TABLE 10.6 New Icebreaker Crew Cost Comparison


U.S. Coast Guard Crewa

Commercial Crewb

Number of crew billets



Cost per dayc



Annual crew cost



aCalculated using 2006 standard personnel costs (includes pay, allowances, transfer, medical, and personnel training costs), which are calculated annually for budget and management purposes.

bCalculated using a representative 2006 industry standard personnel cost schedule.

cAssumes crew present or available for duty 300 days per year under way and 65 days per year for in-port preparations and maintenance.

(LEDETs) assigned to naval vessels for drug interdiction operations in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific Ocean. The use of LEDETs has been successful, but the concept is based on prosecuting a single highly focused mission, centrally coordinated with many other assets and intelligence sources. This focus allows the LEDETs to be trained intensively in single-mission skills, and these skills are complemented by the military expertise available in the naval unit. The LEDET model may be problematic to transfer to the role of an icebreaker operating independently in the Arctic, where the needed responses would likely arise unpredictably from a wide range of missions. It would be difficult to maintain a reasonably sized team of U.S. Coast Guard personnel, possessing the weapons qualifications and skills to conduct boardings, regulatory knowledge to make safety and security decisions, expertise in search-and-rescue planning and execution, and so forth.

Cost Comparison of Crewing Alternatives

Crew cost information is presented in Table 10.6. Total annual costs were calculated by multiplying the annual pay, allowance, medical, training and personnel support costs for each U.S. Coast Guard pay grade by the numbers in the prospective crew, and daily wage and benefit costs for each commercial grade level by the numbers in the commercial crew. Although the ship is assumed to operate 300 days per year, both U.S. Coast Guard and commercial crewmembers were assumed to be needed during in-port periods for deployment planning and preparations, maintenance and maintenance contract supervision, and training.

The numbers are inexact, of course, due to differing compensation systems, but they represent a rough comparison of the crew costs associated with differing crewing models. As Table 10.6 indicates, personnel costs for the U.S. Coast Guard and commercial models examined in this analysis are of the same magnitude.

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