The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a wide assortment of hydrographic survey, oceanographic research and fisheries survey vessels. These vessels are operated by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO).
Ships located in the Atlantic are managed by the Marine Operations Center-Atlantic (MOC-A) in Norfolk, Virginia. Ships located in the Pacific are managed by the Marine Operations Center-Pacific (MOC-P) in Newport, Oregon. Ships located in Hawaii are managed by the Marine Operations Center-Pacific Islands (MOC-PI).
The ships are operated by a combination of NOAA Commissioned Corps officers and civilian professional mariners. The professional mariner workforce includes licensed masters, mates and engineers, and unlicensed members of the engine, steward, and deck departments. In addition, survey and electronic technicians operate and/or maintain the ships' mission, communication and navigation equipment. The ships' officers and crew provide mission support and assistance to embarked scientists from various NOAA laboratories as well as the academic community.