The Naval Vessel Register (NVR), official
inventory of ships and service craft in custody or titled by the US Navy, traces its
origin back to the 1880s. It has evolved from several previous publications. In 1911, the
Bureau of Construction and Repair published the "Ships Data US Naval Vessels"
that subsequently became the "Ships Data Book" in 1952 under the Bureau of
Ships. The Bureau of Ordnance's "Vessel Register", first published in 1942 and
retitled "Naval Vessel Register", was combined with the "Ships Data
Book" under the Bureau of Ships in 1959. The NVR has been maintained and published by
NAVSHIPSO since 1962. Referred to by Congress in the statutes of the United States Code,
Title 10, Sections 7304-7308, the NVR is maintained as directed by US Navy Regulations,
Article 0406, of 14 SEP 1990.
Vessels are listed in the NVR when the classification and
hull number(s) are assigned to ships and service craft authorized to be built by the
President, or when CNO requests instatement or reinstatement of vessels as approved by
SECNAV. Once listed, the ship or service craft remains in the NVR throughout its life as a
Navy asset. Afterwards, its final disposition is recorded.
The NVR now exists as an electronic document only. It is
maintained and updated weekly. Over 6,500 separate
record transactions are processed annually with each being supported by official
documentation. The NVR includes a current list of ships and service craft on hand, under
construction, converted, loaned/leased, or to be loaned, and those assigned to the
Military Sealift Command. Ship class, fleet assignment, name, age, homeport, planning
yard, custodian, hull and machinery characteristics, builder, key construction dates,
battle forces, local defense and miscellaneous support forces, and status conditions are
some of the data elements provided.