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In a nutshell, the conn is where one controls the ship. On older ships it referred to the helm wheel itself. In modern naval parlance, however, it has come to mean not only the helm, but also overall command of the ship or of an individual bridge watch on a ship. The "conning tower" on a submarine, for example, is so named because when a sub is on the surface, it can be commanded and steered from a secondary helm (or "conn") on the top of the conning tower. Both the watch officer (such as the captain) or the helmsman can be said to "have the conn" at any given time. The helmsman has the conn because he is physically manning the station and steering the ship. A watch officer may have the conn because while he doesn't man the station, he directs the helmsman, at the conn, where the ship is to be steered. It is often mistakenly misunderstood to represent the bridge itself, because the same watch officer that is said to "have the conn" is also said to "have the bridge" as he is in charge of the entire bridge watch.-Cpthunt (talk) 07:38, August 14, 2012 (UTC)