NAO 201-116A: POLICY FOR NAMING NOAA SHIPS

Issued 06/01/2017; Effective 06/01/2017; Reviewed Last: 06/01/2017

PDF Version


SECTION  1.  PURPOSE.

.01 This Order establishes policy for naming National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ships. This Order does not require that previously named NOAA ships be renamed.

SECTION  2.  SCOPE.

.01 NOAA ships shall be named for mission-type, environmental phenomena, myths or traditions, geographical features, or former decommissioned ships crewed by NOAA personnel or its predecessors. Any ship may be named using the broad guidance of Section 4.01.

SECTION  3.  DEFINITIONS.

.01 NOAA ships are those vessels greater than or equal to 300 gross tons that are owned by NOAA and operated by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), and classified in accordance with NAO 217-108: Classification of NOAA Vessels.

SECTION  4.  POLICY.

.01 NOAA ships shall be named for mission-type, environmental phenomena, myths or traditions, geographical features, or former decommissioned ships crewed by NOAA personnel or its predecessors.
.02 NOAA's naming strategy for its ships is as follows:

  1. Oceanographic research ships have mission-type, environmental phenomena, mythological or traditional names. The additional choice of a specific mythological or traditional name should be reflective of this Nation's diverse cultural past. The use of a mythological or traditional name should be cleared through the group identified with the myth or tradition, (i.e. if a mythological Hawaiian name is chosen, a native Hawaiian group should be consulted).
  2. Survey and mapping ships have geographic feature names regardless of class. The geographic features recommended should reflect this Nation's diverse heritage. The name should be validated by the NOAA, Director, Office of Coast Survey.
  3. Living marine resource ships have honorific names regardless of class. The use of personal names shall be limited to those deceased individuals that have made significant contributions to NOAA or its predecessor agencies.

.03 The twelve (12) month timetable for naming ships are as follows:

  1. Three months – Initial solicitation period for names.
  2. Six months – Historical research:
    1. Fleet Working Group review.
    2. Fleet Council meeting.
    3. Approval by Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (UNSEC).
    4. Ship name(s) selected.
  3. Twelve months – Dedication ceremony - commissioning.     

.04 Although the strategy is intended to provide a consistent method of naming NOAA ships, exceptions to the policy can be anticipated. In these cases, complete documentation justifying this exception should be provided to the UNSEC for final approval.


SECTION  5.  RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01 The NOAA Fleet Council (FC) shall serve as the council and authority within NOAA for naming ships. The UNSEC shall be the final approving authority for ship names recommended by the FC. The FC NOAA ship naming process is as follows:

  1. The FC Executive Secretary shall solicit nominations for ship names from all NOAA Line, Program, Staff Offices, and individual employees allowing sufficient time of up to 12 months before the anticipated date of the dedication ceremony. Nominations may be submitted directly to the FC Chairperson. Any nomination received by the FC will be delegated to the Fleet Working Group (FWG) for review. (See Section 4.03 of this Order.)
  2. The FWG shall review all officially submitted nominations for ship names, make recommendations for ship names, and recommend sponsors for ship commissioning to the FC.
  3. The FC shall meet, review, and vote on the recommendations for ship names submitted by the FWG consistent with the decision making process as described in the FC Terms of Reference.
  4. At least four FC voting members must be in attendance to constitute a quorum.
  5. If requested by the FC, the Director, OMAO shall designate someone with expertise in this area to assist in researching a ship name. A minimum of six months lead time is required because considerable historical research may be required.
  6.  Before final construction or conversion of a newly-acquired ship, OMAO shall provide a
    current list of prospective ship names to all FC members. The FC shall submit its  
    approved recommendations to the UNSEC for final approval.

SECTION  6.  REFERENCES.

.01 NOAA Fleet Council Terms of Reference is available at http://www.omao.noaa.gov

SECTION  7.  EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

.01 This Order supersedes NOAA Administrative Order 201-116, Policy for Naming NOAA Ships, issued August 30, 1995.

.02 The NOAA Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere signs because there is no delegation of authority for this NAO.

An electronic copy of this Order will be posted in place of the superseded Order on the NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer website under the NOAA Administrative Issuances Section.  http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/~ocao/index.html

 

 ______________________________________
                                                                       Deputy Under Secretary for Operations
                                                                       Performing the duties of Under Secretary
                                                                         of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
                                                                         and NOAA Administrator
                                                       

 

Offices of Primary Interest:
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO)