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Ivonia
08-31-2005, 11:55 AM
I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story, but a lot of it is based off real life stuff.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here is familiar with the US Navy? Here are some stuff I would like to know, so that when I write my story, it'll sound like I know what I'm talking about (even though I probably don't hehe). A lot of my story takes place in outer space, but I figure ships in space be similiar to ships in the ocean as far as how they're organized and what not.

Or, if you know of a book that I can buy/borrow from the library that would have this info, it'd be great.


Do sailors have to take the ASVAB test too before they can join the navy?

How many ships are in a fleet? What kinds of ships? Who's in charge of it (rankwise that is)?

How many people are assigned to a destroyer, battleship, aircraft carrier?

Does the Navy ever perform military excercises with the Army or Air Force? How often a year if so?

What are the roles of some of the bigger ships (like destroyers, battleships, which I heard are obsolete now, but in my story they're still up and running :) ). Do they ever operate out on their own, or do they always travel together?

How do enlisted sailors address each other? How do they address NCO's? How do they address officers (particularly high ranking ones, like admirals)? What are some "regular" navy terms that are used often by navy people? How do officers address enlisted/NCO's?

Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?

How long do sailors stay out in sea? What do they do while they're out there, just travel to different parts of the world, or perform military excercises?

When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get? How do you call them all back if there's an emergency and they have to get back to the ship asap?

Regarding aircraft carriers, do the pilots have their own commander that they follow, who reports to the admiral (or who's in charge of them?), or does the admiral command pilots directly?

How many planes fit on a current US aircraft carrier (my story takes place in space, but I would like to know a rough estimate)? What type of aircraft do they carry aboard usually (besides like F-14's)?

Are all pilots officers? How long is their training roughly when they first join and are trained on how to fly? Do they need special pre-req's first (like having flown civilian planes) and what's the medical requirements for them (I'm guessing one of them is they need 20/20 vision?) Are they trained only one type of plane to fly, or are they taught on how to fly several types of aircraft? And how does someone who's interested in becoming a navy pilot apply?

Do the planes have their own special names to them (like Eagle squadron for instance)? Or do they just refer to themselves by the aircraft carrier or something like that? What's some common lingo pilots use (like when referring to enemy aircraft, friendlies, targets on the ground, etc.)

What are formations called when planes are flying around with more than just one in the air? Is it similiar to the air force (like squadron, wing, flight, etc.)

Can any ship carry marines, or are they only stuck on one type of ship normally? Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?

What kinds of things do sailors do to pass the time when they're not on duty?

-----

Sorry, I guess I'm asking a lot there. But I never joined the Navy (joined the Army instead, and it was only cause I was a young, dumb joe and didn't know better hehe. Plus the Army called me first, or else I probably would've joined the Navy, as those ships look cool), and I think I've had enough of military life for now (spent 4 years on Active Duty, then 3 years in the Guard), but I would like to know all this stuff because my book is heavily military and I would like to get these terms straight (I know most of them for the Army, so it's not too big a concern).

Carole
08-31-2005, 05:44 PM
My ex was in the Navy - is in the reserves. I can answer a few of these, but my info might be a tad outdated.


Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?
My ex was on an aircraft carrier, the Eisenhower. Also the first carrier to have women on board. His first 6 month cruise was the first that women were allowed. (does it surprise you to know that this was also the beginning of the END of our marriage? ~laughing!~)

They did not share beds (known as "racks"). The beds were VERY small and the berthing was almost like a miniature dorm room with metal bunks. Each bed was a thin mattress atop a metal base. This base was called the coffin locker. They lift the mattress & lid up and store stuff beneath. There are really wimpy blue curtains across the front side of each rack so the guys could have a small amount of privacy.


How long do sailors stay out in sea? What do they do while they're out there, just travel to different parts of the world, or perform military excercises?
His longest was 6 months (which is the standard length of time for a cruise for a carrier group), and they did have a lot of exercises. There are lots of smaller times out to sea leading up to a cruise known as "workups". Those would be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month. While out, they traveled all over the Mediterranean and parts of the Middle East, but the guys on the west coast do a different type of cruise and have totally different ports than the east coast based guys.


When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get? How do you call them all back if there's an emergency and they have to get back to the ship asap?

They are allowed to visit. Some guys have duty when they arrive, so they have to stay on board, but when they are off duty then can go into town. Usually there were military police guys out and about in town to make sure no one got into too much trouble. They had what they called their "Ike-Donald's" (Eisenhower McDonalds - not really a McDonalds) set up just off the ship so the guys could get familiar food if there wasn't much available in town or if the sanitary conditions were questionable.

