The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and comprises the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). King George V bestowed the title of "Merchant Navy" on the British merchant shipping fleets following their service in the First World War; a number of other nations have since adopted the title.
|British Merchant Navy|
Scillonian III, as seen from the air, halfway between St Mary's and Penzance
|Country||United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Channel Islands|
The Merchant Navy has been in existence for a significant period in British history, owing much of its growth to British imperial expansion. It can be dated back to the 17th century, where an attempt was made to register all seafarers as a source of labour for the Royal Navy in times of conflict. That registration of merchant seafarers failed, and it was not successfully implemented until 1835. The merchant fleet grew over successive years to become the world's foremost merchant fleet, benefiting considerably from trade with British possessions in India and the Far East. The lucrative trade in sugar, contraband (opium to China), spices and tea (carried by ships such as the Cutty Sark) helped to solidify this dominance in the 19th century.
In the First and Second World Wars, the merchant service suffered heavy losses from German U-boat attacks. A policy of unrestricted warfare meant that merchant seafarers were at risk of attack from enemy ships. The tonnage lost to U-boats in the First World War was around 7,759,090 tons, and around 14,661 merchant seafarers were killed. In honour of the sacrifice made by merchant seafarers in the First World War, George V granted the title "Merchant Navy" to the companies.
In 1928 George V made Edward, Prince of Wales "Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets"; a title he retained after his accession in January 1936 and relinquished only at his abdication that December. Since Edward VIII the title has automatically been held by the sovereigns George VI and Elizabeth II. When the UK entered the Second World War in September 1939 George VI issued this message:
In these anxious days I would like to express to all Officers and Men and in The British Merchant Navy and The British Fishing Fleets my confidence in their unfailing determination to play their vital part in defence. To each one I would say: Yours is a task no less essential to my people's experience than that allotted to the Navy, Army and Air Force. Upon you the Nation depends for much of its foodstuffs and raw materials and for the transport of its troops overseas. You have a long and glorious history, and I am proud to bear the title "Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets". I know that you will carry out your duties with resolution and with fortitude, and that high chivalrous traditions of your calling are safe in your hands. God keep you and prosper you in your great task.
In the Second World War, German U-boats sank nearly 14.7 million tons of Allied shipping, which amounted to 2,828 ships (around two thirds of the total allied tonnage lost). The United Kingdom alone suffered the loss of 11.7 million tons, which was 54% of the total Merchant Navy fleet at the outbreak of the Second World War. 32,000 merchant seafarers were killed aboard convoy vessels in the war, but along with the Royal Navy, the convoys successfully imported enough supplies to allow an Allied victory.
In honour of the sacrifices made in the two World Wars, the Merchant Navy lays wreaths of remembrance alongside the armed forces in the annual Remembrance Day service on 11 November. Following many years of lobbying to bring about official recognition of the sacrifices made by merchant seafarers in two world wars and since, Merchant Navy Day became an official day of remembrance on 3 September 2000.
|RN rank||Deck Department||Engine Room Department||Catering Department|
|Commander||Master (over 10,000 tons)||Chief Engineer (over 10,000 tons)|
|Lieutenant-Commander||Master (2,501-10,000 tons or up to 2,500 tons if home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship)
First Mate (over 10,000 tons)
Surgeon (over 10,000 tons)
|Chief Engineer (2,501-10,000 tons or up to 2,500 tons if home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more)
Certificated Second Engineer (over 10,000 tons)
|Purser (Naval Auxiliary; over 10,000 tons or 2,501-10,000 tons if at least two assistant pursers carried)|
|Lieutenant||Master (up to 2,500 tons unless home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship or home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
First Mate (2,501-10,000 tons or up to 2,500 tons if home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship or Naval Auxiliary holding Master's Certificate)
Certificated Second Mate (over 10,000 tons or Naval Auxiliary over 30 holding Master's Certificate)
Certificated Third Mate (Naval Auxiliary; over 10,000 tons holding Master's Certificate)
Surgeon (up to 10,000 tons)
|Chief Engineer (up to 2,500 tons unless home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Second Engineer (2,501-10,000 tons or up to 2,500 tons if home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship)
