A Boatswain’s Mate (BM) who reaches the paygrade of E5 becomes an Able Seaman, and with the new title comes a host of new responsibilities, including the training and supervision of junior personnel across a variety of essential Naval functions. Rather than performing anchoring and mooring tasks, for instance, the Able Seaman supervises anchoring, mooring, getting underway, and rigging procedures for towing. On the Flight Deck, the Able Seaman receives and sends helicopter signals, supervises helicopter launch and recovery evolutions, and oversees walk downs of the flight deck for Foreign Object Damage.

New duties also include standing watch as Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch both at sea and in port, supervising personnel working on a variety of details, conducting training disciplines such as ship security, rigging, navigation, piloting and deck seamanship, and the operation and maintenance of small boats and deck equipment. In preparation for their expanded duties as Boatswain's Mate First Class or as a Chief Boatswain's Mate, Able Seamen handle the launching and recovery of amphbious craft used in landing operations and learn how to supervise repair parties in response to shipboard emergencies. From small boat recovery to supervising replenishment at sea refueling operations, the BM serving as an Able Seaman has a hand in almost every thing that takes place aboard and around the ship.

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