Of course, lots of the guys hit the bars and get all D&D, but honestly my ex told me that there was a lot of sightseeing/tourism too. He brought back photos of skiing trips in France, shopping in the gold souks (sp?) of the U.A.E., visiting the Holy Land...There's a lot for the guys to do in most of the ports and if they are there for an extended amount of time, they often take day-trips like for the skiing in France.

(Possibly worth noting is an unwritten code of sailor ethics that is long standing - "What happens at sea STAYS at sea" In other words, if you see your buddy getting into stuff he oughtn't while out to sea, you'll be in pretty hot water for ratting him out to his wife when you come home. That's just something you don't do. It's justified by the mindset of someone away from home for extended periods of time. Some guys really do have two separate lives.)



How many planes fit on a current US aircraft carrier (my story takes place in space, but I would like to know a rough estimate)? What type of aircraft do they carry aboard usually (besides like F-14's)?

This is a tough one. I have seen I think 4 F-14's in a bay, but I am sure that there are many more. It's really cool to watch as a plane is brought from the bay up to the top. It's taken out to this huge open door, slid out onto a lift and raised to the top level. Creepy and cool to watch, all at the same time.

The carriers take on Marines frequently and they competely do their own thing. Imagine a marine being asked to surrender his weapon as he boards...didn't happen, even though it is demanded of everyone else. They take on Marine aircraft, but for the life of me I can't remember what they are. I believe one was this gigantic helicopter.

Most of the ACs (Air traffic controllers) are not in the tower like they would be on a base. Most of them are actually in the Radar room while on a ship.


Are all pilots officers? How long is their training roughly when they first join and are trained on how to fly? Do they need special pre-req's first (like having flown civilian planes) and what's the medical requirements for them (I'm guessing one of them is they need 20/20 vision?) Are they trained only one type of plane to fly, or are they taught on how to fly several types of aircraft? And how does someone who's interested in becoming a navy pilot apply?

They don't need special experience beforehand (by this I mean that before the Navy trains them, they don't have to possess a commercial pilot's license), and many military pilots go on to be civilian pilots. The medical requirements are called "Flight Status", and the air traffic controllers have very similar guidelines, also referred to as flight status. Pilots must have 20/20 UNcorrected vision. No glasses or contacts allowed. Air traffic controllers are required to be able to achieve 20/20 corrected vision. If they can't get it with glasses or contacts, they lose their flight status.



Can any ship carry marines, or are they only stuck on one type of ship normally? Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?
oops! already answered this one. They take on Marines frequently and Marines are pretty much under their own command, within reason I imagine.


What kinds of things do sailors do to pass the time when they're not on duty?
Gosh...Well, carriers generally have a gym of sorts so a lot of guys spend time working out. They play cards & games, read, SLEEP, play instruments if they brought one with them - sometimes they'll even form a band, write letters and with any luck at all, READ letters from home. I hear there is nothing worse in the world than being the only one who doesn't receive a letter at mail call. From what I remember, they can also go to the galley whenever they want to get food.

-----

Hope this helps at least a little! Now, my experience was from about 9 years ago so some or a lot of this may have changed.

Aconite
08-31-2005, 08:10 PM
I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story, but a lot of it is based off real life stuff.
A word of caution: That's the case for most SF and fantasy, and SF and fantasy writers will growl at you for implying it's not. (If you've gotten the impression that SF and fantasy aren't like that, I strongly suggest reading more widely in the fields.)

James D. Macdonald here on AW was in the Navy. He's a very generous person, and may be able to help you.

reph
08-31-2005, 10:25 PM
My husband was in the Navy before we met. He says:

A ship may be at sea anywhere from a few hours to months. Months would be extreme.

The traditional sailor thing to do off duty is get drunk and go back to the ship and go to sleep. Sailors in bars trade stories about previous times they were off duty and got drunk. There are many off-duty activities. (It's something like asking what people do in their spare time.) Sailors play cards, go bowling, seek companionship, read, watch movies. In Spain, my husband used to jog for exercise on roads on the base, which was large, and in the area near it. In Italy, he went to museums. Those with wives living in family housing on the base go home at the end of their shift. Unmarried sailors on shore duty (see next paragraph) may also live on the base.

Members of the Navy rotate between sea duty and shore duty, regardless of rank (except the Commander-in-Chief, I guess). A tour might last two or three years. When my husband was assigned to a communications station on land, he was attached to that station, not to a ship. In Charleston, S.C., he was attached to a ship that spent most of its time in port, and he lived in a civilian apartment. Pay is adjusted for those not in Navy housing.

