The United States Navy (USN) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. Its stated mission is "to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas." The U.S. Navy currently has nearly 500,000 personnel on active duty or in the Navy Reserve and operates 278 ships in active service and more than 4,000 aircraft.
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy
, which was established during the American Revolutionary War
disbanded in 1790. The United States Constitution
, though, provided the legal basis for a seaborne military force by giving Congress
the power "to provide and maintain a navy." Depredations against American shipping by Barbary Coast corsairs
spurred Congress to employ this power in 1794 by passing the Naval Act of 1794
ordering the construction and manning of six frigates
. The U.S. Navy came into international prominence in the 20th century, especially during World War II
. Operating in both the European and Pacific theaters
, it was a part of the conflict from the onset of American military involvement from the attack on Pearl Harbor
to Japan's official surrender
aboard the USS Missouri
. The U.S. Navy had a role in the subsequent Cold War
, in which it evolved into a nuclear deterrent and crisis response force while preparing for a possible global war with the Soviet Union
The 21st-century U.S. Navy maintains a sizeable presence in the world, deploying in such areas as East Asia, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. Its ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises makes it an active player in American foreign and defence policy.
The craft used by the suspected pirates floats in front of the USS Ashland
Piracy charges dismissed by judge
Original articles by Steve Szkotak, The Associated Press.
Summary: Piracy charges against six Somali's accused of attacking the USS Ashland were dismissed Tuesday after the judge ruled that the U.S. government failed to make a case for piracy. Defense attorneys had argued that the men did not seize or rob the Ashland and therefore not committed piracy. The six were accused of attacking the Ashland, which was destroyed by 25mm fire from Ashland. Seven lesser charges have not been ruled upon. The men claim only to have been ferrying refugees.
USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo" or "Big Mo") is a U.S. Navy battleship, and was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Missouri. Missouri is the final battleship to be built by the United States, and among the Iowa-class battleships is notable for being the site of the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. Missouri was ordered on 12 June 1940 and her keel was laid at the New York Navy Yard in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on 6 January 1941.
During her career Missouri saw action in World War II during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa, and shelled the Japanese home islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū. After World War II she returned to the United States before being called up and dispatched to fight in the Korean War. Upon her return to the United States she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "Mothball Fleet" in 1955. She was reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War.
Missouri was decommissioned a final time on 31 March 1992, having received a total of eleven battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf. She was maintained on the Naval Vessel Register until January 1995, when her name was struck. In 1998 she was donated to the Missouri Memorial Association, and is presently a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
“A ship is referred to as she because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder” — Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz
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