What is NAFTS?
NAFTS is the National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors. A non-profit veteran's group made up of the men and women who have served in the tugs and salvage ships of the United States Navy, Coast Guard and Army at any time since the first military tug was commissioned in the War Between the States until the present. NAFTS emphasizes that the experience of sailing in these small ships has been continuous and these Work Horses of the Fleet have made a magnificent contribution to our Navy, Coast Guard, Army and our Nation in both war and peace.
What are the purposes of NAFTS?
They are to:
- Perpetuate and memorialize the tugs and tug type ships and those who served in them in the naval and military services of the United States of America.
- Seek out those who served in these ships.
- Foster good will and fellowship among members by national, regional, and local events.
- Serve as a repository for information and artifacts concerning tugs in the Military and naval service of the United States.
- Participate in patriotic activities.
- Publicize the contribution of tugs and tug type ships to the naval and military services of the United States.
- Assist disabled and needy veterans of naval and military service in tugs and their widows, dependents, and orphans.
- Support appropriate museums, ship memorials and similar activities.
- Conduct programs for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes.
- Who's eligible for membership? ( bylaws as accepted at NAFTS general meeting on 03 November, 2000 and amended 11/16/00 by direction of the board.)
Regular Membership is open to all persons who have served in any capacity aboard:
- Naval or military seagoing, inland, and harbor tugs and tug type ships
- Towing or ship assist vessels
- Salvage vessels and craft
- In diving and salvage units
- In operational or administrative commands or
- On staffs operating or administrating, and in technical offices supporting any of the vessels or units listed above.
- Anyone interested in tugs and willing to support the goals is eligible for Associate Membership.
What does NAFTS do?
NAFTS has an annual reunion for its members that is an excellent place to see old shipmates, meet new ones, tell sea stories and hear a few. Many individual ships hold special events during these reunions. The reunions move around the country so that members in all areas can attend. For instance past meetings have been in Portland, Oregon, Richmond, Virginia and Galveston, Texas. See the Reunion section for complete list of past reunions. Reunions include tours of the area as well as a full schedule of social events. There are also smaller meetings throughout the country.
- Collects, preserves and displays artifacts and memorabilia at the annual Reunion and provides space for members to share their own.
- Publishes each quarter a newsletter, the Towline, with news of members, photographs, sea stories and news of interest to members.
- Maintains this Web page.
- Assists members in locating information about their ships and about old shipmates.
- Participates in other short and long term projects from time to time.
- Makes memorial contributions to the Navy Relief Society on the death of any member.
Why should I join?
NAFTS is an organization that puts its members first. Joining lets you make and keep contact with those shipmates that were a major part of your world at an important time in your life.
You have an opportunity to share the experiences of others, like yourself, through the Towline and through attendance at Reunion and regional events. Towline goes to every member quarterly.
- You can find old shipmates.
- NAFTS can answer questions about your ship and your shipmates.
- How much does it cost?
Dues are $30 per calendar year or $120 for 5 years. (544 plan)
By Bill Milwee