On sea duty, if an emergency requires members on shore to return to the ship, the shore patrol (like M.P.s) has the job of rounding them up. A few will be left behind. If U.S. ships visit that port often, there'll be a permanent shore patrol station where such sailors can go to get straightened out. Otherwise, they might go to the American embassy.

A good book for learning something about enlisted men's attitudes is Henry McKenna, The Sand Pebbles. The Navy has a website; many ships and stations also have websites.

MadScientistMatt
08-31-2005, 11:22 PM
What are the roles of some of the bigger ships (like destroyers, battleships, which I heard are obsolete now, but in my story they're still up and running :) ). Do they ever operate out on their own, or do they always travel together?

No Navy experience, just a military buff. But here are some of the roles typically played by various ships.

Destroyers: Mostly, they are meant for destroying submarines. While destroyers do have samller (5" or so) guns that they can use for attacking ships or land targets, they typically carry depth charges and torpedoes for attacking submarines.

Battleships: These carry some of the largest guns and can shell targets several miles away. They may be used for ship-to-ship combat or to bombard (well, make that obliterate) shore targets. The Iowa and the Wisconsin were later equipped with cruise missile launchers as well to attack inland targets. These two ships, BTW, are currently mothballed but could be returned to active duty.

Cruisers: This used to be like a smaller version of a battleship. The current Navy AEGIS cruisers are a different animal, though. They are about the size of a destroyer and primarily armed with missiles.

Aircraft carriers: Self-explanatory, but worth noting that in World War II many sea battles used carrier aircraft as the main offensive weapon, and the fleets often did not even get within range to use the battleships' guns.

Submarines often undertake missions by themselves. Surface ships usually travel in groups of several different types, especially during wartime. This way, a battle group can defend itself against a variety of different threats.

See this page for the Navy's descriptions of some of its current ships:

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact.asp

James D. Macdonald
09-05-2005, 06:12 PM
Do sailors have to take the ASVAB test too before they can join the navy?

Yes.


How many ships are in a fleet? What kinds of ships? Who's in charge of it (rankwise that is)?

A fleet can be however many ships are in that fleet. You have the Atlantic Fleet and the Pacific Fleet, for example, and the number of ships is however many ships are assigned. There was talk back a long time ago about a "600 ship Navy" but ... we never got there.



How many people are assigned to a destroyer, battleship, aircraft carrier?

Around 300, around 3,000, and around 5,000. You can get more detail here: http://www.hazegray.org/worldnav/usa/surface.htm


Does the Navy ever perform military excercises with the Army or Air Force? How often a year if so?

Don't know about currently -- back in my day (pounds cane on floor, adjusts ear trumpet) we had the annual REFORGER exercise (Reinforcement of Germany). I'm sure joint exercises continue, and each is probably annual. If they didn't we wouldn't have the JANFU, would we?


What are the roles of some of the bigger ships (like destroyers, battleships, which I heard are obsolete now, but in my story they're still up and running :) ). Do they ever operate out on their own, or do they always travel together?

Destroyers are smaller ships, not larger ones.

Anyway -- destroyers perform scouting and security missions and have multi-threat capabilities. Destroyers and frigates operate at some distance from the main body. Battleships, when we had them, performed fire support and anti ship missions. Aircraft carriers have fleet protection and force projection missions. Shall we talk about the amphibs and auxilliaries now?



How do enlisted sailors address each other? How do they address NCO's? How do they address officers (particularly high ranking ones, like admirals)? What are some "regular" navy terms that are used often by navy people? How do officers address enlisted/NCO's?

Sailors address each other by name or nickname. Frequently by last name.
Until you get to Chief Petty Officer, that is -- who are all named "Chief." All officers are named "Sir."

Chiefs address each other by first name. Officers address each other by first name. Except the captain, whose first name is "captain." The executive officer's first name is "XO."

Do you mean like "deck" and "bulkhead" and "all f***ed up"?

Usually by last name, or by rank and last name. Depends on the situation.



Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?

That's called "hot racking" and it's a submarine thing. You don't do that on birdfarms.



How long do sailors stay out in sea? What do they do while they're out there, just travel to different parts of the world, or perform military excercises?

Six to nine months. If it's peacetime, they perform maintenance (it takes full time, every day work to keep that hunk of iron on the top of the water and moving forward) and various exercises.



When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get? How do you call them all back if there's an emergency and they have to get back to the ship asap?

Yes, they're usually allowed into town (depending on the Status of Forces agreements in foreign ports). Usually they get off overnight.

