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Any country in the world today either big or small is always concerned with its internal growth and development. In every single click of the clock's second hand it has to. Be it economic, social, political, technological, environmental and legal or any other major area of national concern. All these key areas are important but considering the interest and competition from its foes it has to consider its defense. In this article we going to consider defense in the United States and being specifically the navy. We are going to look at its mission and history, organization, personnel, bases, equipment and any other key factor contributing to its establishment as one of the world's most strong sea forces.
The United States is a country in North America bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. It's a federal constitutional republic comprising of fifty states and a federal district. It has Washington as its capital lying between Atlantic and pacific oceans. It's a vast nation the third in the world with a population of about 310 million people and occupying a land of 3.79 million square miles. On July 4th 1776 it gained independence paving its way to a nation having self determination rights and a cooperative union. It's ethnically diverse having multicultural nations bearing in mind that it is inhabited by many foreigners from every continent. It was actively involved in the First World War where it was in a better position compared to other nations to take advantage of the opportunity and possess world's greatest riches. It has the world's largest economy with an estimated GDP of $14.3 trillion. Generally the country is well established in all areas and therefore a great need to establish a well organized defense becomes a mandatory.
The country recognizes the need to protect its resources and therefore establishes a well organized and strong military. The USA military comprises of the army, navy which we are to focus on, air force, Marine Corps and the coast guard. Each of the above military branches has a specific duty though all defense in nature. Some work on the air others on the land and others on the sea. Let's classify their duties.
Being a world's superpower and technologically improved in science and modern innovations the nation has to guard its dry land. This is the specific duty of the US army. It's a branch of the US armed forces with its main mission is to deliver land based military operations. It's the oldest branch of the army and one of the seven uniformed US services. It has its roots in the continental army formed on July 14th 1775 to meet the demands of America's revolutionary war. The US army was officially created on 3rd June 1784 after the end of revolutionary war to replace the disbanded continental army. It has a primary mission to provide necessary forces and capabilities in support of national security and defense strategies. It's headed by a secretary of the army. Its main functions are well and logically stated. The US army maintains peace and security and provides for defense in any other area occupied by the United States. It is also responsible for any aggressive nation trying to threaten the peace of its royals. In additional to that it is also involved in supporting favorable national policies and implementing national objectives.
When we focus on the US marine corps it provides force projection from the sea working closely and using mobility of the navy to rapidly deliver combined effort in case of any enemy threat. It's a component of the navy in its duty outline and works closely with the navy in training, transportation and in other logistics. The corps has been involved in any nation's armed conflict from time immemorial. Its ability and flexibility to respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives its strong role in the implementation and execution of foreign policy. It's outlined and specified responsibilities include defending of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns, developing tactics, techniques and equipment to be used by amphibious landing forces and/or any other duty as directed by the president.
The US air force (USAF) is the lead aerial warfare and space warfare. It was initially part of the army before it became a separate branch in 1947. It's the most recent branch of the army to be formed. It has a guideline of its core values which govern its delivery. These include nuclear deterrence operations, special operations which include life rescue in emergency times like saving lives in hunger stricken areas, floods, earthquakes and landslides or any other case of emergency. Other core values include space and air superiority, command and control, personnel recovery in case of any loss, global pension attacks and building partnerships. The department is headed by the secretary of the air force whose main responsibility is to oversee all administrative and policy affairs. The air force is a department of the department of defense headed by the secretary of defense. The highest ranked military officer is the chief of staff of the air force. The air force has well spelt out duties which include; preservation of peace and security and defending the US territories, commonwealth and possessions and any other area occupied by the United States. The other spelt out duty is to support policies of national interest and is also involved in implementing national objectives. Furthermore it is also involved in overcoming any aggressive acts against the country's inhabitants by enemies who try to threaten the peace and security of the nation.
The US coastguard is also a major branch that deals with matters of national security. It's a branch of the armed forces having a maritime multi mission service unique among the military branches. It has a maritime law enforcement mission dealing with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters and also federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set.
During peacetime it operates under the department of homes and security but during times of war it can be transferred to the department of navy by president or the congress.
It was founded in 1790 and is thought to be the oldest continuous seagoing service. Its roles include maritime safety, maritime security and maritime stewardship. In order to carry out these roles it has several missions governing its operations. It has homeland security missions and non homeland security missions. Homeland security missions include drug and migrant interdiction, ports waterways and coastal security and also defense readiness. Non homeland missions include marine safety, search and rescue programs, aids and navigations, fisheries law enforcement, ice operations and marine environmental protection. Furthermore it also maintains the river, intercostals and offshore aids. The US coastal guard is also known to quickly respond and highly adapt in a wide range of emergencies and in that way it possesses a lot of glory and high distinction.
The last branch is the navy which we are going to look at in details. The USA navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the US armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the US. In august 2010 it had 330,729 personnel who were counted to be actively involved in its daily operational duties and other estimated 102,923 reserves. It operates about 289ships in active service and more than 3700 aircrafts. It's the largest in the world and the best organized and administered.
The navy has a battle fleet [tonnage] which is larger than that of the next thirteen largest naval powers combined. This is a clear indication that it is adequately prepared and can't go wayward in times of threat or any form of attack. It has eleven active fleets and one under construction. During America's revolutionary war, the continental navy was established. It was eventually disbanded and it is from this that the US navy came to exist as a separate entity. The united states congress has the mandate to run provide and maintain the navy.
Due to several and ruthless attacks by pirates over the coast, the congress saw it wise to employ this power and ordered the construction and manning of six frigates which were to end the pirates activity off the coastline. In the 21st century us navy maintains a sizeable global presence being deployed in very many areas of the world. Notably there are such areas as in East Asia, Middle East and in the Mediterranean. It has the great ability to project force onto the dangerous and most feared regions of the world. They do it in large numbers with a lot of prowess and they have been known to achieve.
