United States Naval Ship

  (Redirected from USNS)

United States Naval Ship (USNS) is the prefix designation given to non-commissioned ships that are property of the United States Navy (USN).[1]

The USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), pictured here on September 15, 2001, is an example of a United States Naval Ship.


United States Naval Ships are unarmed auxiliary support vessels owned by the U.S. Navy and operated in non-commissioned service by Military Sealift Command with a civilian crew. Some ships include a small military complement to carry out communication and special mission functions, or for force protection.[2]

In comparison, U.S. Navy ships commissioned into service have the designation "USS" and are armed, crewed by U.S. Navy personnel, and held in property by the United States Government.[3] Additionally, the United States Naval Ships hull classification symbol begins with "T-" to denote its civilian crew. The USNS prefix can be assigned only while the ship is owned by the U.S. Navy. If, after being taken out of service, the ship is transferred to the Maritime Administration the prefix reverts to a civilian ship prefix such as the case of SS Comet.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Joint Publication 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms". Defense Technical Information Center. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Military Sealift Command: People". Military Sealift Command. 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  3. ^ "USN Ship Naming". Naval History & Heritage Command. 29 September 1997. Retrieved 12 March 2009.