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Naval Vessel Register

Naval Vessel Register

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The Naval Vessel Register (NVR) is the official inventory of ships and service craft in custody of or titled by the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. It contains information on ships and service craft that make up the official inventory of the Navy from the time a vessel is authorized through its life cycle and disposal. It also includes ships that have been removed from the register (often termed stricken or struck), but not disposed of by sale, transfer to another government, or other means. Ships and service craft disposed of prior to 1987 are currently not included, but are gradually being added along with other updates.

The NVR traces its origin back to the 1880s, having evolved from several previous publications. In 1911, the Bureau of Construction and Repair
Bureau of Construction and Repair
The Bureau of Construction and Repair was the part of the United States Navy which from 1862 to 1940 was responsible for supervising the design, construction, conversion, procurement, maintenance, and repair of ships and other craft for the Navy...

 published "Ships Data US Naval Vessels", which subsequently became the "Ships Data Book" in 1952 under the Bureau of Ships
Bureau of Ships
The United States Navy's Bureau of Ships was established by Congress on June 20, 1940, by a law which consolidated the functions of the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Bureau of Engineering. The new Bureau was to be headed by a Chief and Deputy-Chief, one selected from the engineering...

. The Bureau of Ordnance
Bureau of Ordnance
The Bureau of Ordnance was the U.S. Navy's organization responsible for the procurement, storage, and deployment of all naval ordnance, between the years 1862 and 1959.-History:...

's "Vessel Register", first published in 1942 and retitled "Naval Vessel Register", was combined with the "Ships Data Book" under the Bureau of Ships in 1959.

Since 1962, the NVR has been maintained and published by the NAVSEA Shipbuilding Support Office (NAVSHIPSO) of the Naval Sea Systems Command
Naval Sea Systems Command
The Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the U.S. Navy's five "systems commands," or materiel organizations...

. Referred to by Congress in the statutes of , the NVR is maintained as directed by U.S. Navy Regulations, Article 0406, of September 14, 1990.

The vessels are listed in the NVR when the classification
Hull classification symbol
The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use hull classification symbols to identify their ship types and each individual ship within each type...

 and hull number
Hull number
Hull number is a serial identification number given to a boat or ship. A lower number implies an older vessel. The precise usage varies by country and type....

(s) are assigned to ships and service craft authorized to be built by the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, or when the Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

 requests instatement or reinstatement of vessels as approved by the Secretary of the Navy. Once listed, the ship or service craft remains in the NVR throughout its life as a Navy asset. Afterwards, its final disposition is recorded. Many vessels struck from the NVR are transferred to the Navy Inactive Fleet or to the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) to become part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet
National Defense Reserve Fleet
The National Defense Reserve Fleet consists of "mothballed" ships, mostly merchant vessels, that can be activated within 20 to 120 days to provide shipping for the United States of America during national emergencies, either military or non-military, such as commercial shipping crises.The NDRF is...

. Some continue limited operation in the Ready Reserve Fleet.

The NVR is updated weekly and now available only in electronic form and on-line. Over 6,500 separate record transactions are processed annually with each being supported by official documentation. The NVR includes a current list of ships and service craft on hand, under construction, converted, loaned/leased, or to be loaned, and those assigned to the Military Sealift Command
Military Sealift Command
The Military Sealift Command is a United States Navy organization that controls most of the replenishment and military transport ships of the Navy. It first came into existence on 9 July 1949 when the Military Sea Transportation Service became solely responsible for the Department of Defense's...

. Ship class, fleet assignment, name, age, home port, planning yard, custodian, hull and machinery characteristics, builder, key construction dates, battle forces, local defense and miscellaneous support forces, and status conditions are some of the data elements provided.

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