Emblem of the United States Navy
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft , making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was effectively disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. The U.S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers. It played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The 21st century U.S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. It is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U.S. foreign and military policy.
The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, which is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
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.
The Battle of Midway was a pivotal naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It took place from June 4 to June 7, 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, and six months after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor that had led to a formal state of war between the United States of America (U.S.) and Japan. During the battle, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against Midway Atoll (located northwest of Hawaii) and destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser while losing a carrier and a destroyer.
The battle was a crushing defeat for the Japanese and is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of World War II. The battle permanently weakened the Japanese Navy, particularly the loss of over 200 naval aviators. Strategically, the U.S. Navy was able to seize the initiative in the Pacific and go on the offensive.
The Japanese plan of attack, which included a secondary attack against the Aleutian Islands by a smaller fleet, was an attempt by the Japanese to lure America's few remaining carriers into a trap and sink them. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll to extend Japan's defensive perimeter further from its home islands. This operation was considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji and Samoa, as well as the invasion of Hawai’i. After scoring a clear victory, American forces retired. Japan's loss of four fleet carriers stopped the expansion of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.
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