Finding Information: Searching for Technical Manuals and Drawings

Key Topics


Many Naval commands are employing Internet-based approaches both to develop and to publish engineering and technical documents. Every day hundreds of technical manuals, ship construction drawings, process instructions, indexes, etc. are added to the list of documents being updated only in digital format. While many of these documents are also distributed to fleet and repair activities in CD-ROM format, others can be retrieved only on-line. Internet access to the Web sites of Navy Planning Yards and In-Service Engineering Agents is therefore essential not only for operational units, but also for engineering and logistics support commands.

As technical and engineering documents and their indexes evolved from paper to microform to raster-scanned to interactive digital format, they have undergone major transformations in their appearance and indexing. In addition to familiarity with what document types and subjects are available and at which sites they reside, Information Literacy in the area of manuals and drawings entails a working knowledge of the new, current formats. For example, understanding the indexing features associated with digitized drawings is key to overcoming the challenges of locating a specific item in a 20 sheet drawing --and even more so in one with 300 sheets.

Some Web sites are openly accessible to any ".mil" address and may be readily searched. Other sites are carefully gated, requiring a registered user account and password. The URL addresses listed in the Related Resources for this section are arranged alphabetically by the common acronym or short title for the sponsoring activity, or the type of document or information provided.

Many documents are still most "useable" in paper. The requirement for a repair technician to take an entire manual "down to the ship" or "out on the line" is often valid. If you need guidance to maintain paper, or other hard copy media take a look in Naval Sea Systems Command Intermediate Maintenance Activity Guidance Handbook for Technical Libraries (S8800-00-GIP-000) and Guide to User Maintenance of NAVSEA Technical Manuals (S0005-AA-GYD-030). The Naval Air Systems Command Technical Publication Program (00-25-100) is the final word for NAVAIR manuals and technical directives. Naval Sea Systems Command alterations, drawings, and selected record data are the subject of the Fleet Modernization Program Manual (SL720-AA-MAN-010 and 020). The CINCPACFLT/CINCLANTFLTINST 4790.3 Volume IV, Chapter 22 provides the basis for operating a Naval Technical Library for technical manuals afloat and ashore. For carrier ships, CV/CVN Maintenance Support Centers provide additional policy and procedural guidance in COMNAVAIRLANT/COMNAVAIRPACINST 4700.23. Together, these publications address all aspects of maintaining technical documents and manuals, covering everything from the rudiments of page changes and advance change notices to the sophisticated methods of initial outfitting and establishing automatic distribution for changes and revisions. They also discuss requirements and methodology for cataloging and auditing library holdings, and prescribed software support.

Occasionally, an unusual technical manual requirement may arise concerning a foreign vessel (such as the FF1072 class) or an obsolete component. The field activity responsible for the development and distribution of Naval Sea Systems Command and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command manuals is the Naval Sea Data Support Activity, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, CA, and for Naval Air Systems Command, the Naval Air Technical Data & Engineering Service Command, San Diego, CA; these commands maintain a complete set of archives. Assistance may be requested through the Web sites indicated in the Related Resources.

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The following programs or organizations are points of contact that may provide additional assistance in researching engineering drawings and/or technical manuals and documents for ships and craft, as well as for installed and support equipment.

Sailor-to-Engineer Help Desk

Located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (California), was established primarily to assist ship's force personnel. This office connects the person who has a problem locating parts or technical information with a reliable source. Requests for assistance are submitted online at:

Navy Integrated Call Center (NICC)

A cooperative effort of Naval Sea Systems Command and Fleet Technical Support Center, Atlantic. Provides one-stop-shopping for technical information and thoroughly researches and responds to technical requests. The NICC may also refer the customer to the cognizant activity for additional information. Contact NICC by voice toll free at:
CONUS: 1-877-4186824
OCONUS: DSN 510 -4286824
Norfolk: FISCNORCIC@NOR.FISC.NAVY.MIL (Use lower case)
San Diego: FISCSD_CIC@SD.FISC.NAVY.MIL (Use lower case)
Norfolk: 1-757-443-1655 (DSN 646)
San Diego: 1-619-532-4013 (DSN 522)

