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aafsf
    Amphibious assault fuel supply facility.
aam
    Anti-aircraft missile.
abergele apparition
    For centuries, and as recently as may 2008, people claim to have seen an antique ship sailing along the coast off abergale in wales. eyewitness reports are strikingly similar. for example, on 31st...
who said his grandfather told him
    white people formerly inhabited the country ... called welsh, they had crossed the great water and landed first near the mouth of the alabama river.
abfs
    Amphibious bulk fuel system.
absent without leave
    Unauthorized absence from the place of duty. (former usn terminology was absent without official leave, and its acronym was often used verbally and pronounced a-wol.)
abyssal hills
    A tract of small elevations on the floor of the abyss.
abyssal plain
    The flat, deep ocean floor. it is almost featureless because a thick layer of sediment covers the hills and valleys of the ocean basin below it.
accident boat
    A small boat kept swung out for rapid lowering in the event of a person overboard. also rescue boat.
accouterments
    Equipment other than clothing and weapons.
ace high
    Usn designation of a tropospheric forward- scatter communications system. acey-deucey: a board game similar to backgammon, popular in the usn.
acockbill
    Describes [1] an anchor hanging at the cathead ready to let go. [2] square-rig yards angled randomly as a sign of mourning. see also blue paint, mourning salute, yards apeak.
acoustic baffle
    Sonar arrays are extremely sensitive to underwater noise and have to be protected from propeller cavitation, wake disturbance, machinery noise, and other sounds generated by the vessel. to this en...
acoustic mine
    Device which is detonated by sound waves such as those generated by a ships propellers.
acoustic torpedo
    A sound-guided torpedo passive versions home in on sounds emanating from the target; active versions rely on the reflected sound of their own emissions.
acoustic warfare
    [1] the use of underwater acoustic energy to search for, locate, intercept, record, analyze, and exploit hostile radiated acoustic energy. [2] to mount countermeasures that prevent or impede enemy...
action information center
    See combat information center. action stations!: rn call for the ships company to go to battle positions (cf. general quarters).
active endeavor
    The mission of natos operation active endeavour is to intercept, escort, protect, disrupt and deter criminal activity that may support terrorist activities. navies from germany, greece, italy, ne...
active list
    Rn document recording officers on active duty.
active sonar
    Anti-submarine technologies that emit pulses of sound (known as pings) into the ocean, and then listen for reflections (echoes) in order to paint a snapshot picture of all objects within their r...
addled
    [1] in common language, to be muddled, confused, or rotten. [2] obsolete, seamans term for fresh water that had gone putrid in the cask. from old english adela = filth.
adjacent zone
    Waters immediately beyond territorial limits over which a nation claims customs enforcement or fishing rights.
adjustable pitch
    Ability to alter the pitch of an aerial or marine propeller to improve efficiency and to increase or decrease speed. also controllable pitch, and more fully described under variable pitch.
administrative shipping
    Support vessels capable of transporting troops and cargo from origin to destination, but that cannot be loaded or unloaded without non-organic personnel and/or equipment (e.g., cargo handling pers...
administrative weapons specialist
    Usn enlisted derogatory slang for a yeoman or other sailor with purely administrative duties. not usually used when the sailor in question has a regular warfare or weapons qualification.
admiral of the fleet
    This british rank probably originated in the middle ages, but the first recorded appointment was in 1690. when the royal navy was divided into three squadrons (see admirals in the royal navy) the ...
admiral of the navy
    This united states navy rank, generally considered to be six-star equivalent, was created specifically for admiral george dewey by act of congress in march 1903, with the proviso that it would exi...
admiral popov
    The first of two extraordinary russian warships built in the 1870s to the revolutionary circular design of vice-admiral a. a. popov. the 3,533-ton vessel was completely round, armed with two 12-in...
admirals in the royal navy
    The first english admiral is believed to have been william de leyburn, appointed by king edward i in 1297 with the title admiral of the sea of the king of england. the subordinate positions of vic...
admirals in the united states navy
    Having just overthrown a monarchy, and being imbued with ideals of equality, congress was initially reluctant to introduce the title of admiral which it felt would create an aristocracy of the se...
admiralship
    The combination of character traits and professional skills that allows a naval commander to develop successful strategies and tactics.
admiralty sweep
    A wide, cautious turn, made to come alongside another vessel or a jetty.
admonitions, reprimands, and cautions
    These are non-punitive disciplinary actions that highlight minor wrongdoings, the only difference being degree of censure. a reprimand is the more severe and a caution the least. records of admoni...
aegis
    A highly automated shipborne combat weapons control system. modern anti-ship missiles, coordinated to arrive simultaneously on a designated target, can be launched from air, surface, and submarine...
aeo
    Aircraft engineering officer [rn].
aerofoil
    A surface designed to produce lift when air passes over it. aircraft wings and propellers, and helicopter blades are examples. also airfoil.
aerography
    Usn term for weather forecasting.
