Extending Depot Length and Intervals for DDG-51-Class Ships: Examining the 72-Month Operational Cycle

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One way for the Navy to operate its ships more cost-effectively might be for it to alter the employment schedules of Navy surface vessels to get the greatest benefit in terms of operating efficiency and crew effectiveness. This report assesses the potential challenges and benefits associated with changing the employment schedule of one class of ships — the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class of destroyers — to a 72-month operational cycle.