Action Stations

Action Stations

Action Stations is a state of readiness aboard warships in contemporary (and many fictional) navies, including the Royal Navy and many others.

Action Stations is the highest level of alert readiness, and once action stations is called, the crew make the ship ready to join battle. In the United States Navy the term 'General Quarters' is used.

Under Action Stations, off-duty crewmembers report to their posts, weapons systems are placed on hot standby (making them ready to fire at short notice), support and backup crews enter important areas such as engineering, the bridge, and central operations, and major watertight doors are shut. On ships carrying aircraft, the flight deck is made ready and any alert craft are made ready for launch.


The term 'Action Stations' replaced the older 'beat to quarters' once ironclad warships began replacing older sail-powered vessels in the latter half of the 19th century. It is also used in Royal Navy installations and bases, as well as Royal Air Force airbases and installations.

Use in Drama

The term 'Action Stations' is used in many science fiction series, including the 2003 remake of "Battlestar Galactica", and the "Wing Commander" series of computer games. It is also used in some "Star Wars" incarnations.

The term is also used in dramatisations of life in the Royal Navy.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • action stations — plural noun Posts to be manned during or preparatory to battle (often figurative) • • • Main Entry: ↑action * * * ˈaction stations f15 [action stations] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • action stations — action .stations n [plural] BrE the positions that people such as soldiers or the police take when they are getting ready to fight or deal with a difficult situation often used to tell people to go to these positions ▪ Crew, return to action… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • action stations — ► PLURAL NOUN chiefly Brit. ▪ the positions taken up by military personnel in preparation for action …   English terms dictionary

  • Action Stations! — Infobox Television show name = Action Stations! genre = runtime = 135 minutes narrated = Jamie Rickers, Anna Williamson country = UK network = GMTV2 (ITV4), CITV Channel first aired = last aired =| Action Stations! is the flagship children s… …   Wikipedia

  • action stations — /ˈækʃən ˌsteɪʃənz/ (say akshuhn .stayshuhnz) plural noun 1. a. stations to be taken up in readiness for or during battle. b. positions taken up preparatory to action. 2. a. Military the command to take up action stations. b. Colloquial a warning… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • action stations — noun a) The positions or activity assumed by the crew of a warship immediately in advance of combat or other hostile action; also, the signal given to indicate such imminent action. b) Any general state of intense anticipatory activity …   Wiktionary

  • action stations — (British) positions held by military staff in preparation for action …   English contemporary dictionary

  • action stations — plural noun chiefly Brit. the positions taken up by military personnel in preparation for action …   English new terms dictionary

  • action stations — interjection used to order soldiers etc to go to their positions ready for battle …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • action stations — UK / US interjection British a) used for telling soldiers to go to their positions so that they are ready to fight b) used for telling people to hurry up and get ready to do something …   English dictionary

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