The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of
Prior to commissioning, the new ship undergoes
Regardless of the type of ship in question, a vessel's journey towards commissioning in its nation's navy begins with a process known as sea trials. Sea trials usually take place some years after a vessel was laid down, and mark the interim step between the completion of a ship's construction and its official acceptance for service with its nation's navy.
Sea trials begin when the ship in question is floated out of its dry dock (or more rarely, moved by a vehicle to the sea from its construction hangar, as was the case with the
In addition to problems with a ship's arms, armament, and equipment, the sea trial phase a ship undergoes prior to commissioning can also identify issues with the ship's design that may need to be addressed before it can be accepted into service with its nation's navy. During her sea trials in 1999 French Naval officials determined that the
After a ship has successfully cleared its sea trial period, it will officially be accepted into service with its nation's navy. At this point, the ship in question will undergo a process of
Once a ship's sea trials are successfully completed plans for the actual commissioning ceremony will take shape. Depending on the naval traditions of the nation in question, the commissioning ceremony may be an elaborately planned event with guests, the ship's future crew, and other persons of interest in attendance, or the nation in question may forgo a ceremony and instead administratively place the ship in commission.
At a minimum, on the day on which the ship in question is to be commissioned the crew will report for duty aboard the ship and the commanding officer will read through the orders given for the ship and its personnel. If the ship's ceremony is a public affair the Captain may make a speech to the audience, along with other VIPs as the ceremony dictates. Religious ceremonies, such as blessing the ship or the singing of traditional hymns or songs, may also occur.
Once a ship has been commissioned its final step toward becoming an active unit of the navy it now serves is to report to its home port and officially load or accept any remaining equipment (such as munitions).