Mid-Atlantic Regional Technical Library (MARTL) HUB

This is CINCLANTFLT's designated technical library for support of maintenance activities and ships homeported in the Hampton Roads area of the Mid-Atlantic Region. With Customer Service Centers in six commands, the HUB, or central library is located at FTSCLANT HQ, BLDG LF-18 on NAVSTA Norfolk. The HUB customer service counter is open from 0700 to 1700 daily, Monday - Friday. Emergency assistance is available 24/7 by calling the Duty Technical Library at 757-415-3396.
For remote assistance:
Voice: 757-443-3872 ext 1121 (DSN 564)
FAX: 757-443-3693

Ship Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Technical Library, San Diego

The Southwest Regional Technical Library, maintains 8200 technical manuals in stock for customer use and check out, and over 14 million aperture cards of ships system drawings, SHIPALTS, and AER'S. Library resources include an extensive ATIS database of technical manuals and ships system drawings, all Mil-Standards and Mil-Specs.
Hours of operation: 0700 - 1600 daily
Technical Library Admin: 619 556-2131
Tech Manual section: 619 556-1823
Eng. Drawing section: 619 556-1871
Submarine Documents: 619 553-0862

COMNAVSURFLANT Assistance to Shipboard Technical Libraries (CASTL)

CASTL is a combination of CD-ROM training and reference aides, ship assist visits and on-the-job-training provided through the SURFLANT Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activities.
SIMA, Ingleside
Phone: 521-776-4316 (DSN: 776)
SIMA, Mayport
Phone: 904-960-5126 ext 3101 (DSN: 960)
SIMA, Norfolk
Phone: 757-444-1954 ext 3016 (DSN: 564)
FAX: 444-1225
SIMA, Pascagoula
Phone: 228-761-2338/2319

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Related Resources

Note: Internet addresses change frequently; try shortening the URL address, or conduct a search to update a link.

3M Manual
OPNAV4790.4C (3M manual)
Downloadable reference material on the Navy 3M System (Preventative Maintenance and Maintenance Data System (MDS).

3M System
Open Architecture Retrieval System (OARS) WEB SITE (3M)
Provides information that can be utilized to ensure maximum equipment operational readiness in the Fleet; a unique desktop tool that can deliver information from multiple logistics data sources.

ALRED (Air Launch and Recovery Equipment Documents)
The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, New Jersey site provides technical documentation and directives for aircraft platform interface and aeronautical equipment installations.

The Configuration Data Managers Database - Open Architecture; an excellent source for configuration and logistics technical document research. (Password is required)

Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. This site is primarily accessed for technical and administrative requirements that are legislated at the Federal level, for example, regulations related to nuclear repair.

Cranes and Weight Handling Equipment
The Navy Crane Center, the shore activity concerned with weight handling, provides engineering, acquisition, technical support, training and evaluation services in this area. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Publication-307 on weight handling is accessible at this site, including questions and answers.

DOD Publications
The Defense Logistics Agency Publishing System (DLAPS); search the DLAPS site for all DLA regulatory publications and selected Department of Defense (DoD) publications. Provides the capability to review new, revised or canceled publications.

Fleet Modernization Program Manual (FMP)
This site provides access to the Fleet Modernization Program and the FMP Manual (SL720-AA-MAN-010/020); provides access to status of ship alterations in the Fleet. (Requires login and password).

Gas Turbines
The Naval Sea Systems Command site on marine gas turbines; provides downloadable technical documentation, including Technical Directives (TDs), Advance Change Notices (ACNs), and recently issued technical documentation for gas turbine engines.

Integrated Class Maintenance Plan
The ICMP provides detailed, comprehensive and definitive maintenance and logistics requirements to support the planning and execution of ship's maintenance.

Joint Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistics Support (JCALS)
This program provides an Information Management System (IMS) to support uniform logistic and acquisition engineering, management, material management, and other life-cycle functional processes. The System processes all data and information required to manage, control, and produce each Service's technical manuals at designated processing sites. Includes Army and Air Force sites as well as Navy Planning Yards and In-Service Engineering Agents. Technical and engineering operating sequence system (EOSS) manuals, plan files and/or alterations are also accessible. Most sites load all current revisions of documents. This file is a compilation of what is accessible from the various JCALS sites: JCALS ACCESSIBLE_2

Navy Resources area provides links to major Naval commands.

The Military Engineering Drawing Asset Locator System (MEDALS) lists drawings at various U. S. Government repositories, contact information and online ordering service. (Login and password required).