afloat prepositioning
    Refers to the forward deployment near a potential crisis area, or to support amphibious operationsof merchantmen tacticallyloaded with equipment, supplies, and ammunition.
afoul
    Entangled.
aft/after
    At or towards the back of a vessel. in nautical terminology, aft is an adverb and after is an adjective as in let us go aft to the after cabin.
after ladder
    Stairs leading to a sailing ships officers quarters and only used by them.
afterguard
    [1] sailing warship term for seamen and landsmen assigned to sail-handling on poop and quarterdeck. [2] term for the owner, captain, or navigator of a yacht. [3] infrequently used to refer to a me...
afternoon effect
    Reduction in sonar effectiveness caused by the sun warming the sea surface.
age of sail
    This term could be considered an oxymoron, since ships with sails have existed from pre-history to the present day. however, a eurocentric view holds that the great age of sail began in the mid...
age of tide
    The time lapse between a transit of the moon and the resultant tide. also retard of tide.
aghulas current
    A current that flows through the mozambique channel to the aghulas bank and then southward.
agonic line
    A line on the earths surface connecting points of zero magnetic variation.
aguardiente
    [1] in spain and portugal, an inferior brandy, often supplied to british warships before rum became standard issue. [2] in spanish america, a coarse, potent liquor, based on sugar cane and sometim...
aiguillettes
    Ornamental braided loops or cords worn as identification by aides-de-camp, the style designating the rank or status of their principals.
air and naval gunfire liaison company
    A group of u.s. naval and marine personnel that controls naval gunfire and close air support from an amphibious beachhead. air bedding!: command to bring bedding on deck for exposure to sun and wi...
air boss
    The watchkeeper responsible for safe operations on an aircraft carriers flight deck, including the placement of aircraft, operation of catapults and arresting gear, and firefighting when required...
air burst
    A nuclear explosion high enough to avoid interaction with ground or water, thereby reducing fallout.
air capable
    Said of a vessel that can launch or land aircraft or provide them with logistic support. may be equipped with cranes for seaplane recovery, or have a landing pad from which helicopters or v/stol a...
air course
    A longitudinal ventilation channel running along the side of a wooden sailing vessel to prevent mildew and rot of frames and planking.
air cover
    The use of military aircraft to provide protection against attack by enemy aircraft during ground or naval operations.
air cushion vessel
    See ground-effect vessel.
air frame
    The structural components of an aircraft, excluding its engines.
air independent propulsion
    Before the advent of nuclear power, submariners were eager to free their boats from the need to surface or use snorkels to access the atmospheric oxygen demanded by the internal combustion engines...
air traffic controller
    Naval air traffic controllers perform duties similar to those of civilian counterparts and play a key role in the effective use of naval airpower. they may be enlisted/ratings, or limited duty com...
airdale
    Usn slang for a naval aviator. also airedale.
alaska current
    A counter-clockwise current that follows the coast of canada to alaska.
albatrosses
    There are many varieties of this member of the petrel family including the mollymawk and wandering albatross. the latter is the largest of all flying birds, with a wingspan of up to five meters (1...
aldis lamp
    A hand-held morse code signaling device used by ships and aircraft. alectons monster: in november 1861, cruising off the canary islands, under sail with her auxiliary propulsion machinery silent,...
aleutian current
    An easterly-flowing north pacific current that divides to form the north-flowing alaska current and the south-flowing california current.
alist
    Leaning to one side, listing.
all balls
    Usn enlisted slang for an all-male crew.
alleyway
    British merchant navy term for a ships interior corridor. the rn uses alley and the usn term is passageway (see burma road and ships versus houses).
;
alnav
    Usn prefix indicating the following message applies to all naval personnel.
alongside replenishment
    Since world war ii, the most common method of replenishment at sea. the supply ship holds a steady course, the receiving ship comes alongside and conforms to the others speed. a messenger line is...
alphabets
    See phonetic alphabet, signal flags, and tables 8 and 11.
amain
    An archaic term meaning with full force, at once, or suddenly.
american bureau of shipping
    Founded in 1862 and based in houston, texas, with regional offices in london, singapore, and dubai, abs is one of the big three in ship classification, the others being lloyds register and det ...
amphibious assault
    An operation in which an attack is launched from seaward against a hostile shore. after marines or sea-transported soldiers have secured a beachhead, the attack becomes a conventional military gro...
amphibious demonstration
    An amphibious operation conducted as a feint to deceive enemy forces and divert them away from other operations.
amphibious flagship
    During world war ii, wanting to remove tactical force commanders and their staffs from overcrowded combat ships, the usn converted a number of merchantmen and naval vessels to serve as floating co...
amphibious lift
    The carrying capacity of assault shipping assigned to an amphibious operation, expressed in terms of personnel, vehicles, and weight (or measurement) of supplies.
amphibious operation
    A military operation that uses the flexibility and mobility of water transport to launch (preferably surprise) assaults, raids, or demonstrations from ships at sea against hostile or potentially h...