so that crews spend
at least half their time in port. This is called "dwell time." With
some 60 percent of navy personnel married, time in port is important. The navy
has already eliminated its decades old policy of six month deployments at sea.
These deployments were far away, and kept sailors cut off from home. The
current policy is to keep ships closer to their home port, the better to
"surge" a larger number of warships in an emergency. In the past, ships
returning from a six month cruise, usually required a month or so of
maintenance and repairs in port, with a lot of the crew taking leave. Military
personnel get 30 days of leave (vacation) each year. Thus ships returning from
the old six month cruises were out of action for a month or more. The new
policy eliminates most of that, and more ships are available all the time. The
new 50/50 policy uses a lot of shorter trips to sea. Carriers only go out for a
week or two at a time, so their pilots can get some practice.