You call them back, if you need to: First, you haul up the Papa flag on the yardarm. Then, you send the shore patrol looking for your people. However, if you have to get underway Right Now there are always enough people on board (not in the liberty section) to get the ship underway and perform the mission.



Regarding aircraft carriers, do the pilots have their own commander that they follow, who reports to the admiral (or who's in charge of them?), or does the admiral command pilots directly?

The pilots in the air wing have their own chain of command.



How many planes fit on a current US aircraft carrier (my story takes place in space, but I would like to know a rough estimate)? What type of aircraft do they carry aboard usually (besides like F-14's)?

They carry around 80 aircraft. What kinds depends on the mission.



Are all pilots officers? How long is their training roughly when they first join and are trained on how to fly? Do they need special pre-req's first (like having flown civilian planes) and what's the medical requirements for them (I'm guessing one of them is they need 20/20 vision?) Are they trained only one type of plane to fly, or are they taught on how to fly several types of aircraft? And how does someone who's interested in becoming a navy pilot apply?

All Navy/Marine pilots are officers. The Navy teaches them everything. I don't know how long their training is -- the only ones I ever interacted with were the "fallen angels" -- pilots who washed out of flight school and got sent to the surface fleet (which didn't do anyone any favors: They didn't want to be there, and we didn't want to have them). The only thing I ever noticed about pilots in general is that they're all friggin' short. The big disconnect in that community is between the rotary wing and the fixed wing pilots. If you want to be a pilot, go talk to your recruiter. (Since all pilots are officers, and all officers are college graduates, graduate from college first before you try this trick.) They'll send you to AOCS, where you will not have as much time off, or as much fun, or run around looking as sloppy as Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman (a movie about two different guys).


Do the planes have their own special names to them (like Eagle squadron for instance)? Or do they just refer to themselves by the aircraft carrier or something like that? What's some common lingo pilots use (like when referring to enemy aircraft, friendlies, targets on the ground, etc.)

The squadrons have their own names (like the Death Rattlers, for example). The air dets come and go, and have their own chain of command.

Common lingo among pilots: "I'm on crew rest," "when's the club open?" and "that's not my job."



What are formations called when planes are flying around with more than just one in the air? Is it similiar to the air force (like squadron, wing, flight, etc.)

Squadron, but that may just be the admin name. When there's a bunch flying around it's probably a "clusterf**k." (Can you tell that I wasn't an airedale?)


Can any ship carry marines, or are they only stuck on one type of ship normally? Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?

You can have a Marine detachment on any ship, if they're assigned, but you're only really going to see them on bigger ships, like carriers. This is leaving aside the Gator Navy -- the LSTs and LPDs and such, whose primary mission is transporting and supporting Marines in their mission. The Marine Corps is a US Navy weapons system. (And MARINE stands for My A** Rides In Navy Equipment.) (NAVY stands for Never Again Volunteer Yourself.)



What kinds of things do sailors do to pass the time when they're not on duty?

Underway? Sleep. Play cards. Sleep. Watch movies. Sleep. Stare at the ocean. Sleep. Do thousands of pushups because you're just so bored. Sleep. Eat chow. Sleep. Talk with your friends. Sleep. Write letters home. Sleep. Oh, and sleep.

LV Dutton
09-06-2005, 03:45 AM
My father spent 20 years in the Navy Starting on the USS Kitty Hawk and when he retired on the USS Aciada which is a floating dry dock, Just let me know what you'd like to know and believe me I can tell ya. he spent Six months in six months out to see. Just let me know what you still need.

fedorable1
09-07-2005, 07:32 PM
I have a similar question, kinda:

Is a female officer referred to as "Sir" or "Ma'am?" I think I've heard both, but I'm not sure. Any help would be appreciated.

James D. Macdonald
09-07-2005, 09:24 PM
Female officers are "m'am."

fedorable1
09-07-2005, 09:44 PM
Thanks.

Ivonia
09-10-2005, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the info! I've been really busy (since school started back up), so I haven't really checked these boards a lot, but thanks again. If you have anything else that might be of interest, feel free to say it (assuming it's correct of course :P).

Angel
09-15-2005, 07:38 PM
I have a document that I created based on my experiences as a Sailor that shows "How to speak Sailor". Send me a note to ald37@msn.com with the address were you want me to send it so you can have it. In the meantime, here are some short answers to your questions:

Or, if you know of a book that I can buy/borrow from the library that would have this info, it'd be great.
Find the Latest copy of the Blue Jacket Manual. This is the training book for all Navy recruits. I am sure that you should be able to find one.

