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), (unofficial).
"''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold
  , colors_label = Colors , march = "
Anchors Aweigh "Anchors Aweigh" is the fight song of the United States Naval Academy and unofficial march song of the United States Navy. It was composed in 1906 by Charles A. Zimmermann with lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles. When he composed "Anchors Aweigh", Zimmerm ...
" , mascot = , equipment = List of U.S. Navy equipment , equipment_label = , start_date = 27 March 1794
()
(''As current service'') ---- 13 October 1775
()
(''As
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
'') ---- , battles = , anniversaries = 13 October , decorations =
Presidential Unit Citation

Navy Unit Commendation The Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) is a United States Navy unit award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944. History Navy and U.S. Marine Corps commands may recommend any Navy or Marine Corps ...


Meritorious Unit Commendation The Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC; pronounced ''muck'') is a mid-level unit award of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Army awards units the Army MUC for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding achievement or se ...

Meritorious Unit Commendation
, battle_honours = , website = , commander1 =
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
Joe Biden Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. ( ; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack ...
, commander1_label =
Commander-in-Chief#REDIRECT Commander-in-chief#REDIRECT Commander-in-chief {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, commander2 =
Lloyd Austin Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is a former United States Army four-star general currently serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. He is the first African American to serve as the United States ...
, commander2_label =
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in some ...
, commander3 =
Thomas Harker Thomas W. Harker is an American government official who has served in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Defense. Harker was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as an assistant secretary o ...
(acting) , commander3_label =
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
, commander4 = ADM Michael M. Gilday , commander4_label =
Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a memb ...
, commander5 = ADM William K. Lescher , commander5_label =
Vice Chief of Naval Operations A vice is a practice, behaviour, or habit generally considered immoral, sinful, criminal, rude, taboo, depraved, degrading, deviant or perverted in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a negative character trait ...
, commander6 = MCPON Russell L. Smith , commander6_label =
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON ) is a unique non-commissioned rank and position of office of the United States Navy, which has with it the paygrade of E-9. The holder of this position is the most senior enlisted member of the ...
, notable_commanders = , identification_symbol = , identification_symbol_label =
Flag A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The term ''flag'' is also used to refer to the graphic design employed, ...

Flag
, identification_symbol_3 = , identification_symbol_3_label =
Jack Jack may refer to: Places * Jack, Alabama, US, an unincorporated community * Jack County, Texas, a county in Texas, USA People and fictional characters * Jack (given name), a male given name, including a list of people and fictional characters ...

Jack
, identification_symbol_4 = , identification_symbol_4_label = Pennant , identification_symbol_5 = , identification_symbol_5_label = Anchor, ''Constitution'', and Eagle , identification_symbol_6 = , identification_symbol_6_label = Logo The United States Navy (USN) is the
maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince ...
service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state. Types of branches Unified forces The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified arme ...
of the
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Ar ...
and one of the eight
uniformed services of the United States The United States has eight federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10 and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 32 and Title 42 of the U.S. Code. Uniformed services The uniformed ser ...
. It is the largest and most powerful
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It includes ...
in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. Typically, it is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a nav ...
fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on
active duty Active duty is a full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty. In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations the equivalent term is active service. India The Indian Armed Forces are considered to be one of ...
and 101,583 in the
Ready Reserve The Ready Reserve is a U.S. Department of Defense program which maintains a pool of trained service members that may be recalled to active duty should the need arise. It is composed of service members that are contracted to serve in the Ready Reser ...
, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft . The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
, which was established during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
and was effectively disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. After suffering significant loss of goods and personnel at the hands of the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in E ...
from Algiers, the U.S. Congress passed the
Naval Act of 1794 The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, ), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794, and signed into law by President George Washington. The act aut ...
for the construction of six heavy frigates, the first ships of the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy played a major role in the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states that had seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Th ...
by blockading the
Confederacy
Confederacy
and seizing control of its rivers. It played the central role in the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
defeat of Imperial Japan. The U.S. Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world. The 21st century U.S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia ...

Pacific
, the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east ...
, and the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia to the east. To the south it is bounded by the Sou ...

Indian Ocean
. It is a
blue-water navy upright 1.6, USS ''Abraham Lincoln'' leads a formation of ships from eight countries during the Exercise RIMPAC in 2006. A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating globally, essentially across the deep waters of open oceans. While d ...
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 U.S. Navy is part of the Department of the Navy, alongside the U.S. Marine Corps, which is its coequal sister service. The Department of the Navy is headed by the civilian
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
. The Department of the Navy is itself a military department of the
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) * Department of National Defence (Canada) * Department of Defence (Ireland) * Department of National Defense (Philippine ...
, which is headed by the
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in some ...
. The
Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a memb ...
(CNO) is the most senior Navy officer serving in the Department of the Navy.


