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WASHINGTON — The Navy has announced an extensive overhaul in its ship-to-shore rotation schedule, affecting hundreds of sailor specialties.

The new tour lengths are the first major change in the rotation schedule since 2001 and are the first in a series of changes being planned.

The new tours won’t go into effect until March 2007, meaning sailors scheduled for rotations between now and February won’t be affected.

A Navy spokesman said the changes come after the elimination in recent years of more than 19,600 enlisted shore billets, or individual positions, which prompted a re-examination of where sailors were most needed for future operations.

Navy counselors, ship repairmen and legalmen will see more time at sea under the new rotation schedule announced by service officials this week.

On the other side, many hospital corpsmen will see their tours at sea ended completely, as the Navy works to keep its clinics throughout the world fully staffed.

In an administrative message outlining the changes, Vice Adm. John C. Harvey, chief of naval personnel, said the rotation announcement is the first in a series of “fundamental changes” for the service.

“New ships and squadrons coming on line will require different manning constructs from those in the fleet today,” he wrote. “The sea/shore rotation changes … should be considered an interim step as we work toward new manning constructs.”

About 38 percent of Navy jobs won’t see any changes in their tour lengths, and another 26 percent won’t see any increase in their time at sea.

But sailors in 154 different jobs will see more time at sea, with those in 30 jobs seeing increases of a year or more.

Tops among those will be the most junior aviation boatswain’s mates, who prepare aircraft for launches and landings off of naval ships. Those sailors had seen sea tours of 42 months and shore tours of 36 months, but now they’ll have an extra 18 months at sea, for a 60/36 split.

NC1s, the most junior Navy counselors, also will see 18 months added to their time afloat. Certain enginemen and firemen classifications will see an extra 15 months at sea.

Officials announced that sailors in 113 jobs will see less time at sea, with 46 of those specialties having their sea tours cut by a year or more. Twenty-four hospital corpsmen subspecialties will see their sea tours completely ended, after previously spending three to four years afloat.

Cryptologic technicians specializing in data collection or hardware repair — CTRs and CTMs — will continue to have the longest sea tours of any billet, with 72 months at sea and 36 on shore.

Click to see the tour length tables for ratings A-HClick to see the tour length tables for ratings I-Y

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