Crew Sizes and the Exeter

Iceblade

Admiral
I've always had the impression that a sizable chunk of these ships are taken up by the engines especially the Bengal and Exeter/Gettysburg classes.

The guns look about right at least for a max.

I find the size of the command/control/food staff oddly high, though.

It is very easy to see why the WC devs. decided against figuring up crew sizes.
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Playing with the crew calculator without kids crawling on me and I got the crew down to 513, breakdown is as follows:

Command and control staff: 64
Medical: 21 (3 MDs, 6 nurses, 6 med techs, 6 life support)
Engineering and Comms: 40
Food and Janitorial: 56 (this includes waste handling and disposal)
Maintenance: 22
Security/Defense/Intel: 161 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 392.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I still doubt there are that many food/janitorial people. My high school (1000 to 1500 students) had at most 25 for food and cleaning. (don't have my yearbook with me at the moment to get an exact number)

I'll try out the crew calculator when I have some time. It's not that easy to use, though.

Flight Ops is going to remain very open for debate, though. We know they have to be significantly smaller given the drastically small size of the Bengal's total crew. It is also bound to be really understaffed for the Exeter within the universe given how tacked on the hangar is for this class.

I think the size of the medical staff is fine for optimal crew size, though I imagine they suffer shortages in this area often leaving just one doctor and several nurses and med techs to take care of several hundred. These destroyers seem to be on their own a lot too; but I guess they will usually be near a fleet carrier or other battlegroup (destroyer/cruiser squadron, light/attack carrier group) for emergency situations where they have a lot of wounded.

Maintenance size might be too small since this would include damage control teams as well.

Nice work, Knight.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Looking at the Victory's bridge, there appears to be only 7 seats including communications. The commanding officer only stands (probably there is a seat for him that can't be seen) and I guess the Fire Control/Gunnery Officer is in that another room.

After playing with the calculator some, I've come up with the following. Numbers vary depending on whether there are 3 or 4 shifts.

Bridge Crew: total 16 to 22
Captain
XO
Secondary Officers (1-2) - assuming these aren't one of the officers below
Helmsman (3-4) - only need one per shift (WC4)
Navigator (3-4) - high level computer systems and the lack of space devoted purely to navigation on bridges (at least the victory; possibly there isn't a position devoted to a navigation and this is handled by the helmsman
Fire Control Officers (3-4) - corresponds to the Ordnance Officers, I don't see much need for Ordnance Specialists given the simplicity of WC capship weapons during this era, though ships that have PTCs, AMGs, and the like probably have specialists.
Damage Control Officers (3-4) - probably corresponds to the Senior Chief Petty Officer
Chief of the Boat - head of all enlisted naval personnel essentially (I think)
Master Chief Petty Officer - very similar to the COB and perhaps more specific to one area like aviation and would probably be a redundant position to the COB for anything short of a carrier

This listing certainly fits neatly on the Victory's Bridge at least.

Engineering/Comm: 77-100
Chief Engineer
Asst. Engineers (2-3)
Engineering tech (60-80) - 5 per engine times 4 engines per shift
Jump Drive tech (9-12) - 3 per shift (probably need specialists on this one given the high level physics involved in Jumping) I just left the value as is from the default for a destroyer using FTL. WC Movie might give us a better idea regarding number of techs.
Comm. Officers (3-4) - no real need for a chief or techs devoted to just communications

Medical: 16-22

Food/Janitorial: 30-37

Maintenance: 25 assuming 2 per 100 ft of ship, doesn't included any misc. electronics techs or other damage control areas

Gunnery/Intelligence/Security: 119 -130
81 gunners with no shifts, this assumes 35 per heavy, 10 per medium, and 1 per point defense turret (1 H, 4 M, 6 D)
Everybody else is intelligence, sensor/shield tech, or security. Secuity came out to 4 interestingly. Hmm.. no wonder the TCS Johann was taken so easily. :D

Flight Ops: 87 (no shifts)
This includes 18 pilots, 8 ground (landing/launching) crew (2 per craft, 4 crews), 9 ordnance, 5 flight control, 19 chiefs (including master), and 28 technicians. Again no shifts.

Miscellaneous crew are primarily cargo handlers and the chaplain, so I just assumed 11 personnel.

Grand total of 296 - 347 without flight ops and 383 - 434 with flight ops.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I decided to create a crew sheet for the Bengal since we know what its crew complement is. It took some doing, too. I had to cut the shifts down to two, and divide the fighter repair crews by 4. Also, I had to go with a medium turret/capship weapon crew of 5 and a torpedo tube crew of 1.

Well, it was an interesting exercise to the say the least. I've attached the excel file with the carrier template page. I also included the Exeter workup that I did, though it uses larger fighter rapier crews, and three shifts.

Check out the sheet and let me know what you think, especially for the Bengal.
 

Attachments

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Iceblade

Admiral
Well this is rather telling:

"They [Wake class] carried a crew of 500, some 375 of which were to support the flight wing. They typically carried 45 fighters in three squadrons of 15 fighters."