Do sailors have to take the ASVAB test too before they can join the navy?
Yes

How many ships are in a fleet? What kinds of ships? Who's in charge of it (rankwise that is)?
????





How many people are assigned to a destroyer, battleship, aircraft carrier?
It depends on the size and equipment of the boat itself. Carriers, up to 6000 + people and over 200+ aircrafts




Does the Navy ever perform military excercises with the Army or Air Force? How often a year if so?

Yes, there is no set Yearly Joint Forces Training that I know off but we do every so often. You must realize that the Navy-Marine team does not play well with the Army-Air Force kids.



What are the roles of some of the bigger ships (like destroyers, battleships, which I heard are obsolete now, but in my story they're still up and running ). Do they ever operate out on their own, or do they always travel together?

Destroyers: The first submarine killers of the sea. Still does anti-submarine work but mostly does fleet support.

Battleships: were the flagships of the Navy until the Aircraft Carriers came into being. They do troop support from the beach. And in the old days; used to battle others at sea.

Aircraft Carriers: Projects the US power into the world. We take the fight to "Location". The new flagships of the Navy. Provides strike capability anywhere in the world.

They can all operate on their own. As a matter of fact, Battleships always did unless it was in the company of other battleships. Keep in mind that the Navy, because we live and die at sea we must maintain any and all capabilities that we may need at al times because, at sea, you are always on your own. Normally, you can have the smaller ships doing their own thing and can also be a part of a battle group. Carriers when on a cruise, they are never, never, alone.

The battle group consist of one carrier, four to five small boats, two submarines, and two or more re-supplying boats.



How do enlisted sailors address each other?

Not in a way suitable for printing!



How do they address NCO's?

We have no NCOs in the Navy. (Actually, technically speaking we do we just don't call anyone NCO). See above for answer.



How do they address officers (particularly high ranking ones, like admirals)?

We stay away from them. But, just "Sir" will do or the typical "Aye Aye"



What are some "regular" navy terms that are used often by navy people?

I am sending you my document.



How do officers address enlisted/NCO's?

like another enlisted


Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?

That used to be the case in subs only. No other boat do that. I don't believe Subs do it any longer.

How long do sailors stay out in sea?

Anywhere from hours to months. Example; My first cruise: 8 Months, second cruise: 10 months, Third cruise: 8 months, Fourth cruise: 5 months, Six cruise: 5 months, seventh cruise: 5 months. Now, if we are talking about how long at sea without seeing land I believe the USS Nimicks still holds the record at almost three months.



What do they do while they're out there, just travel to different parts of the world, or perform military excercises? Training, Training, Training!!!!! We work 12 on/12 off, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We train on any military situation that might happen, we do man overboard drills, war drills, nuclear attacks drills, chemical and biological attacks drills, and anything and everything that they can think about. Remember; isolated as you are at sea the last thing you want is for people to have idle time at all. The saying is: "A busy Sailor is a happy Sailor!"



When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get?

Usually we stop anywhere from one day to two weeks (More if the boat needs maintenance or something) Normally is about three to four days. the reason for that is because we divide the boat into three duty sections. That is done because we know that we can run the boat with a minimum of one third of the crew. Therefore; there always is a minimum of one third of the people aboard. Whoever is on duty, stays in the boat.



How do you call them all back if there's an emergency and they have to get back to the ship asap? We have people on duty doing Shore Patrol. They can go and look for people. Also, if the boat starts blowing the fog horn when there is no fog at all; run back!






Regarding aircraft carriers, do the pilots have their own commander that they follow, who reports to the admiral (or who's in charge of them?), or does the admiral command pilots directly?

The Airgroup of a carrier is composed of squadrons of different types of aircrafts. each squadron have its own CO (Commanding Officer) and they are their own entity. The Airgroup as a group is run by the Airgroup Commander. He tells each squadron's CO what to do. The Carrier Captain just runs the boat but it does have some control over the Airgroup. It has absolute control in the absence of the Airgroup Commander. Another thing, don't get hung up on names. Naval names for job are not a direct representation of their rank for example; the captain of a boat doesn't have to be an officer of the rank of Captain; Airgroup Commanders are not of a Commander rank.




How many planes fit on a current US aircraft carrier (my story takes place in space, but I would like to know a rough estimate)? What type of aircraft do they carry aboard usually (besides like F-14's)?
Well, in the Navy that I was in back in 1999; 200+ Birds. Again, it depends of the Carrier size.

