Crew Sizes and the Exeter

Iceblade

Admiral
I looked at the crew complement for the Exeter Destroyer and was shocked at the size: 9, really? Might as well be a corvette. Source: https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/Exeter-Class_Destroyer

I could see maybe 90, especially if there is a hanger, but 9. Strange to say the least. Then again, I didn't find any crew complement figure mentioned in the WC1 manual either.

Where are the crew complements at anyway? I didn't see any for the Bengal and Loaf knows that the standard complement is 750.

Another question(s) that came to mind (though I can't imagine there is much concrete information on this):

How many crew members are devoted per fighter?

Are they a team that works specifically on one individual fighter or a team who handles multiple individual fighters of the same class? EG 6 in a team, which handles a quarter of the squadron's fighters
 
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Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
The crew compliment of the Exeter on WCPedia seems to be an error. The table code was probably copied from the Venture-class corvette page, which does have a crew compliment of 9.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
From an efficiency point of view, it makes sense for crews to be capable of servicing multiple fighters, probably even multiple classes. Certainly the crew chiefs should be proficient with multiple classes, at least.

(BTW, both of you, please check your spelling. I know I'm being pedantic, but mistakes propagate mistakes.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I looked at the crew complement for the Exeter Destroyer and was shocked at the size: 9, really?

That has to be a mistake. Heck, the Exeter can carry 18 fighters (properly noted in the 'pedia)... so with a crew of 9 you'd have a bunch of double-pilots. :)

Where are the crew complements at anyway? I didn't see any for the Bengal and Loaf knows that the standard complement is 750.

I don't think they're listed in any of the manuals; it's the sort of thing that happens to come up organically in other sources (for example, the 750 for the Bengal is from a description in the Ultimate Strategy Guide to Wing Commander I & II.) I can't think of a reference for the complement of the Exeter.

How many crew members are devoted per fighter?

Good question. Honestly, the few numbers we have for ships' complements seem low. Compare 750 aboard the Tiger's Claw to a present day supercarrier, which have have crews of around 6,000. So... my only guess for the question would be 'fewer than expected.' (We see so few ground crews in the game... there is a little more detail about Rachel's outfit in the Wing Commander III novel, but not enough to get a great picture of the whole process.)

(BTW, both of you, please check your spelling. I know I'm being pedantic, but mistakes propagate mistakes.)

If there's a terrible mistake that you really believe they would do well to learn from then you should tell them what it is. Otherwise this isn't particularly helpful.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I just thought pointing out the mistakes would make it sound even worse than I mean it to be. But these are common mistakes and it does bother me. Very well: in the context of WC, we generally talk about hangar decks, not coat hangers. And carriers have a fighter complements, they don't give compliments.

I realise English isn't everyone's first language... so I really am not trying to sound harsh or anything.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
I totally understand, Wedge. I get the same annoyance at the amount of people who don't know the difference between your and you're; and there, their and they're. And so on.
Although someone who knows English as a second language clearly makes me look just as stupid. Damn.
 

Ilanin

Captain
I just thought pointing out the mistakes would make it sound even worse than I mean it to be. But these are common mistakes and it does bother me. Very well: in the context of WC, we generally talk about hangar decks, not coat hangers. And carriers have a fighter complements, they don't give compliments.

Of course in End Run, the Tarawa's hangar deck also doubled as a hanger deck, in order to fit the Marine transports in. And whenever the relative merits of various craft across the different WC games are discussed, we do indeed give fighter compliments.

...I'm not helping, am I?
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The crew compliment of the Exeter on WCPedia seems to be an error. The table code was probably copied from the Venture-class corvette page, which does have a crew compliment of 9.

That appears to be what happened. I can see that I created both and it does appear to be me copying and pasting. I can tell because the "yes" in Jump Capable is lower case.

I've removed the offending lines. Thanks for the catch!
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
hanger_wire.jpg

Hanger

02.thumbnail.main_hangar.jpg

Hangar

And I was already searching for these images before I saw your post, Wedge! Ha ha!

