Formations dispositions screens and maneuvering rules
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MOBOARD Formations part 2 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Formations, Dispositions, Screens, and Maneuvering Rules Maneuvering Definitions Large ship - greater than 450 feet Small ship - less than 450 feet Formation - ordered arrangement of two or more ships or units proceeding together

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Maneuvering definitions l.jpg
Maneuvering Definitions

  • Large ship - greater than 450 feet

  • Small ship - less than 450 feet

  • Formation - ordered arrangement of two or more ships or units proceeding together

  • Disposition - ordered arrangement of two or more formations proceeding together

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Maneuvering Definitions

  • Main body - Principal ship of formation

  • Screen - arrangement of ships or ASW helicopters designed to protect the main body

  • Guide - ship on which other ships take station when forming or keep station when formed

  • Station - prescribed position of a ship in relation to the guide

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Maneuvering Definitions

  • OTC - Officer in Tactical Command

  • Standard distance - range between ships in a line depending on size

    • 1000 yards between large ships

    • 500 yards between small ships

    • 1000 yards between large and small ships

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  • Historically used as a cruising or battle formation

  • Advantages

    • Ease of station keeping, maneuvering, communications

  • Basic line formations:

    • Column (also column open order)

    • Line abreast (also loose line abreast)

    • Line of bearing (also loose line of bearing)

    • Diamond

  • See figure 6.1

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  • Formation of ships in single file

  • Usually front ship is guide

  • Advantages:

    • Useful for transiting restricted waters such as swept channel in mine field or narrow strait

  • Disadvantages:

    • Visual comms are difficult - signals must be passed ship to ship

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  • Column open order - Assists with visual comms

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Line Abreast

  • Ships are maneuvered in a line on either side of the guide

  • Advantages:

    • Useful for certain searches

  • Loose line abreast is used to relax station keeping


Line Abreast to Port

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Line of Bearing

  • Ships are maneuvered on either a true or relative direction from the guide (other than on bow, beam or stern)

  • Port or Starboard

  • May form a loose Line of Bearing


Line of bearing 250R

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Diamond Formation

  • Allows greater space between ships without making formation longer


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  • The movement of ships required to organize into line formations

  • Normally executed upon signal by OTC

  • Guide may automatically shift in some cases

  • Maneuvering signal pro-words

    • TURN

    • CORPEN

    • FORM

  • See figure 6.3

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  • All ships turn simultaneously

  • True bearings to other ships remain the same, relative bearings change

  • Visual signal

    • TURN pennant in conjunction with PORT or STBD flag to indicate direction of turn

    • Three numerals is course to steer

    • One or two numerals (0-18) indicated 10’s of degrees to turn

    • ANSWER pennant is used to indicate 5 degrees

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  • Examples

    • TURN PORT 3 ANSWER - turn 35 degrees to port

    • TURN STBD 290 - turn to course 290

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True bearing of 030 T to guide

True bearing of 030 T to guide

TURN from a Line Formation

Before maneuver

After maneuver

Column formation

Line of Bearing

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  • Wheeling - formation course is changed without altering arrangement of ships

  • Relative bearings to other ships remain the same, true bearings change

  • Visual signals

    • CORPEN pennant in conjunction with PORT or STBD flag to indicate direction of turn

    • Same numeral rules as TURN

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  • A corpen may only be executed out of a column or line abreast (including column open order, loose line abreast, diamond)

  • Limitations:

    • Column - 180 degrees

    • Line abreast - 90 degrees

    • Diamond - 30 degrees

  • For column - follow in wake of the guide

  • For line abreast - wheel formation

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Relative bearing of 000 R to guide

Relative bearing of 000 R to guide

CORPEN - from a Column

Before maneuver

After maneuver

Column formation

Column formation

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Pivot ship

Relative bearing 270 R

Relative bearing 270 R to guide

CORPEN - from a Line Abreast

After maneuver

Before maneuver


shift of


Line Abreast to STBD

Line Abreast to PORT

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  • Used to change formation bearing without changing the formation course

  • Guide maintains formation course and remaining ships form on new line of bearing

  • Visual signal:

    • FORM pennant and three numerals indicate true line of bearing

    • FORM pennant PORT/ STBD and one or two numerals indicate relative line of bearing

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  • Examples:

    • FORM 150 - all ships form a line of bearing along 150T from the guide

    • FORM PORT 15 - all ships form on a line of bearing 150 to port of formation course

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  • Used to search a large body of water in close quarters - downed pilot, etc

  • Ships must start in a line abreast

  • Wing ship away from turn assumes the guide and immediately maneuvers

  • Other ships turn when previous ship is astern

  • See figure 6.4

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  • An arrangement of ships, aircraft, subs for the protection of main body

  • Normally designed to protect against one threat (ie. air, sub, surface)

  • Design must be continuously evaluated to ensure threat protection

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Sector Screen

  • Units are assigned areas of responsibility rather than points

  • Units are required to patrol sectors

  • Avoid maintaining base course and speed so that it cannot be determined passively

  • Center is ZZ

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Sector Screen

  • Boundaries are ordered by 4 numerals

    • 2 for left in 10’s of degrees true

    • 2 for right

  • Depth is also four numerals

    • 2 for inner limit in thousands of yards

    • 2 for outer

  • Sector boundaries are followed by call sign of ship

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Sector Screen

  • Example:0106-4575 DESIG M4NThe sector for M4N is from 010T-060T, 4,500-7,500 yards

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Maneuvering Sea Customs

  • Small ships do not hamper the movements of large ships, especially in restricted waters

  • Ships not in station shall remain clear of those in station

  • Do not pass through formations

  • Customary rules do not relieve ships from rules of the road responsibility

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Signal Flags

  • Know the following:

    • Letter flags

    • Numeral flags (not pennants)

    • ANSWER flag and meaning

    • PORT/ STBD flag

    • TURN/ CORPEN/ FORM flags

    • DESIG

  • See figure 5.2