Certificated Third Engineer (over 10,000 tons)
Certificated Chief Refrigerating Engineer (holding 1st Class Certificate)
Chief (or only) Electrician (cable ship or if 4 or more electricians carried)
|Purser (over 10,000 tons or Naval Auxiliary 2,501-10,000 tons if at least one assistant purser carried)|
Senior Assistant Purser (Naval Auxiliary; over 10,000 tons or 2,501-10,000 tons if 3 or more pursers carried)
|Sub-Lieutenant||Certificated Master (home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
First Mate (up to 2,500 tons unless home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship or home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Second Mate (up to 10,000 tons unless home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Third Mate (except home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Junior Mate (except home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Radio Officer or Wireless Telegraphist (3 or more years' service)
|Certificated Chief Engineer (home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Chief Engineer (Naval Auxiliary; commissioned rescue tug if not holding First Engineer's Certificate)
Certificated Second Engineer (up to 2,500 tons unless home trade passenger ship of speed 15 knots or more or cable ship or home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Third Engineer (up to 10,000 tons unless home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Fourth Engineer (except home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Junior Engineer (except home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Certificated Chief Refrigerating Engineer (holding 2nd Class Certificate)
Certificated Refrigerating Engineer
Chief Electrician (except cable ship)
Second Electrician (Naval Auxiliary; ship carrying 4 or more electricians)
Electrician (cable ship also carrying Chief Electrician)
Certificated Boilermaker (Naval Auxiliary; 8,000 tons or over)
Purser (2,501-10,000 tons)
|Acting Sub-Lieutenant||Uncertificated Mate (Naval Auxiliary)||Uncertificated Engineer (Naval Auxiliary)
Uncertificated Refrigerating Engineer (Naval Auxiliary)
Chief (or only) Electrician (Naval Auxiliary; if only 1 or 2 electricians carried)
Second Electrician (Naval Auxiliary; if up to 3 electricians carried)
Electrician (Naval Auxiliary)
Certificated Boilermaker (Naval Auxiliary; below 8,000 tons)
|Warrant Officer||Uncertificated Master (home trade cargo ship up to 500 tons)
Uncertificated Mate (except home trade cargo ship up to 500 tons)
Mate (home trade cargo ship 501-1,000 tons)
Radio Officer or Wireless Telegraphist (1–3 years' service or Naval Auxiliary less than 3 years' service)
Cable Foreman (cable ship)
|Uncertificated Chief Engineer (home trade cargo ship up to 1,000 tons)
Uncertificated Engineer (except home trade cargo ship up to 500 tons)
Engineer (home trade cargo ship 501-1,000 tons)
Electrician (except cable ship)
|Purser (up to 2,500 tons)|
Chief Steward (passenger ship 2,501-10,000 tons if Purser also carried or passenger ship up to 2,500 tons or cable ship or Naval Auxiliary cargo ship over 10,000 tons)
|Midshipman||Deck Apprentice or Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; 3 or more years' service)
Radio Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; over 1 year's service)
|Engineering Apprentice or Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; 3 or more years' service)|
|Cadet||Deck Apprentice or Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; less than 3 years' service)
Radio Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; up to 1 year's service)
|Engineering Apprentice or Cadet (Naval Auxiliary; less than 3 years' service)|
|Chief Petty Officer||Mate (home trade cargo ship up to 500 tons)
Radio Officer or Wireless Telegraphist (less than 1 year's service)
Deck Apprentice or Cadet
Cable Jointer (cable ship)
Assistant Cable Foreman (cable ship)
|Engineer (home trade cargo ship up to 500 tons)
Uncertificated Boilermaker (Naval Auxiliary)
Engineering Apprentice or Cadet
Chief Fireman or Stoker
|Chief Steward (cargo ship)|
|Petty Officer||Boatswain's Mate
First Leading Fireman
Leading Hand Diesel
Catering Storekeeper 1st Class
Seaman Cable Jointer (cable ship)
Cable Engine Driver (cable ship)
Leading Fireman or Stoker
Assistant Engineroom Storekeeper
|Second Cook (and Baker)|
|Able Seaman||Able Seaman
Seaman Cable Hand (cable ship)
|Fireman or Stoker
Cleaner and Wiper
|Assistant Catering Storekeeper|
Despite maintaining its dominant position for many decades, the decline of the British Empire, the rise of the use of the flag of convenience, and foreign competition led to the decline of the merchant fleet. For example, in 1939 the Merchant Navy was the largest in the world with 33% of total tonnage. By 2012, the Merchant Navy — yet still remaining one of the largest in the world — held only 3% of total tonnage.
In 2010 the Merchant Navy consisted of 504 UK registered ships of 1,000 gross tonnage (GT) or over. In addition, UK merchant marine interests possessed a further 308 ships registered in other countries and 271 foreign-owned ships were registered in the UK.
