The bridge is the place where the ship is controlled when it is underway. It is manned continuously when underway but only manned in port when making preparations for getting underway. The commanding officer (CO) is ultimately responsible for the ship but is not always physically present on the bridge. When the CO is not on the bridge, the Officer of the Deck (OOD) controls the ship. When the CO is on the bridge, he or she may or may not assume control of the ship from the OOD.
A secondary conn is located within the ship near the bow that serves as a replacement for the bridge if the bridge has been damaged so much that the ship can no longer be controlled from it. The secondary con is usually only manned during wartime general quarters conditions. It is controlled by the executive officer (XO) in case the CO has been incapacitated or killed.
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