Not sure what to make of these numbers. 375 for flight ops, 35 for one of the larger turrets. That already leaves only 90 for everything else.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Someone raised a good point as to why we aren't often given official figures. :) That's a useful quote, but we're still left wondering what "support the flight wing" exactly means. It could be broadly interpreted and include more than what you're thinking is "flight ops."
 

ELTEE

Vice Admiral
Well, if we look at a WWII carrier's command and control staff, many of the crew members are not on the bridge - they're in separate compartments devoted to accomplishing specific tasks, like CAP coordination, radar plotting, signals intelligence and so forth. All this information would then be passed on to a select group of individuals (read: command staff) who would be part of the 'bridge crew.' These, in turn, would review relevant operations orders and then make concise recommendations to whoever is in command. On a carrier, that could be either the ship's captain or an admiral who is using the ship as his flagship.

An officer who has achieved the rank of admiral will typically have a large staff working with him to fulfill all the basic requirements of command - anything from intelligence (2 shop) to managing financial resources (8 shop). All these folks need to be accounted for as well.

Absolutely understand that a WWII carrier is ostensibly quite different from what we're talking about here. However, we do know that much of WC is inspired by or based on WWII - so IMO it is worth taking a look back at how warships of that period fought and functioned to help shed light on current WC universe ops.
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Iceblade you just illustrated the reason why I made the calculator, 750 crew for a ship with 104 fighters, it can't work, you have a total of 65 guys, plus additional chiefs to service 104 fighters, even then you have them operating in two shifts a day, the only way that would work is if it 6 hour shifts, 6 on, 6 off, 6 on, 6 off, all day. In that way it could work, but it would be extremely hard on the crew. But then that is a typical sci-fi trope, most writers don't understand crew requirements, kind of goes with sci-fi writers have no sense of scale. The wake example is even worse, but then that could just be lack of detail on the author's behalf in the writing or leaving something out in the description. Those 35 crew may not have all been servicing one turret, there could have been other duty stations nearby, sensors, life support, etc... Honestly the most accurate IMHO crew size I have ever seen quoted was on a star destroyer at 10,000 IIRC. Trek ships are no less guilty of the crew issue, I think even in TNG they forgot to account for multiple shifts.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
How come modern sci-fi games (dead space, mass effect, etc) seem so much better at nailing these things down than they used to be? It's not like people are more nerdy about them these days or anything, judging from the huge sciency Star Trek or Star Wars books they released back in the day...
 

Iceblade

Admiral
You know what, that is a good point about the 35 number representing more than the turret gunners. I think that particular weapon was keel-mounted rather than just a simple swivel turret. Blowing that off would kill quite a few more people than just the gunners.

Another aspect that I forgot with that particular number is that these Wake class ships probably carried only medics rather than full medical staff amongst other things (assuming any of these ships carry more than basic medical personnel) since these carriers were going on a quick suicide attack rather than a prolonged engagement on the front lines. It would be a limited crew. Fully-functional for combat, but bare bones elsewhere. Also, the flight ops number could be indicative of the ship using a larger flight ops crew for around the clock and rapid repair of all fighters.

Flight Ops would include
Ground Crews
Repair Techs
Launch Control
Pilots and their gunners
Ordnance managers

Might also include
Mission/CAG Staff Planners
... not sure what else could go under this umbrella

I think that one aspect that the designers (I'm using this term broadly to include book authors) didn't consider were non-combat/command support personnel. Food is partially ignored sounding as if most ships carry a very small kitchen staff. WC3 makes it sound like there is just one chef (and presumably some supporting personnel), but I could be overanalyzing Tolwyn's comment. Engineering and medical staff are totally ignored it seems. Cargo handlers, janitorial staff, and supporting techs are also forgotten.

I think Prophecy was the first time you get glimpses of all the supporting personnel that keep the ship, crew, and flight wing operational and at near optimal efficiency.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Crew size is also loosely constrained by how much habitable space and consumables can be carried. On one extreme we have the present-day Nimitz class carrier, which has a nominal crew of about five thousand, coming to about twenty tonnes per crewmember. However, aircraft carriers have an open-air flight deck, and don't have to carry their atmosphere the way a space carrier would, so the latter would probably require more mass to have the flight deck completely enclosed with armor of comparable thickness to the hull-at-the-waterline (the extra mass of spaceflight engines and jump drives notwithstanding).

On the other hand, nuclear missile submarines, which do have an enclosed life-support environment and essentially are completely self-sufficient including atmosphere for months on end, have a typical mass closer to one hundred tonnes per crewmember (e.g. the Ohio class http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_class_submarine ).

The other thing is that Wing Commander capital ships seem to have their masses underestimated by a factor of 2-4. The Bengal, Concordia, and Confederation classes all carry fighter complements comparable to the Nimitz class aircraft carrier, yet they consistently mass about 30-40% less than the Nimitz despite the extra mass that would be required for a fully-enclosed and armored flight deck, plus the fact that they are close to twice the Nimitz's 332 meters in length and 77 meters in beam (i.e. that much more surface area to put armor on). IMO, the Wing Commander fleet carriers should mass between 200 and 300 kilotonnes, not 60-90 kilotonnes.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You know what, that is a good point about the 35 number representing more than the turret gunners. I think that particular weapon was keel-mounted rather than just a simple swivel turret. Blowing that off would kill quite a few more people than just the gunners.