In 2012 British merchant marine interests consisted of 1,504 ships of 100 GRT or over. This included ships either directly UK-owned, parent-owned or managed by a British company. This amounted to: 59,413,000 GT or alternatively 75,265,000 DWT. This is according to the annual maritime shipping statistics provided by the British Government and the Department for Transport.
As a signatory to the STCW Convention UK ships are commanded by Deck Officers and Engineering Officers. Officers undergo 3 years of training, known as a cadetship at one of the approved maritime colleges in the United Kingdom. These include Warsash Maritime Academy, South Tyneside College, Fleetwood, Plymouth University and City of Glasgow College. Cadets usually have a choice of two academic routes; Foundation Degree or Higher National Diploma. Successful completion of this results in a qualification in marine operations or marine engineering. Generally the costs of a cadetship will be met by sponsorship from a UK shipping company. During the three years of training, cadets also go to sea, for a period of a year or more, usually spread across the cadetship. This affords a practical education, that along with the academic time in college prepares a candidate for a separate and final oral exam. This oral exam is carried out with a Master Mariner at an office of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Successful completion of the oral exam will result in the award of a certificate of competency. This is the international qualification, issued by the UK government which allows an Officer to work in their qualified capacity onboard a ship. Certificates are issued for different ranks and as such an Officer will usually return to complete a subsequent series of studies until they reach the highest qualification.
The first UK Deck Officer certificates of competency were issued in 1845, conducted then, as now, by a final oral exam with a Master Mariner. The training regime for Officers is set out in the official syllabus of the Merchant Navy Training Board. This training still encompasses all of the traditional trades such as celestial navigation, ship stability, general cargo and seamanship, but now includes training in business, legislation, law, and computerisation for deck officers and marine engineering principles, workshop technology, steam propulsion, motor (diesel) propulsion, auxiliaries, mechanics, thermodynamics, engineering drawing, ship construction, marine electrics as well as practical workshop training for engineering officers.
Historically a person wishing to become a captain, or master prior to about 1973, had five choices: to attend one of the three elite naval schools from the age of 12, the fixed-base HMS Conway and HMS Worcester or Pangbourne Nautical College, which would automatically lead to an apprenticeship as a seagoing cadet officer; apply to one of several training programmes elsewhere; or go to sea immediately by applying directly to a merchant shipping company at about age 17. Then there would be three years (with prior training or four years without) of seagoing experience aboard ship, in work-clothes and as mates with the deck crew, under the direction of the bo'sun cleaning bilges, chipping paint, polishing brass, cement washing freshwater tanks, and holystoning teak decks, and studying navigation and seamanship on the bridge in uniform, under the direction of an officer, before taking exams to become a second mate.
Historically, the composition of the crew on UK ships was diverse. This was a characteristic of the extant of the shipping companies trade, the extent of the British Empire and the availability of crew in different ports. One ship might have a largely all British crew, while another might have a crew composed of many Indians, Chinese or African sailors. Crews from outside Britain were usually drawn from areas in which the ship traded, so Far East trading ships had either Singapore or Hong Kong crews, banana boats had West Indian crews, ships trading to West Africa and Southern Africa had African crews and ships trading to the Indian Ocean (including East Africa) had crews from the Indian subcontinent. Crews made up of recruits from Britain itself were commonly used on ships trading across the North Atlantic, to South America and to Australia and New Zealand. Traditionally and still now, the ships crew is run by the Bosun, as overseen by a responsible Deck Officer, usually the Chief Mate. A ship may also have different sub-departments, such as the galley, radio department or hospitality services, overseen by a Chief Cook, Radio Officer or Chief Steward. Many of these roles have now changed, as ships crews have become smaller in commercial shipping. On most ships the Radio department has disappeared, along with the Radio Officer (colloquially known as 'sparks') replaced by changes in technology and the requirement under the STCW Convention for Deck Officers to hold individual certification in the GMDSS System. Electro-technical Officers (ETO) also serve aboard some ships and are trained to fix and maintain the more complex systems.
A number of notable Merchant Navy personnel include:
Members of the UK Merchant Navy have been awarded the Victoria Cross, George Cross, George Medal, Distinguished Service Order, and Distinguished Service Cross for their actions while serving in the Merchant Navy. Canadian Philip Bent, ex-British Merchant Navy, joined the British Army at the outbreak of World War I and won the Victoria Cross. Members of the Merchant Navy who served in either World War also received relevant campaign medals.
