Tiger119
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Non-Aviation Related US Navy Questions

Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:30 am

OK, I have spent all day in the Internet (don't tell my boss  shhh  ) and I have been trying to figure a couple things out about the US Navy. They are not aviation in nature.

Number 1: What is a "Boatswains Mate"

Number 2: Names of ships. I know most US Naval ship's names start off with a "USS" in front of their names but I have seen "USNS" in front of some. They seem to be all support type service ships. The second question is, what does "USNS" stand for?

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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Non-Aviation Related US Navy Questions

Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
Number 2: Names of ships. I know most US Naval ship's names start off with a "USS" in front of their names but I have seen "USNS" in front of some. They seem to be all support type service ships. The second question is, what does "USNS" stand for?

United States Naval Ship - a non-combat auxiliary support service ship in USN service crewed by civilians

I defer question 1 to someone who served in the USN and can best explain a Boatswain's mate - simple explanation is it's a rating given to the senior NCOs within the Deck Department. They have general knowledge of seamanship rather than some specific technical knowledge as might be required in other departments.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Non-Aviation Related US Navy Questions

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:18 pm

Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
What is a "Boatswains Mate"

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/enlistedjob1/a/bm.htm

http://www.gocoastguard.com/ratings/bmrate.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boatswain
A boatswain, often (at least since 1868) phonetically spelled and pronounced bosun, is a warrant officer or petty officer who is foreman of a ship's crew and is sometimes also third or fourth mate.
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Traindriver
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RE: Non-Aviation Related US Navy Questions

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:24 pm

In the Navy, Boatswains Mates are basically the sailors. They handle the
lines during docking, and if the ship drops anchor, they perform those
duties also. If a ship has to make a "hi-line" transfer at sea, they handle
the rigging etc. They also handle any deck related tasks onboard.

The Navy rating for a Boatswain is BM. Those way down on the food chain
such as Seaman (E-3's) or Seaman Apprentice (E-2's) would be called
Boatswain Mate strikers. If you're a Petty Officer 3rd class, your rating
would be BM3. A 2nd class P.O. would be a BM2 right up to the chief P.O.
who would be a BMC.

On board Aircraft Carriers and at Naval Air Staions, there is an Aviation Boatswain Mate. I think on a Carrier, they are part of the catapult crew.
I was stationed at an Air Station and used to get some flying time aboard
P-3's as a radioman. It was so long ago, that I forgot what the Aviation
BM did. I also spent some time on a Destroyer, so I got a chance to
experience both the fleet and the airdale Navy.

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