The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAN's stated mission is "to fight and win in the maritime environment as an element of a joint or combined force. To assist in maintaining Australia's sovereignty and to contribute to the security of our region."
The RAN currently has nearly 14,420 personnel on active duty or in the Reserve and operates over 50 vessels, including frigates, submarines, patrol boats and auxiliary ships. The RAN is one of the most modern navies in the Pacific and is responsible for defending Australian waters and undertaking operations in distant locations.
The Commonwealth Naval Forces were established on 1 March 1901, two months after the Federation of Australia. On 10 July 1911, King George V granted the title of Royal Australian Navy. The Royal Navy continued to provide blue water defence in the Pacific until World War II, when expansion of the RAN saw the acquisition of aircraft carriers, and other large surface vessels.