Special Report

The US Navy Ships and Submarines With the Biggest Crews

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Navy fleet currently includes 243 surface and underwater vessels in 19 different classes, including various aircraft carriers, assault ships, transport docks, submarines, and more. Each of these classes of vessels serves a combat, surveillance, or transport purpose and has a specific crew capacity, from the small Cyclone-class patrol ships, which can hold 30 crewmembers, to aircraft carriers that have a crew complement of around 5,000 people. (These are the world’s fastest warships.

To determine the vessels with the largest crews in the U.S. military, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a list of active U.S. military naval vessel classes from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, and more. We also used other sources with naval vessel lists, including Military-Today, and ranked the vessel classes by the crew that is required to effectively operate each vessel. Data on total displacement and the year each vessel entered service also came from Military Factory. Supplemental information on how many vessels are in service in each class came from the World Directory of Modern Military Warship

The U.S. Navy boat classes with the largest crews are both aircraft carriers. The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier can hold up to 5,680 people and is one of the largest warships in the world. Ten Nimitz carriers are in service. The Nimitz, however, is currently being replaced by the newer Ford-class aircraft carrier, which is designed for a crew of 4,660 and boasts heightened battle capabilities and lower maintenance costs. Just one Ford carrier is in service so far. These are the U.S. Navy’s newest ships and submarines.

With crews of over 2,700, the America-class and Wasp-class amphibious assault ships are also among the largest in terms of personnel. These resemble small aircraft carriers that allow for vertical and short takeoff and landing of helicopters. They also have a well deck for the use of landing craft.

Click here to see the largest crews on US Navy ships and submarines.

19. Cyclone-class patrol ship
> Crew: 30
> Total displacement: 335 tons
> Number in US fleet: 10
> Year entered service: 1983

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Independence-class corvette
> Crew: 75
> Total displacement: 3,300 tons
> Number in US fleet: 12
> Year entered service: 1976

17. Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship
> Crew: 81
> Total displacement: 1,367 tons
> Number in US fleet: 8
> Year entered service: 2017

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Freedom-class littoral combat ship
> Crew: 125
> Total displacement: 3,000 tons
> Number in US fleet: 9
> Year entered service: 1991

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15. Los Angeles-class submarine
> Crew: 134
> Total displacement: 7,800 tons
> Number in US fleet: 28
> Year entered service: 2006

14. Virginia-class submarine
> Crew: 135
> Total displacement: Surface: 7,800 tons, Submerged: 8,700 tons
> Number in US fleet: 19
> Year entered service: 1987

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13. Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer
> Crew: 140
> Total displacement: 14,500 tons
> Number in US fleet: 2
> Year entered service: 1993

12. Seawolf-class submarine
> Crew: 141
> Total displacement: Surface: 8,600 tons, Submerged: 9,140 tons
> Number in US fleet: 3
> Year entered service: 2004

Source: usnavy / Flickr

11. Ohio-class submarine
> Crew: 153
> Total displacement: Surface: 16,765 tons, Submerged: 18,750
> Number in US fleet: 18
> Year entered service: 1985

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Source: Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

10. Ticonderoga-class cruiser
> Crew: 330
> Total displacement: 9,600 tons
> Number in US fleet: 22
> Year entered service: 1983

9. San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
> Crew: 361
> Total displacement: 25,000 tons
> Number in US fleet: 11
> Year entered service: 2016

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8. Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer
> Crew: 380
> Total displacement: 9,215 tons
> Number in US fleet: 68
> Year entered service: 2010

Source: viper-zero / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

7. Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship
> Crew: 413
> Total displacement: 16,740 tons
> Number in US fleet: 7
> Year entered service: 1970

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

6. Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship
> Crew: 825
> Total displacement: 19,600 tons
> Number in US fleet: 4
> Year entered service: 1989

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Source: viper-zero / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

5. Blue Ridge-class command ship
> Crew: 842
> Total displacement: 18,875 tons
> Number in US fleet: 2
> Year entered service: 1997

Source: viper-zero / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

4. America-class amphibious assault ship
> Crew: 2,745
> Total displacement: 46,000 tons
> Number in US fleet: 2
> Year entered service: 2014

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3. Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
> Crew: 2,979
> Total displacement: 41,182 tons
> Number in US fleet: 7
> Year entered service: 1995

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Ford-class aircraft carrier
> Crew: 4,660
> Total displacement: 112,000 tons
> Number in US fleet: 1
> Year entered service: 2008

Source: viper-zero / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

1. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
> Crew: 5,680
> Total displacement: 114,000 tons
> Number in US fleet: 10
> Year entered service: 1975

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