During peace time the navy engages in forward areas and rapidly responds to regional crises making it an active player in America's foreign and national defense policy. Due to this it has been lauded because of its overwhelming achievements. An administration that is poorly governed cannot help in any achievement of a group but this is not the case with the navy's administration. It is administratively managed by the department of navy which is lead by the civilian secretary of the navy. The navy itself is under the department of defense which is lead by the secretary of defense. Today the most highly ranked naval officer is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From October i3th 1775 the year it came to light the navy has been active up to date. It has been actively involved in protecting the US against sea attacks by pirates or any other form of enemy threat like slave raiding and drug trafficking in the water bodies.
The mission of any organization, department or any other form of combined heads sets its structure and pathway to catalyze its results achievement. The US navy has well laid out missions that govern their daily activities and therefore adding more strength to their efforts in order to achieve great results. The mission of the US navy is to maintain, train and equip combat ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of seas. From the new recruits handbook the mission of the US navy states that "the mission of the US navy is to protect and defend the rights of the United States and our allies and to move freely in the oceans and to protect our country against her enemies".
In the above mission statement it is clear that the main activity of the navy is defense. It has the mandate to equip the personnel with great expertise and skills in order to win wars. One does not go to the battlefield to guess. You go there for a purpose in that you have to defeat your enemy in order to gain freedom. Following that reasoning the navy has to adequately train and prepares its personnel. The navy serves as a seaborne of the military of the United States and its three key primary areas of responsibilities and duties that must be accomplished are clearly laid down and keenly prescribed.
The first responsibility is the preparation of naval forces necessary for effective prosecution of war. This means that the staff and any other involved member of the navy have to be adequately and effectively equipped with skills, prowess and any other form of expertise required in the battlefield. The personnel have also to be always ready to face opponents during attacks. The second role is to maintain naval aviation; including land based aviation, air transport essential for naval operations and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the navy. Though it is based in the sea, the navy during times of war has to be keen in all ways. This is why the navy takes it as a responsibility to maintain the naval aviation and air transport. These jet fighters and all forms of air craft are faster than ships and more effective in times of unexpected attacks.
The third role is the development of aircraft, weapons, tactics, techniques, organization and equipment of naval combat and service elements. All these are key factors to consider achieving rebellion prosperity. The skills are instilled during training in order to join and also after joining. Organization and other techniques and tactics are equipped when ready for an attack. For instance some tactics on how to attack an enemy when she invades will solely depend on the class she is. If the enemy is fully equipped you have to learn very fast on how to deny her success. If she is a mediocre you have to take advantage and teach her a lesson. The above expounded missions have been of significant effect to the success of the US army. They have been laid down well and the personnel have followed them and this has been a major factor to help in its success.
The once president of the united states, George Washington quoted "without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive". This shows that even the leaders valued this special branch of military very much lets now look at how it came to exist. During the times of revolutionary wars, there were heated debates by the members of the continental congress on whether to establish an official navy. Some argued that this will protect its shipping activities, defend the coast and make it easier for the nation to seek out support from its foreign counterparts. On the contrary some argued that this will not be so as this would be seen as an attempt to challenge the British royals who hitherto were the world's most feared conqueror. It was seen as a foolish undertaking comparing how powerful it was compared to other nations by that time.
However the Americans provoked the British corps but the ships used during this exercise did not belong to the congress. They were ships belonging to individual colonies. This was done in collaboration with the then commander in chief George Washington. The ships to be used to counter British ships were to be reinforced by two owned by the congress. It was until 13 October 1775 when George Washington announced that he had taken command of three armed schooners under the continental congress authority to intercept any British supply ships near a town called Massachusetts. This day became later the navy's birthday.
The navy was successful in a number of attempts and engagements and raided many British merchants' vessels but in many of these attacks it was In vain. After this loss the country remained without a navy for a number of good years. It resulted to be costly due to its hefty engagement inn commerce. Its merchant ships were frequently attacked by pirates on the seas at their cargo raided and stolen. So there rose an urgent need to establish a navy to protect merchant ships in the seas. In 1880's America took part in a series of attacks but came to loose in many while some was a success.
During the engagement later in the Quasi war against France in 1812 America used it as a learning field. By engaging some warships it prevented the British ships from capturing Lake Erie and Lake Champlain. In its numerous duels it forced the British ships off the shore. Due to this it saw there was a need to establish navy. For instance during the America's civil wars the union had a distinct advantage over the confederacy states due to its engagement in the battle using ships. A modernization program of the navy started in 1880,s under President Theodore Roosevelt.
During the World War 1 the navy saw little action but continued on strengthening and growing under an ambitious ship building program associated with the naval act of 1916. By 1936 the US navy fleet was complete with 165,000 tones of displacement. The navy grew into a formidable force after World War 2 .it has been actively involved from then in serious and laudable human activities like search and rescue to salvage lives in danger operations. They deserve our praise and great honor. They do it alone or at times in conjunction with vessels of other countries as well as in combined effort with the coast guard ships.
In the 21st century they have been looked at as the main source of defense against any form of attack in the United States. Bearing in mind its strength not many can dare. Even if the US is attacked it is done mainly by the use of aircrafts. Considering the above development in its naval militia it shows the US is strong and interested to protect its people. We do hope the other countries will be concerned as such but never use them to fight amongst themselves.
Let's now consider how the navy is organized. The United States navy falls under the department of the navy under the civilian leadership of the secretary of the navy. The chief of the naval operations is one of the personnel involved in decision making with the president. The chief of the naval operations together with the secretary of the navy plays an advisory role with the president and are actively involved in organizing, recruiting, training and equipping the navy so that it is ready for operations under the command of unified commandant commander.