There's some indication that this isn't the case--remember that the reason the ship survives the damage is that the turret itself was attached outside Tarawa's armor and so it could sheer off without hurting the rest of the ship (Bear also specifically asks how many were in the turret.)

Another aspect that I forgot with that particular number is that these Wake class ships probably carried only medics rather than full medical staff amongst other things (assuming any of these ships carry more than basic medical personnel) since these carriers were going on a quick suicide attack rather than a prolonged engagement on the front lines.

Indeed, I think we (and especially that ship crew generator) are grossly exaggerating the medical staff these ships would have. I think we're thinking about Star Trek. The larger carriers do have doctors and more dedicated facilities... but a produced-by-the-thousands tin can? It'll have a couple of Corpsman, at most.

Cases that can't be treated with the limited resources on a destroyer would be transferred to a hospital, a hospital ship or a larger warship (like how Maniac was moved to the Austin because it had a dedicated psych unit... I guess Guthrig left at some point after Dolos.)

The carriers would, and do, have more significant medical staffs... but even then, nothing approaching what some of this thread imagines. (Both the Tiger's Claw and the Concordia are said to have 'doctors' plural at one point or another... but we only ever see one on each: Khalsa and Sayers, respectively.

Food is partially ignored sounding as if most ships carry a very small kitchen staff. WC3 makes it sound like there is just one chef (and presumably some supporting personnel), but I could be overanalyzing Tolwyn's comment.

I think you are--the idea is that Tolwyn is insulting the Victor's crew by bringing his own chef, not that he's brought the only chef the ship has ever seen. That said, I don't think warships actually have dedicated janitors, food servers, etc. -- isn't that largely a rotating duty shared between the entire ship's complement? (That said, Victory Streak does specifically say that the Victory's mess hall serves "replicated food." So it's probably not the same cooking process we'd recognize today...)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Let me clarify, I think WC3 makes it sound as if the victory had just a single chef onboard as part of its regular complement. Yeah, I do think you are correct about the dedicated cleaners and food personnel. From everything I've seen, the modern military (at least the army) have these jobs handled by rotation (commonly referred to as KP duty). I really can't see why this would be different in the navy. As a result we are looking at probably 4 or 5 kitchen for a carrier including the bar person.

For the Bengal's medical, I'm assuming 2 surgeons, 4 doctors and probably about 12 nurses and 4 medical techs.

That allows for larger gun battery crews and each mechanic working on 1.5 craft, a crew chief per 4 craft, a master chief per squadron, and a chief tech. Also, that also allows for two ground crew and two launch personnel per hanger (assuming 13 hangers). This left 9 extra crew for fudging and the crew complement is probably only approximate anyway.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Keep in mind that it is wartime, as of human turret gunners(it could be controlled remotely I think, for a fighter it might have been different?), but canon states that there are turret gunners on a carrier so i'll go with that.

As for maintenance staff, I would not find it odd if pilots would have to play janitor for a few duties a week, since it would save on taking on extra staff onboard, saving oxygen, recources and whatever else.

You can't ask the Chef to fly a fighter for patrol duty, but you can ask a pilot to cook something to eat, make coffee for his mates, etc, etc.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Let me clarify, I think WC3 makes it sound as if the victory had just a single chef onboard as part of its regular complement.

Sorry, I'm blanking on the reference. All I can think of is Tolwyn's line about how he brought his own personal cook.

(In addition to one of the letters in Victory Streak being about the mess hall, another seems to have been written by someone who works there -- the one about wanting more leave is signed "abokel@victory.kitch.")

For the Bengal's medical, I'm assuming 2 surgeons, 4 doctors and probably about 12 nurses and 4 medical techs.

And one psychologist! :)

... slash historian.

--

A note about the Bengal crew - I know we throw around 750 in this thread, but the truth is a little more complex. The line in the Ultimate Strategy Guide is: "Colonel Halcyon, Lefty, Shotglass, and more than 750 others were dead." So that's not a clear number on its own ('more than')... and it also doesn't include the fighter wing, since we know from the same story that *every pilot* was in the air at the time. Of course, the Handbook knocks that back: it claims of (some version of) the Bengal that "crew capacity is 550 (including pilots and flight deck personnel), plus space for a marine complement of 50."
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Believe it or not this is the kind of feedback I have been wanting for this thing for a very long time.
I originally wrote this strictly to illustrate the crew for one of my carriers, hence some oddities and inflated figures in some areas.
I then noticed a need for something like this over on sci-fi meshes due to some egregiously bad crew figures someone came up with, and did the first auto-filling crew calc. This latest version is the first to incorporate actual difference between ship types, but obviously some changes still need to be made. Suggestions would be quite welcome, remember though I would like to keep this somewhat simple and generic, not series specific, maybe a future version will allow for universe specific changes...
 
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