Mission

The U.S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the
military of the United States The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Ar ...
. The Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: * The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. * The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy. * The development of
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Comm ...
, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U.S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U.S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." The Navy's five enduring functions are
sea control Command of the sea (also called control of the sea or sea control) is a naval military concept regarding the strength of a particular navy to a specific naval area it controlled. A navy has command of the sea when it is so strong that its rivals ...
,
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to deploy and sustain forces outside its territory. This ability is a crucial element of a state's power in international ...
, deterrence,
maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince ...
, and
sealift Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics and refers to the use of cargo ships for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, vehicles, military personnel, and supplies. It complements other means of transport, such as s ...
.


History


Origins

The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors, captains, and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the sout ...
had its own
Massachusetts Naval Militia The Massachusetts Naval Militia (at first called the Massachusetts Colonial Navy and later the Massachusetts State Navy), was a naval militia active during the American Revolutionary War. It was founded December 29, 1775, to defend the interests o ...
. The rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the
Second The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) (French: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a day – this factor derived from th ...
Continental Congress The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies which met in the British American colonies and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolution. The term "Continental Congress" most specifically ...
. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, and make it easier to seek support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the K ...
, then the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking.
Commander in Chief#REDIRECT Commander-in-chief#REDIRECT Commander-in-chief#REDIRECT Commander-in-chief {{R from other capitalisation ... {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Previously, he led Patriot forces to vi ...

George Washington
resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS ''Hannah'' to interdict British merchantmen and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchantmen; this resolution created the
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
and is considered the first establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Continental Navy achieved mixed results; it was successful in a number of engagements and raided many British merchant vessels, but it lost twenty-four of its vessels and at one point was reduced to two in active service. In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close,
Congress A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political parties or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle English to denote an encounter (meeting of adversa ...
had sold , the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy.Abbot 1896, Volume I Part I Chapter XV In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral
Elmo Zumwalt Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt Jr. (November 29, 1920 – January 2, 2000) was a United States Navy officer and the youngest person to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a majo ...

Elmo Zumwalt
, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775.


From re-establishment to the Civil War

The United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U.S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in E ...
. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U.S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U.S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the
U.S. Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, mul ...
. Although the USRCS (United States Revenue Cutter Service) conducted operations against the pirates, the pirates' depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the
Naval Act of 1794 The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, ), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794, and signed into law by President George Washington. The act aut ...
that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794. The Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: , , and . Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period,
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency, he was a leader of the ...

John Adams
is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States and France. Most of the fighting took place in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coastline of the United States. The war originated in ...
with France. From 1801 to 1805, in the
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitanian War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "B ...
, the U.S. Navy defended U.S. ships from the Barbary pirates, blockaded the Barbary ports and executed attacks against the Barbary' fleets. The U.S. Navy saw substantial action in the
War of 1812 War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using ...
, where it was victorious in eleven single-ship duels with the Royal Navy. It proved victorious in the
Battle of Lake Erie The Battle of Lake Erie, sometimes called the Battle of Put-in-Bay, was fought on 10 September 1813, on Lake Erie off the coast of Ohio during the War of 1812. Nine vessels of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of the Britis ...
and prevented the region from becoming a threat to American operations in the area. The result was a major victory for the U.S. Army at the
Niagara Frontier The Niagara Frontier refers to the stretch of land in the United States that is south of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and extends westward to Cleveland, Ohio. The term dates to the War of 1812, when the northern border was in contention between the ...
of the war, and the defeat of the Native American allies of the British at the
Battle of the Thames The Battle of the Thames , also known as the Battle of Moraviantown, was an American victory in the War of 1812 against Tecumseh's Confederacy and their British allies. It took place on October 5, 1813 in Upper Canada, near Chatham. The British l ...

Battle of the Thames
. Despite this, the U.S. Navy could not prevent the British from blockading its ports and landing troops. But after the War of 1812 ended in 1815, the U.S. Navy primarily focused its attention on protecting American shipping assets, sending squadrons to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, where it participated in the
Second Barbary War The Second Barbary War (1815) or the U.S.–Algerian War was fought between the United States and the North African Barbary Coast states of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers. The war ended when the United States Senate ratified Commodore Stephen Decat ...
that ended piracy in the region, South America, Africa, and the Pacific. From 1819 to the outbreak of the Civil War, the
Africa Squadron The Africa Squadron was a unit of the United States Navy that operated from 1819 to 1861 in the Blockade of Africa to suppress the slave trade along the coast of West Africa. However, the term was often ascribed generally to anti-slavery opera ...
operated to suppress the
slave trade Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
, seizing 36 slave ships, although its contribution was smaller than that of the much larger British Royal Navy. During the Mexican–American War the U.S. Navy blockaded Mexican ports, capturing or burning the Mexican fleet in the
Gulf of California The Gulf of California ( es, Golfo de California), also known as the Sea of Cortés (''Mar de Cortés'') or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea (''Mar Bermejo''), is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California Peninsula f ...

