Naval Formation

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A Naval Formation is the structuring of the naval armed forces of a state that is organised hierarchically so as to offer such military capability as a national defence policy may require. It begins at the bottom with a Ship or Task Element and ends at the top with a Navy.[1]

Naval hierarchy

Naval organization at the flotilla level and higher is less commonly abided by, as ships operate in smaller or larger groups in various situations that may change at a moment's notice. However, there is some common terminology used throughout navies to communicate the general concept of how many vessels might be in a unit.

Former hierarchy

Unit Name Vessel types No. of Vessels Officer in command
Navy All vessels in a navy 2+ Fleets Admiral of the Fleet, Fleet Admiral, Grand Admiral
Fleet [2] All vessels in an ocean or general region in a single fleet 1 or more Squadrons Admiral
Squadron [3] 2+ Divisions A large number of ships of all types Admiral or Vice-Admiral
Division [4] 2+ Flotillas Usually consisting of capital ships supported by smaller ships Vice-Admiral or Rear-Admiral
Fleet Train [5] An assembly or large number of auxiliary vessels supporting an operational fleet at sea Rear-Admiral
Flotilla [6] 2+ ships A small number of vessels, usually of the same or similar types Commodore or Captain
Ship A single vessel One Captain, Commander, Lieutenant Commander or Lieutenant

Modern hierarchy

Navies are generally organized into groups for a specific purpose, usually strategic, and these organizational groupings appear and disappear frequently based on the conditions and demands placed upon a navy. This contrasts with army organization where units remain static, with the same men and equipment, over long periods of time.

Unit Name Vessel types No. of Vessels Officer in command
Navy[7] All vessels in a navy 2+ Fleets Fleet Admiral, Admiral of the Fleet, Grand Admiral or Admiral
Fleet[8] All vessels in an ocean or general region 2+ Battle Fleets Admiral or Vice Admiral
Battle Fleet A large number of vessels of all types 2+ Task Forces Vice Admiral
Task Force [9] A collection of complementary vessels 2+ Task Groups, Divisions or Flotillas Rear Admiral (upper half) or Rear Admiral
Division or Task Group [10] 2+ large vessels Usually capital ships Rear Admiral (lower half), Commodore, or Flotilla Admiral
Flotilla or Task Group [11] 2+ Squadrons A small number of vessels, usually of the same or similar types Rear Admiral (lower half), Commodore, or Flotilla Admiral
Squadron or Task Unit [12] Small vessels A small number of vessels, usually of the same or similar types Captain or Commander
Task Element [13] A single vessel One Captain, Commander, Lieutenant Commander or Lieutenant

Footnotes

  1. "The United States Naval War College. Joint Military Operations Reference Guide" (PDF). keystone.ndu.edu. Washington. DC. United States: National Defense University. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. "Naval Notes". Royal United Services Institution. Journal. 55 (402): 1055–1070. 1911. doi:10.1080/03071841109418072. ISSN 0035-9289.
  3. Naval Notes Journal. pp. 1055–1070.
  4. Naval Notes Journal. pp. 1055–1070.
  5. Naval Notes Journal. pp. 1055–1070.
  6. Naval Notes Journal. pp. 1055–1070.
  7. Naval Notes Journal. pp. 1055–1070.
  8. National Defense University. pp.1-2.
  9. National Defense University. pp.1-2.
  10. National Defense University. pp.1-2.
  11. National Defense University. pp.1-2.
  12. National Defense University. pp.1-2.
  13. National Defense University. pp.1-2.

Bibliogarphy

  1. "Naval Notes". (1911). Royal United Services Institution. Journal. 55 (402): 1055–1070. doi:10.1080/03071841109418072. ISSN 0035-9289.
  2. "The United States Naval War College. (2019). Joint Military Operations Reference Guide" (PDF). keystone.ndu.edu. Washington. DC. United States: National Defense University. Retrieved 18 June 2019.