Ships have been a vital asset since the beginning of the history of wars. The symbol of prestige and dominance, countries across the world have been competing to build the biggest, most powerful, and modern naval vessels.
But the same cannot be said for this little cute tugboat called Boomin Beaver of the US Navy. At 19 feet, as long as the Ford F-150, this adorable boat is used to deployed underwater fences.
The @USNavy has had a wide array of craft, but only one is known as the “most adorable.”
— U.S. Naval History (@USNHistory) October 16, 2020
It was originally built to herd logs in waterways but now it is an all-purpose vessel that is used to tow small ships and deploy floating security fences, as per Popular Mechanics. Instead of the raft and pull floating logs, the US Navy uses the boat to open and close barriers around naval installations.
A Reddit user quoted by Popular Mechanics identified this particular tug as operating out of Point Loma Sub Base in California.
As per the user: “It’s a security tug. Those protective barriers surrounding the water portion of the navy base don’t move themselves. It’s the equivalent of opening the gate for cattle to go in and out. Unlock it, unlatch it, swing it open, and close it when the ship has passed.”
The security tug was built by Chuck’s Boat and Drive in Longview but the government purchased scores of them to carry out harbor duties. It had a Cummins 6BTA5.9 diesel engine rated at 260 hp with ZF marine transmission.
The Beavers are visible in Google Maps at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, and at several naval bases across the U.S., including Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, and Naval Base San Diego.
While the US Navy boasts of its largest vessels in the sea which includes the mighty aircraft carriers, the smallest one has hardly got any mention anywhere. A defense website has written that Boomin’ Beaver plays an important role in protecting her larger sister USS Constitution.
They deploy, operate, and maintain underwater barriers surrounding ships such as the USS Constitution, the 223-year old wooden frigate berthed in Boston, as per Military.com.
Colleen O’Rourke, a spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command, told Task & Purpose that Beaver’s small size makes it perfect for this kind of task. She said the deck is also very low to the water, which allows the Beaver’s two to five crew members to safely maintain and operate the barriers. O’Rourke revealed that The Navy currently has 10 such tugboats.