Back then we had the following:

F-14 "Tomcat" (figther)

F/A-18 "Hornet" (Extremelly Light bomber/figther)

A-6 "Intruder" (Heavy All-weather Bomber)

EA-6B "Prowler"

S-3B "Vikings" (Anti Submarine)

E-2C "Hawkeye"

SH-60F "Seahawk"





Are all pilots officers?

YES



How long is their training roughly when they first join and are trained on how to fly?

3 - 4 Years but this is only a guess!



Do they need special pre-req's first (like having flown civilian planes) and what's the medical requirements for them (I'm guessing one of them is they need 20/20 vision?) Need to be an officer, pass a physical. You don't have to be 20/20 but unless you are, you will end up flying cargo airplanes or helicopters.



Are they trained only one type of plane to fly, or are they taught on how to fly several types of aircraft? One unless you are the Airwing (Airgroup) Commander, He gets to learn how to fly all the airplanes and he can fly any of them, whenever he wants. Now, the pilots doesn't have to fly one type of bird for his/her entire career. Any pilot might be stationed on a different squadron flying something different but obviously, the cost of doing this is too much and the pilot looses as it needs the experience on a given type of aircraft to be able to climb the ladder and become the CO.



And how does someone who's interested in becoming a navy pilot apply?
Navy Recruiters like anyone else




Do the planes have their own special names to them (like Eagle squadron for instance)? See Aircraft list above.

PLus: F-14 is also known as "The Cat", the F/A-18 is also known as "The Dart", "Tonka Toy". The S-3B is also known as "The Hoover". The A-7E is also known as "Jaws".





Or do they just refer to themselves by the aircraft carrier or something like that?

What's some common lingo pilots use (like when referring to enemy aircraft, friendlies, targets on the ground, etc.) See document.

What are formations called when planes are flying around with more than just one in the air? Is it similiar to the air force (like squadron, wing, flight, etc.)

Pretty much the same as far as I know.

Can any ship carry marines, or are they only stuck on one type of ship normally?

Any and all Navy ships that are Nuclear have a Marine Security detail onboard. All Aircraft carriers have them also because all carriers carry Nukes in their arsenals. Regular Marines are carried around by the "Gator Navy" which are the group with the Fleet Landing boats. Their job is to move the Army and the Marines around.



Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?

Other than being their Taxi, they are on their own!


What kinds of things do sailors do to pass the time when they're not on duty?

Watch TV, Playing cards is a big thing, exercise, play music, study (we offer college courses at sea), write letters, Sleep.

-----

LV Dutton
09-19-2005, 05:49 AM
I have a document that I created based on my experiences as a Sailor that shows "How to speak Sailor". Send me a note to ald37@msn.com with the address were you want me to send it so you can have it. In the meantime, here are some short answers to your questions:

Or, if you know of a book that I can buy/borrow from the library that would have this info, it'd be great.
Find the Latest copy of the Blue Jacket Manual. This is the training book for all Navy recruits. I am sure that you should be able to find one.

Do sailors have to take the ASVAB test too before they can join the navy?
Yes

How many ships are in a fleet? What kinds of ships? Who's in charge of it (rankwise that is)?
????





How many people are assigned to a destroyer, battleship, aircraft carrier?
It depends on the size and equipment of the boat itself. Carriers, up to 6000 + people and over 200+ aircrafts




Does the Navy ever perform military excercises with the Army or Air Force? How often a year if so?

Yes, there is no set Yearly Joint Forces Training that I know off but we do every so often. You must realize that the Navy-Marine team does not play well with the Army-Air Force kids.



What are the roles of some of the bigger ships (like destroyers, battleships, which I heard are obsolete now, but in my story they're still up and running ). Do they ever operate out on their own, or do they always travel together?

Destroyers: The first submarine killers of the sea. Still does anti-submarine work but mostly does fleet support.

Battleships: were the flagships of the Navy until the Aircraft Carriers came into being. They do troop support from the beach. And in the old days; used to battle others at sea.

Aircraft Carriers: Projects the US power into the world. We take the fight to "Location". The new flagships of the Navy. Provides strike capability anywhere in the world.

They can all operate on their own. As a matter of fact, Battleships always did unless it was in the company of other battleships. Keep in mind that the Navy, because we live and die at sea we must maintain any and all capabilities that we may need at al times because, at sea, you are always on your own. Normally, you can have the smaller ships doing their own thing and can also be a part of a battle group. Carriers when on a cruise, they are never, never, alone.

The battle group consist of one carrier, four to five small boats, two submarines, and two or more re-supplying boats.



How do enlisted sailors address each other?

Not in a way suitable for printing!



How do they address NCO's?

We have no NCOs in the Navy. (Actually, technically speaking we do we just don't call anyone NCO). See above for answer.