In the Second World War many Merchant Navy members received the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Lloyd's of London awarded the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea to 541 Merchant Navy personnel for their bravery in 1939–45. Many Royal Humane Society medals and awards have been conferred on Merchant Navy seafarers for acts of humanity in both war and peacetime.
"to those who are serving or have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others."
It is the first state award for meritorious service in the history of the Merchant Navy. Recipients must be nominated by someone other than themselves, with at least two written letters of support and are normally required to have completed 20 years service in the Merchant Navy (although in exceptional circumstances it may less).
The British Merchant Navy consists of various private shipping companies. Over the decades many companies have come and gone, merged, changed their name or changed owners. British Shipping is represented nationally and globally by the UK Chamber of Shipping, headquartered in London.
Below is a list of some of the British shipping companies, past and present:
|American and Indian Line; Bucknall Steamship Lines|
|Australind Steam Navigation Company|
|Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company (Shell Tankers), now Royal Dutch Shell|
|Atlantic Steam Navigation Company|
|Blue Anchor Line|
|Blue Funnel Line (Alfred Holt)|
|Blue Star Line|
|Booth Steamship Company|
|Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.|
|Bowker and King|
|British and African Steam Navigation Company|
|British and Burmese Steam Navigation Company|
|British India Steam Navigation Company|
|British Tanker Company|
|Thos & Jno Brocklebank Ltd|
|Bullard, King and Company, including Natal Direct Line|
|Burns and Laird Lines|
|Byron Marine Ltd|
|Cairns, Noble and Company|
|Caledonian MacBrayne, formerly Caledonian Steam Packet Company and David MacBrayne|
|P & A Campbell|
|The China Navigation Company|
|Clyde Shipping Company|
|William Cory and Son|
|Counties Ship Management|
|*Currie Line – Leith|
|Denholm Line Steamers|
|Donaldson Atlantic Line|
|Dundee, Perth and London Shipping Company|
|Eagle Oil and Shipping Company|
|Elder Dempster Lines, including Glen Line and Shire Line|
|Ellerman Lines, including many companies taken over|
|Evan Thomas Radcliffe|
|Federal Steam Navigation Company|
|Fisher, Renwick Manchester – London Steamers|
|Fletcher Shipping Ltd.|
|GATX-Owego Steam Navigation Company|
|General Steam Navigation Company|
|Global Marine Systems, previously Cable & Wireless Marine and British Telecom Marine|
|Harrison Line (T&J Harrison)|
|Harrison Clyde Ltd Woodside Crescent Glasgow|
|Head Line Ulster Steamship Co. Ltd. – Belfast|
|P Henderson and Company|
|JP Henry and MacGregor – Leith|
|Houlder Brothers and Company (Houlder Line)|
|RP Houston and Company (Houston Line)|
|Indo-China Steam Navigation Company Ltd.|
|Isle of Man Steam Packet Company|
|Isles of Scilly Steamship Company|
|Lamport and Holt|
|London & Overseas Freighters|
|Mississippi and Dominion Steamship Company (Dominion Line)|
|North of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland Steam Navigation Company|
|North Star Shipping|
|Ocean Steam Navigation Company (White Star Line)|
|Orient Steam Navigation Company (Anderson, Green and Company)|
|Pacific Steam Navigation Company|
|Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O)|
|Port Line, formerly the Commonwealth and Dominion Line|
|Red Funnel Line|
|Ropner Shipping Company|
|Royal Mail Steam Packet Company|
|Sealink, its immediate predecessors the Great Western Railway, LMS, LNER, Southern Railway and many of their antecedents|
|Scottish Shire Line|
|Shaw, Savill & Albion Line|
|Shell International Shipping Services|
|Stephenson Clarke Shipping|
|Townsend Brothers Ferries, later Townsend Thoresen|
|Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Company|
|United Africa Company|
|United Baltic Corporation|
|Wandsworth and District Gas Company|
|Andrew Weir and Company|
In 1928 King George V announced that, in recognition of its service and sacrifice, it would henceforth be known as the Merchant Navy
A boatswain ( BOH-sən, formerly and dialectally also BOHT-swayn), bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun, also known as a Petty Officer or a qualified member of the deck department, is the seniormost rate of the deck department and is responsible for the components of a ship's hull. The boatswain supervises the other members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews. Additional duties vary depending upon ship, crew, and circumstances.CP Ships
CP Ships was a large Canadian shipping company established in the 19th century. From the late 1880s until after World War II, the company was Canada's largest operator of Atlantic and Pacific steamships. Many immigrants travelled on CP ships from Europe to Canada. The sinking of the steamship RMS Empress of Ireland during World War I was the largest maritime disaster in Canadian history. The company provided Canadian Merchant Navy vessels in World Wars I and II. Twelve vessels were lost due to enemy action in World War II including the largest ship sunk by a German U-boat, RMS Empress of Britain.