NAVAIR Calibration Manuals
Information related to the Navy Calibration program including obtaining information on how to calibrate equipment and documenting calibration. Calibration procedures (NA17- series manuals) are accessible with login. Provides links to commercial and industrial standards from ANSI, ASME, ASQC, ASTM, ISA, and ISO. (Login and password required).

NAVAIR Instructions
Downloadable NAVAIR instructions and notices. Links to various Navy Web sites.

NAVAIR Manuals
NAVAIR Manuals online provides access to Naval Aeronautical Equipment Technical Manuals. (Requires login and password).

NAVAIR Technical Data
NAVAIR Technical Data Packages (TDP) provide product definition information such as product definition data and engineering drawings. TDP are the foundation for configuration management and source data for technical publications and manuals.

Naval Vessel Register
The Naval Vessel Register (NVR) lists the status of all Navy Vessels, with Unit Identification Code (UIC), location/homeport, Planning Yard assignment, and vessel status (active or inactive). Reports may be downloaded.

NAVFAC Manuals
The Construction Criteria Base (CCB) is a collection of over 10,000 electronic documents (including NAVFAC Manuals and standards) used in building design and construction, including guide specifications, manuals, handbooks, regulations, reference standards and other essential design and construction criteria documents. (Requires login and password).

NAVFAC Publications
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Criteria Office and Engineering Innovation Division provides access to various NAVFAC publications and other information.

NAVSEA Standard Items
The NAVSEA Standard Work Items utilized for planning and estimating ship work are downloadable.

The Sailor-to-Engineer service at NSWC Port Hueneme, Division. Provides E-mail, Voice, and VTC from the Fleet Sailor connect directly to the Combat/Weapons System Engineer. Sundry documents available, including NSWCCD-SSES In-Service Engineering Advisory Messages, Class Advisories, Technical bulletins, lessons learned, safety advisories etc. (Login and password required).

Navy Diving Publications pubs.html
Navy Diver NAVSEA 00C site provides a a list of selected diving equipment, tools and accessories, which have undergone design safety reviews, testing, and evaluation to ensure diver safety and acceptability.

NSWC Carderock (Combat Craft)
The Combatant Craft Department provides total engineering support for Combatant Craft and Boats through the following areas of expertise: Design and Acquisition, Test and Evaluation, Special Projects, In-Service Engineering Group, and Maintenance Engineering And Logistics Support Group.

OPNAV/SECNAV Instructions
Navy Electronic Directives System
OPNAV and SECNAV instructions and notices are available at the Navy Electronic Directives System.

Process Instructions
Index of Navy Shipyard Process Instructions and SHAPEC Standard Practices. Documents may be downloaded.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Boston Detachment
Drawings and Documentation available for Ships, Boats and Craft for which this shipyard has planning yard responsibility. (Login and password required).

Ships' Drawing Indexes (SDI)
SDIs available for most Atlantic Fleet surface and aviation ships.

Specifications and Standards
Department of Defense Index of Specifications & Standards (DODISS). Informational pages about the Department of Defense Single Stock Point for Military Specifications and Standards. Archived copies of the DODISS Notices can also be found here. Provides capability to download or order Specifications, Standards, Qualified Products Lists, etc. (Login required to order).

The Defense Technical Information Center Scientific and Technical Information system's link to the DOD Index of Specifications and Standards.
Users may link directly to full text DoD Specifications and Standards located on the Defense Automated Printing Service (DAPS), eAccess database.
A central point to search for standards information from many sources; serves as an important gateway connecting those who seek standards to those that supply them.

Support Equipment
This site, Aviation Common Support Equipment, PMA-260, Naval Air Systems Command, provides a starting point for those in search of information and resources concerning Naval Aviation Common Support Equipment.

TDMIS (Technical Document Management Information System)
This is the official management tool for Naval Sea Systems Command and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command technical manuals. Use this database to identify technical manuals, configuration status, application, availability, media, pending changes/revisions and deficiencies; also may be used to identify a point of contact for specific technical manual management. (Requires login).

Technical Manuals
The Navy Logistics Library (NLL) is a searchable database (by title or stock number) of stocked technical manuals, instructions and forms; Requisitions may also be submitted and tracked at this site. (Requires login).

Provides a glossary of defense terminology.

Technical Manuals Print on Demand (TMPODS) and status tracking for customers who have placed document orders. (Requires login).

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