How do they address officers (particularly high ranking ones, like admirals)?

We stay away from them. But, just "Sir" will do or the typical "Aye Aye"



What are some "regular" navy terms that are used often by navy people?

I am sending you my document.



How do officers address enlisted/NCO's?

like another enlisted


Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?

That used to be the case in subs only. No other boat do that. I don't believe Subs do it any longer.

How long do sailors stay out in sea?

Anywhere from hours to months. Example; My first cruise: 8 Months, second cruise: 10 months, Third cruise: 8 months, Fourth cruise: 5 months, Six cruise: 5 months, seventh cruise: 5 months. Now, if we are talking about how long at sea without seeing land I believe the USS Nimicks still holds the record at almost three months.



What do they do while they're out there, just travel to different parts of the world, or perform military excercises? Training, Training, Training!!!!! We work 12 on/12 off, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We train on any military situation that might happen, we do man overboard drills, war drills, nuclear attacks drills, chemical and biological attacks drills, and anything and everything that they can think about. Remember; isolated as you are at sea the last thing you want is for people to have idle time at all. The saying is: "A busy Sailor is a happy Sailor!"



When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get?

Usually we stop anywhere from one day to two weeks (More if the boat needs maintenance or something) Normally is about three to four days. the reason for that is because we divide the boat into three duty sections. That is done because we know that we can run the boat with a minimum of one third of the crew. Therefore; there always is a minimum of one third of the people aboard. Whoever is on duty, stays in the boat.



How do you call them all back if there's an emergency and they have to get back to the ship asap? We have people on duty doing Shore Patrol. They can go and look for people. Also, if the boat starts blowing the fog horn when there is no fog at all; run back!






Regarding aircraft carriers, do the pilots have their own commander that they follow, who reports to the admiral (or who's in charge of them?), or does the admiral command pilots directly?

The Airgroup of a carrier is composed of squadrons of different types of aircrafts. each squadron have its own CO (Commanding Officer) and they are their own entity. The Airgroup as a group is run by the Airgroup Commander. He tells each squadron's CO what to do. The Carrier Captain just runs the boat but it does have some control over the Airgroup. It has absolute control in the absence of the Airgroup Commander. Another thing, don't get hung up on names. Naval names for job are not a direct representation of their rank for example; the captain of a boat doesn't have to be an officer of the rank of Captain; Airgroup Commanders are not of a Commander rank.




How many planes fit on a current US aircraft carrier (my story takes place in space, but I would like to know a rough estimate)? What type of aircraft do they carry aboard usually (besides like F-14's)?
Well, in the Navy that I was in back in 1999; 200+ Birds. Again, it depends of the Carrier size.

Back then we had the following:

F-14 "Tomcat" (figther)

F/A-18 "Hornet" (Extremelly Light bomber/figther)

A-6 "Intruder" (Heavy All-weather Bomber)

EA-6B "Prowler"

S-3B "Vikings" (Anti Submarine)

E-2C "Hawkeye"

SH-60F "Seahawk"





Are all pilots officers?

YES



How long is their training roughly when they first join and are trained on how to fly?

3 - 4 Years but this is only a guess!



Do they need special pre-req's first (like having flown civilian planes) and what's the medical requirements for them (I'm guessing one of them is they need 20/20 vision?) Need to be an officer, pass a physical. You don't have to be 20/20 but unless you are, you will end up flying cargo airplanes or helicopters.



Are they trained only one type of plane to fly, or are they taught on how to fly several types of aircraft? One unless you are the Airwing (Airgroup) Commander, He gets to learn how to fly all the airplanes and he can fly any of them, whenever he wants. Now, the pilots doesn't have to fly one type of bird for his/her entire career. Any pilot might be stationed on a different squadron flying something different but obviously, the cost of doing this is too much and the pilot looses as it needs the experience on a given type of aircraft to be able to climb the ladder and become the CO.



And how does someone who's interested in becoming a navy pilot apply?
Navy Recruiters like anyone else




Do the planes have their own special names to them (like Eagle squadron for instance)? See Aircraft list above.

PLus: F-14 is also known as "The Cat", the F/A-18 is also known as "The Dart", "Tonka Toy". The S-3B is also known as "The Hoover". The A-7E is also known as "Jaws".





Or do they just refer to themselves by the aircraft carrier or something like that?

What's some common lingo pilots use (like when referring to enemy aircraft, friendlies, targets on the ground, etc.) See document.

What are formations called when planes are flying around with more than just one in the air? Is it similiar to the air force (like squadron, wing, flight, etc.)