The company moved to a model of container shipping from passenger, freight and mail service in the 1960s due to competitive pressure from the airline industry. The company was a part of the Canadian Pacific Ltd. conglomerate. It was spun out as a separate company in 2001. In 2005, it was purchased by TUI AG and is now part of the company's Hapag-Lloyd division.
The Atlantic and Pacific passenger liners of Canadian Pacific were always British-flagged and largely British-manned and were not part of the Canadian Merchant Marine, ownership being with the British-registered Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. subsidiary.Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter ship is a merchant ship that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year, handling the bulk of international trade. Cargo ships are usually specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Today, they are almost always built by welded steel, and with some exceptions generally have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years before being scrapped.List of merchant navy capacity by country
List of merchant navy capacity by flag is a list of the world foremost fleets of registered trading vessels ranked in both gross tonnage (GT) and deadweight tonnage (DWT) sorted by flag state. The table is based on the annual maritime shipping statistics provided by the British Government and the Department for Transport. It is complete and correct for the year ending 2012. Statistics are published on an annual basis every September.
While countries such as Panama may appear to possess a large merchant navy, this is a result of much of it being managed by foreign overseas companies (such as those based in the United States). This is known as flag of convenience.
For example, although the United Kingdom's merchant navy totals 30.0 million GT and 40.7 million DWT in shipping, actual UK merchant navy interests worldwide consists of 59.4 million GT and 75.2 million DWT in shipping. This largely includes the merchant navies of British Overseas Territories and UK merchant navy interests in former colonies.List of notable surviving veterans of World War II
This is a list of notable surviving veterans of World War II (1939–1945).Lists of ships
This is a list of the lists of ships on Wikipedia - a meta-list. It is not intended to hold details of any individual ship within this meta-list.MV Maersk Rapier
MV Maersk Rapier is a commercial product tanker owned by the A.P. Moller–Maersk Group and chartered to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MoD). The vessel serves as the primary strategic link for the collection and transportation of purchased fuel from oil refineries to British and NATO fuel depots.Maritime and Coastguard Agency
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.Its responsibilities include coordinating search and rescue (SAR) on the coastline and at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG), ensuring that ships meet international and UK safety standards, monitoring and preventing coastal water pollution and testing and issuing Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency (licences) for ships' officers and crew to STCW requirements. The organisation is led by Brian Johnson The MCA are chiefly responsible for the syllabus and national training standards issued by the Merchant Navy Training Board (based at the UK Chamber of Shipping).The MCA has three distinct "outward facing" elements - provision of search and rescue and prevention activity through Her Majesty's Coastguard, port and flag state control of shipping through a network of Marine Offices and the development of international standards and policy for shipping through the International Maritime Organization.
The MCA has now established an automatic identification system (AIS) network around the UK coast, for real-time tracking and monitoring of shipping movements from the shore.
Its motto is "Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas".Michael Fitzgerald Page
Michael Fitzgerald Page (AM) (born 2 February 1922) is a British-born Australian writer, editor, advertising executive, world war two veteran and merchant sailor. For his "services to the book publishing industry and to literature as a writer, and through the encouragement and support of upcoming Australian authors" he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999.Ratings in the Merchant Navy (United Kingdom)
The following equivalent ratings in the Merchant Navy were those officially recognised by the National Maritime Board for British Merchant Navy ocean-going cargo vessels carrying up to six passengers in 1919, 1943, and 1964. They are listed in ascending order of seniority.
"Mixed" crew refers to crews that consisted of both white and non-white (African or Asian) members, as was common on British-registered ships, which often had white officers and (sometimes) petty officers, and non-white crew. These tables would probably only have related to white ratings. However, for these purposes, non-white ratings of European, American, or West Indian origin would probably have been considered "white".Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a naval auxiliary fleet owned by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. Its purpose is to support the Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment at sea (RAS). It also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel, as well as supporting training exercises, and engaging in anti-piracy, anti-drug smuggling, and humanitarian operations.
