On Oct. 13, 1775, at the urging of John Adams and his fellow “navalists,” the Second Continental Congress approved a plan to commission two warships — relatively diminutive 10-gun sailing vessels with 80-man crews — to intercept British arms shipments to the colonies. Not everybody liked the idea of a standing naval force; congressional delegate Edward Rutledge of South Carolina called one proposal “the most wild, visionary mad project that ever had been imagined.” Nevertheless, an American Navy was born, and it’s grown into a 279-ship force that dominates the globe’s high seas.

So how does the Navy, which turns 242 today, celebrate another year of going down to the sea in ships? The way it celebrates any fine Navy day: by working its ass off. Here are 18 images showing how sailors around the fleet spent their last Navy birthday on Oct. 13, 2016.

Playing with rubber boats

U.S. Navy photo
Sailors assigned to the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) board a rigid hull inflatable during exercises with the South Korean navy. McCampbell was on patrol with Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Droning on and on

U.S. Navy photo
Students in the “Unmanned Systems and Conflict in the 21st Century” elective at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, receive a presentation about the ScanEagle, an unmanned aircraft system.

Keeping a lookout

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Mariah Juber of Bethel, Okla., mans aft lookout watch on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Juber serves aboard the ship as a deck seaman. Ike and its Carrier Strike Group were deployed in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and 5th Fleet operations.

Fixing the thing with the other thing

U.S. Navy photo
Sailors conducts maintenance on a fuel cell of an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 in the hangar bay the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Shootin’ stuff

U.S. Navy photo
Sailors participate in a live fire exercise on the fantail of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Just putting it out there

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Nova Elliott fires a shot line during a replenishment-at-sea aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42).

Showing the flag

U.S. Navy photo
The commanding officer of USS Ross (DDG 71), Cmdr. Russell Caldwell, right, gives a tour to Vice Adm. James Foggo III, center right; Commander U.S. 6th Fleet, French Rear Adm. Bernard-Antoine Morio de I’Isle, left; and French Vice Adm. Charles Du Che, center left, French Commander and Chief Naval operations Mediterranean, center, during a visit to USS Ross Oct. 13, 2016.

Scraping. Lots of scraping

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Kenneth Bell, from Palm Coast, Florida, uses a wire brush to strip the paint off the welds of a engine rail adapter in preparation for non-destructive inspection aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). George Washington, homeported in Norfolk, was underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

Coiling, faking, and flemishing lines

U.S. Navy photo
Petty Officer 2nd Class Daquan Tucker, a fire controlman, takes turns on a mooring line aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) as the ship arrives in Manama, Bahrain.

Logging on

U.S. Navy photo
Petty Officer 2nd Class Serena Clark monitors the ship’s engineering systems aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61).

Loading up

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Billy Riley inventories MK 45 5-inch rounds aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61)

Showing flashes of brilliance

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Westly Stewart, from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, welds in the machinery shop aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73)

Making a concrete difference

U.S. Navy photo
Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Seaton, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, helps place uplift connectors in concrete in Douala, Cameroon Oct. 13, 2016.

Taking the strain

U.S. Navy photo
Sailors heave line aboard USS Ross (DDG 71) during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Bighorn (T-AO 198).

Flying high

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Miguel Espinoza from Houston and Seaman Amir Shaheed from Baltimore watch as a French NH-90 helicopter lands aboard USS Ross (DDG 71).

Forming up

U.S. Navy photo
From left, the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193), the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay, the MSC ammunition and cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) steam in formation as part of interoperability drills between the Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (BHR ESG) in the South China Sea.

Cooking something up

U.S. Navy photo
Seaman Denise Morrison, Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) – Bangor, Trident Inn Galley culinary specialist, prepares lobster tails with cooking seasoning for the Navy Birthday Meal at the Galley. The meal, which provided “All Hands” with steak, lobster, and other first-class cuisines at a whopping $5.55, was prepared in observance of the Navy’s 241st birthday celebration.

Don’t worry, there’s cake, too!

U.S. Navy photo
The birthday of the founding of the U.S. Navy is celebrated around the country and at all Department of Defense installations worldwide with a Navy presence. The 241st birthday of the most dominant naval presence in the world was also noted at the Veterans Home of California, Barstow, with this cake before it was served to the home’s retired Navy residents.