Pretty much the same as far as I know.

Can any ship carry marines, or are they only stuck on one type of ship normally?

Any and all Navy ships that are Nuclear have a Marine Security detail onboard. All Aircraft carriers have them also because all carriers carry Nukes in their arsenals. Regular Marines are carried around by the "Gator Navy" which are the group with the Fleet Landing boats. Their job is to move the Army and the Marines around.



Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?

Other than being their Taxi, they are on their own!


What kinds of things do sailors do to pass the time when they're not on duty?

Watch TV, Playing cards is a big thing, exercise, play music, study (we offer college courses at sea), write letters, Sleep.

-----



The Airgroup of a carrier is composed of squadrons of different types of aircrafts. each squadron have its own CO (Commanding Officer) and they are their own entity. The Airgroup as a group is run by the Airgroup Commander. He tells each squadron's CO what to do. The Carrier Captain just runs the boat but it does have some control over the Airgroup. It has absolute control in the absence of the Airgroup Commander. Another thing, don't get hung up on names. Naval names for job are not a direct representation of their rank for example; the captain of a boat doesn't have to be an officer of the rank of Captain; Airgroup Commanders are not of a Commander rank.


All air squardrens have a commander, but they all answer to the ships captan. and it's not a boat, a boat is something u fish in.


Are marines part of the ship fleet, or do they operate independently?

Other than being their Taxi, they are on their own!


You do realise that the marines are part of the navy, they are all one branch of service.


When sailors reach a port (both in the US and in foreign parts of the world), are they allowed to visit the local town, and if so, how long do they normally get?

Usually we stop anywhere from one day to two weeks (More if the boat needs maintenance or something) Normally is about three to four days. the reason for that is because we divide the boat into three duty sections. That is done because we know that we can run the boat with a minimum of one third of the crew. Therefore; there always is a minimum of one third of the people aboard. Whoever is on duty, stays in the boat.

ITS NOT A BOAT! its a ship. There is a difference. Boats cannot carry aircraft.
If you were military it's not a boat it's a ship. Even I know that and I was never in the navy, my father was but I wasn't


Is it true that sailors have to share beds, and when one is working, another person is sleeping in that same bed (I suppose so for a sub, but what about bigger ships, like an aircraft carrier)?

That used to be the case in subs only. No other boat do that. I don't believe Subs do it any longer.


Subs always use shared bunks due to the small space they crew has for sleeping. Matter of fact some lower class crew are sometimes known to sleep in the engine room.
[/QUOTE]How do officers address enlisted/NCO's?

like another enlisted[QUOTE]

The officers address enlisted personell by their rank and last name.

Jamesaritchie
09-19-2005, 07:15 PM
Yep, there are numerous boats in the Navy, but the big boys are all ships. You need to know which is which, and get it right in fiction.

LV Dutton
09-20-2005, 12:17 AM
Yep, there are numerous boats in the Navy, but the big boys are all ships. You need to know which is which, and get it right in fiction.

THEY AREN'T BOATS.

I assume you know the difference between a boat and a ship, a boat is something about the size of a yacht, a ship is bigger than a tugboat. Ya know like an attack cruiser, a battleship, carrier. Those are ships, not BOATS.

All the items in the navy beside the subs are SHIPS, not boats SHIPS

Carole
09-20-2005, 06:50 AM
Funny. My ex was active in the navy for years & years and is still in the reserves. I have heard him and all of the guys he ever worked that I knew call them boats on numerous occasions, including the Eisenhower where he spent an AWFUL lot of time. I think everyone is aware that it is a type of slang.

LV Dutton
09-20-2005, 07:46 AM
Funny. My ex was active in the navy for years & years and is still in the reserves. I have heard him and all of the guys he ever worked that I knew call them boats on numerous occasions, including the Eisenhower where he spent an AWFUL lot of time. I think everyone is aware that it is a type of slang.

Could be possible, my dad spent 25 years in the Navy, and he's always called them ships even got pissy when people called them boats. I guess it's cause of his age. He spent part of his time in Nam so I guess that kinda does it to ya. He served on the Kitty Hawk and Retired on the Acadia.

Birol
09-20-2005, 09:58 AM
I made the mistake of calling a ship a boat once. Ending up with my father's old Bluejacket's Manual as a result. Was required to read the definition of a ship and a boat out loud and memorize it.

A boat is anything which can be lifted onto and carried upon a ship.

That's the definition I was required to memorize, anyway.

xNight Wraithx
09-27-2005, 11:40 PM
I am currently enlisted in the Navy so any questions you might have I can either answer or find the answer to.