Friday, October 1, 2010

Watch Conditions

I need to run through this for future posts.

Condition I: Condition I was Battle Stations, everyone on duty. All of the weapon systems and all of the repair lockers were manned and ready and the ship was kept in Condition Zebra. There was a limit to how long everyone could be kept on station, though.

Condition II: Condition II was almost battle stations. Certain weapon systems were manned, usually the AAW missile battery. The divisions that manned the systems were usually in two-section duty (six hours on and six hours off).

Condition IIAS: This was specific to ASW ships, usually the ones with towed arrays. Passive ASW, when done by hand, took a lot of people. On a 1052, there would be at least eight people in Sonar Control. CIC kept their ASW plots manned and a R/T talker on duty for helo ops. The LAMPS Det was in something like Ready 30. Sonar and CIC were in two-section duty.

Condition II manning could be maintained for two months, but it took a hell of a toll on people. Some maintenance had to be deferred. The XO would begin to go batshit because the berthing compartments were half-filled with sleeping men in the morning from the six-hour midwatch, which made cleaning for his inspection difficult.

Condition III: This was the standard condition for wartime steaming with no immediate threat and for at-sea exercises. CIC was manned for air and surface tracking. The TAO watch was manned. The AAW and gun batteries were often lightly manned (enough to get the first shots off), but not for exercises. Officers were normally in three watch sections, CIC would be in two or three. There were any number of voice radio circuits monitored on the Bridge and in CIC.

Condition IV: Peacetime steaming. Depending on the number of qualified OODs, the officer watches may be in four or five sections. CIC was manned for surface tracking and maybe one OS might sit at the air-search radar scope head.

The enlisted bridge watch was normally in four sections for all but Battle Stations. Steam engineers always tried to achieve three watch sections, but two-section duty was very common as the loss of one or two watch-qualified sailors, whether to illness, being sent home for family emergencies or being transferred, was enough to kick the hole watches back to two sections.

5 comments:

jwdoom said...

You must be psychic, I've been fighting the urge to ask you about this stuff because I didn't want to impose. But...

Were there modified conditions other than AS? I know Crimson Tide mentioned an SQ for SLBM launch procedures, so (assuming that really exists) there must be others, right? Shore fires, carrier launch operations, sending jarheads off to get dirty?

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

I assume so, but I had no experience with those operations.

s4e4 said...

Ha! Mostly lots of port and starboard for most. Thank Goodness for coffee and cigarettes.

kaigun said...

On amphibs there is Condition 1A for various amphibious ops-Condition 1A for beaching on LSTs, 1A for launching or recovering AAVs, LCACs, LCUs or any number of other craft.

chief torpedoman said...

Jumping in a little late but for jwdoom: On SSBNs (American) there where four SQ condtions. SQ stands for Station Quarts.
1SQ - all battle stations manned and ready to fire missles at any time.
2SQ - normal steaming on a polaris patrol. First missile can be on the way within 15 minutes of verification of a valid launch order.
3SQ - transiting to/from port.
4SQ - peacetime in port.