I'm also a total grammar nazi. So many errors on the internet, so little time to call them all out! I'm on a one man crusade to save the written english language... I would write in a calligraphic font if I could!
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Jesus Christ.

Forgive me for misspelling a word so late at night. I thought we were here to discuss crew complements, not be spelling instructors.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Hanger/Hangar. Never noticed there was a difference in spelling before, but when I'm reading, I've barely glanced at the word and such a small difference is difficult to detect given the small size of the font and how packed in the letter is. Even so, I've spelled it right in the past, this was clearly a distracted/late-night typo that is easy to miss.

So Thanks for pointing it out Wedge, but there are far worse misspelling and grammar errors on the internet than -ar and -er.

And Wojo, that was just uncalled for.
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Not sure if you are really interested in this or not, but it is relevant to this discussion, over on sci-fi meshes I have a crew calculator for figuring out just this sort of thing, crew numbers. And I will tell you this, Wing Commander woefully under-man's its ships, but then most sci-fi does. Though I would have to play with the calculator a bit to really check it out. Anyway here is the link, have some fun with it and tell me what you think.
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/showthread.php?78240-Crew-Calculator-V4
And what the heck, here I'll attach it.
 

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Mace

Vice Admiral
There would be at least a bridge/tactical crew of ten people for such a ship...

But 90? Let's not forget that the ship is also full with ammunitions, generators for the shields, etc. and that the maintenance crew should suffice with about 10/12 people(this ship won't do strikes on it's own), and likely starfighters are modular, so you could just slam on a replacement engine or gun.
A seperate gunnery crew is not likely to be needed due to intense automation. And a lot of people would do double roles from the senior staf..
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I choose 90 simply because it might have been a typo.

We know that turrets probably aren't automated or at the very least, they can have a gunner. Frankly, it would be canon to say that turrets aren't automated at all. Maybe Loaf can clear this up, but I don't think we have seen any instances of automated turrets except maybe the devastator/shrike since we never see any mention of gunners in the SO fiction.

As a result we can probably assume that there would be at least 11 or 12 turret operators. No indication, though, of any capital ship torpedoes.

I wonder what other positions we can determine.

Bridge Crew
Captain
First Officer
Helmsperson
Navigation Officer

Engineering/Maintenance
Probably some Engineering folks around, but I don't remember seeing any except maybe a mention of something on the corvette in End Run.
Damage Control Teams are definitely seen ala WC4.

"Fighter" Maintenance Crews
I think we assume for something like 18 fighters, that there is more than one team to ensure reasonable turn around of fighters. How many per team and how many teams is unclear. Still, there must be some clues from End Run about this.

There is always two guys to help the pilot into and out of his craft upon launching and landing. Rachael appeared to be alone or with only one to two tech during Wing commander 3. Same with Pliers from WC 4 (not the best example though). Admittedly, I don't remember ever seeing the techs working on them. Sparks from WC2 was often seen working alone on a fighter. This information would seem to indicate that tech crews (assuming there are even teams rather than just a group of techs assigned to one type or multiple types).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
But 90? Let's not forget that the ship is also full with ammunitions, generators for the shields, etc. and that the maintenance crew should suffice with about 10/12 people(this ship won't do strikes on it's own), and likely starfighters are modular, so you could just slam on a replacement engine or gun.

Well, for comparison: the modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, which has roughly the same tonnage as the Exeter, has a crew of 323. Warships are supposed to be VERY crowded (in fact, one of the few descriptions we have of the internals of the Exeter involves Blair once mentioning bunking in racks with the 17 other pilots on the Formidable.)

A seperate gunnery crew is not likely to be needed due to intense automation. And a lot of people would do double roles from the senior staf..

The turrets are definitely manned... quite possibly by a large number of men. Remember in End Run, where the Tarawa's forward turret shears off and there are thirty five people in it? I'm thinking that applies to the large batteries rather than the anti-fighter stuff... but the Exeter has a centerline triple mount turret that looks like something off of a modern battleship.

(I know there's no such thing as a modern battleship. You know what I mean.)

We know that turrets probably aren't automated or at the very least, they can have a gunner. Frankly, it would be canon to say that turrets aren't automated at all. Maybe Loaf can clear this up, but I don't think we have seen any instances of automated turrets except maybe the devastator/shrike since we never see any mention of gunners in the SO fiction.

There's the exception that proves the rule: Blair flies a Thunderbolt with an AI turret installed in the Wing Commander IV novel, and comments that it's not very effective in real combat and that that's why fighters have gun crews.

Bridge Crew
Captain
First Officer
Helmsperson
Navigation Officer

On the Roger Young in Fleet Action (class unspecified) we see the captain, helm, fire control and damage control officers (and others unnamed.) I *THINK* the first officer/executive officer works differently in real life than it does in Star Trek... you don't have him with the captain at all times.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Regarding the bridge crew, I was listing all of the positions rather than who was in the bridge at any one time.

Regarding pilot bunks: Yeah, but we don't know (unless it was mentioned) whether the Formidable was a built from ground up to include fighters or was one of the Exeters that had the Hangar add-on (where bunk space would be taken into account in building). Though I would guess the difference in space for pilots would be minor in general.

So probably it would have a crew size of between 200 to 300. Smaller than the modern destroyer crew size sense we know that ships in WC need much smaller crews. The Bengal for example being 750 compared to 20th century carrier designs, which require several thousand.

So we are probably looking at a bridge/command crew of 15 to 30 since there would be shifts for the various command positions.

Turret operators are probably between 45 and 150 depending on the dual mount laser battery crew sizes.

I guess 20 to 40 would be a good number for ground crews assuming 2 to 4 per team and about 5 to 10 ground crews.

Engineering and damage control crew sizes are hard to guess given the unknown level of automation for these areas. Number of security officers/enlisted is unclear assuming there are any. Everything else probably only amounts to a dozen or two (cooks, supply, other maintenance roles, bar).
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I doesn't surprise me that space warships might have smaller crews than one would expect from looking at comtemporary warships. In a spacecraft, every person you add is another person you have to worry about providing oxygen to, another person whose waste you have to dispose of, and another bit of space you have to heat/provide life support for. It's not like a modern navy ship, where you can add people as long as you have space for them and can bring food and water for them.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I doesn't surprise me that space warships might have smaller crews than one would expect from looking at comtemporary warships. In a spacecraft, every person you add is another person you have to worry about providing oxygen to, another person whose waste you have to dispose of, and another bit of space you have to heat/provide life support for. It's not like a modern navy ship, where you can add people as long as you have space for them and can bring food and water for them.

True... unless you count submarines. :)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Yeah, a nuclear submarine would be much better for comparison. The Ohio class nuclear submarine has 140 enlisted personal and 15 officers (16,764 tonnes).

Lower numbers for automation and mass, higher numbers for increased size (and more engines/reactors) and turrets/weapons (like around 35 for the triple laser turret). Plus some more for pilots and ground crews. I would think that 150 to 200 crew complement sounds like a good base number.
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Playing with the crew calculator I got the crew down to 585, breakdown is as follows:

Command and control staff: 64
Medical: 89
Engineering and Comms: 40
Food and Janitorial: 59
Maintenance: 22
Security/Defense/Intel: 162 with 123 being gunners
Misc: 28
Flight Ops: 121 (assuming one squadron of light fighters (12) and 1 of shuttles (6) so 18 pilots)

Not counting the airwing the total crew would be 464. Not bad for a ship that size.

Some of that might be able to be trimmed further, maybe in the airwing mostly. This is assuming a ship that really operates 24/7 in space on a 3 shift rotation.
 
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