The RFA counts an Aviation Training ship/Hospital Ship and landing vessels amongst its assets. RFA personnel are employees of the Ministry of Defence, and since 2003, special members of the Royal Naval Reserve deemed sponsored reserves, which are civilians who must be part of the Armed Forces in some capacity, in order to carry out specialist civilian jobs in a military capacity. Although RFA officers wear Merchant Navy rank insignia with naval uniforms, they are classed as a part of the naval service and are under naval discipline when the vessel is engaged on warlike operations. RFA vessels are commanded and crewed by these officers and ratings, augmented with regular and reserve Royal Navy personnel to perform specialised military functions such as operating and maintaining helicopters or providing hospital facilities. Royal Navy personnel are also needed to operate certain weapons, such as the Phalanx, however other weapons (such as the GPMG, Oerlikon 20 mm cannon, 30mm cannon and the 7.62 minigun) are operated by RFA personnel.September
September is the ninth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the third of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the fourth of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere September is the seasonal equivalent of March in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological autumn is on 1 September. In the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological spring is on 1 September.
September marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is the start of the academic year in many countries, in which children go back to school after the summer break, sometimes on the first day of the month.
September (from Latin septem, "seven") was originally the seventh of ten months on the oldest known Roman calendar, with March (Latin Martius) the first month of the year until perhaps as late as 153 BC. After the calendar reform that added January and February to the beginning of the year, September became the ninth month, but retained its name. It had 29 days until the Julian reform, which added a day.
Ancient Roman observances for September include Ludi Romani, originally celebrated from September 12 to September 14, later extended to September 5 to September 19. In the 1st century BC, an extra day was added in honor of the deified Julius Caesar on 4 September. Epulum Jovis was held on September 13. Ludi Triumphales was held from September 18–22. The Septimontium was celebrated in September, and on December 11 on later calendars. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. In the British Empire that year, September 2 was immediately followed by September 14.
September was called "harvest month" in Charlemagne's calendar. September corresponds partly to the Fructidor and partly to the Vendémiaire of the first French republic.
On Usenet, it is said that September 1993 (Eternal September) never ended. September is called Herbstmonat, harvest month, in Switzerland. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Gerstmonath, barley month, that crop being then usually harvested.Standing Royal Navy deployments
Standing Royal Navy deployments is a list of operations and commitments undertaken by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy on a worldwide basis. The following list details these commitments and deployments sorted by region and in alphabetical order. Routine deployments made by the Navy's nuclear-powered submarines and their location of operations is classified.USS Mercury (AK-42)
USS Mercury (AK-42) was a cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering necessary goods and equipment to ships and stations in the war zone.United States Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine refers to either United States civilian mariners, or to U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners and the merchant vessels are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, and engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine primarily transports cargo and passengers during peacetime; in times of war, the Merchant Marine can be an auxiliary to the United States Navy, and can be called upon to deliver military personnel and materiel for the military. Merchant Marine officers may also be commissioned as military officers by the Department of Defense. This is commonly achieved by commissioning unlimited tonnage Merchant Marine officers as Strategic Sealift Officers in the Naval Reserves.Merchant mariners move cargo and passengers between nations and within the United States, and operate and maintain deep-sea merchant ships, tugboats, towboats, ferries, dredges, excursion vessels, charter boats and other waterborne craft on the oceans, the Great Lakes, rivers, canals, harbors, and other waterways.As of October 1, 2018, the United States merchant fleet had 181 privately owned, oceangoing, self-propelled vessels of 1,000 gross register tons and above that carry cargo from port to port. Nearly 800 American-owned ships are flagged in other nations.The federal government maintains fleets of merchant ships via organizations such as Military Sealift Command (part of the US Navy) and the National Defense Reserve Fleet, which is managed by the United States Maritime Administration. In 2004, the federal government employed approximately 5% of all American water transportation workers.In the 19th and 20th centuries, various laws fundamentally changed the course of American merchant shipping. These laws put an end to common practices such as flogging and shanghaiing, and increased shipboard safety and living standards. The United States Merchant Marine is also governed by more than 25 (as of February 17, 2017) international conventions to promote safety and prevent pollution.P.L. 95–202, approved November 23, 1977, granted veteran status to Women Airforce Service Pilots and "any person in any other similarly situated group" with jurisdiction for determination given to the Secretary of Defense who delegated that determination to the Secretary of the Air Force. Although the Merchant Marine suffered a per capita casualty rate greater than those of the US Armed Forces, merchant mariners who served in World War II were denied such veterans recognition until 1988 when a federal court ordered it. The Court held that "the Secretary of the Air Force abused its discretion in denying active military service recognition to American merchant seamen who participated in World War II."