Gulf of California
and capturing all major cities in
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern ha ...
peninsula. In 1846–1848 the Navy successfully used the
Pacific Squadron The Pacific Squadron was part of the United States Navy squadron stationed in the Pacific Ocean in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Initially with no United States ports in the Pacific, they operated out of storeships which provided naval supp ...
under Commodore
Robert Stockton Robert Field Stockton (August 20, 1795 – October 7, 1866) was a United States Navy commodore, notable in the capture of California during the Mexican–American War. He was a naval innovator and an early advocate for a propeller-driven, steam-po ...
and its marines and blue-jackets to facilitate the capture of California with large-scale land operations coordinated with the local militia organized in the
California Battalion The California Battalion (also called the first California Volunteer Militia and U.S. Mounted Rifles) was formed during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) in present-day California, United States. It was led by U.S. Army brevet lieutenant colo ...
. The Navy conducted the U.S. military's first large-scale amphibious joint operation by successfully landing 12,000 army troops with their equipment in one day at
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 32 states that comprise the Fede ...
, Mexico. When larger guns were needed to bombard Veracruz, Navy volunteers landed large guns and manned them in the successful bombardment and capture of the city. This successful landing and capture of Veracruz opened the way for the capture of Mexico City and the end of the war. The U.S. Navy established itself as a player in
United States foreign policy The foreign policy of the United States is its interactions with foreign nations and how it sets standards of interaction for its organizations, corporations and system citizens of the United States. The officially stated goals of the foreign ...
through the actions of
Commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank), a naval rank ** Commodore (Royal Navy), in the United Kingdom ** Commodore (United States) ** Commodore (Canada) ** Commodore (Finland) ** Commodore (Germany) or ''Kommodore'' * Air commodore, a ra ...
Matthew Perry Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is a Canadian American actor, comedian, executive producer, screenwriter, and playwright who most notably played the role of Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom ''Friends'', which ran from 199 ...
in Japan, which resulted in the
Convention of Kanagawa The Convention of Kanagawa, also known as the Kanagawa Treaty (, ''Kanagawa Jōyaku'') or the Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity (, ''Nichibei Washin Jōyaku''), was a treaty signed between the United States and the Tokugawa Shogunate on March 31 ...
in 1854. Naval power played a significant role during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states that had seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Th ...
, in which the Union had a distinct advantage over the on the seas. A
Union blockade The Union blockade in the American Civil War was a naval strategy by the United States to prevent the Confederacy from trading. The blockade was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in April 1861, and required the monitoring of of Atlantic a ...
on all major ports shut down exports and the coastal trade, but blockade runners provided a thin lifeline. The
Brown-water navy The term brown-water navy or riverine navy refers in its broadest sense to any naval force capable of military operations in river, lake or littoral environments. The term originated in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, when ...
components of the U.S. navy control of the river systems made internal travel difficult for Confederates and easy for the Union. The war saw
ironclad warship An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates, which were predominantly constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or ...
s in combat for the first time at the
Battle of Hampton Roads The Battle of Hampton Roads, also referred to as the Battle of the ''Monitor'' and ''Merrimack'' (rebuilt and renamed as the CSS ''Virginia'') or the Battle of Ironclads, was a naval battle during the American Civil War. It was fought over two ...
in 1862, which pitted against . For two decades after the war, however, the U.S. Navy's fleet was neglected and became
technologically obsolete Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order. The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - A ...
.


20th century

A modernization program beginning in the 1880s when the first steel-hulled warships stimulated the American steel industry, and "the new steel navy" was born. This rapid expansion of the U.S. Navy and its easy victory over the
Spanish Navy The Spanish Navy ( es, link=no, Armada Española) is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces and one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Spanish navy was responsible for a number of major historic achievements in navigation, ...
in 1898 brought a new respect for American technical quality. Rapid building of at first pre-dreadnoughts, then
dreadnoughts The dreadnought (also spelled dreadnaught) was the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century. The first of the kind, the Royal Navy's , had such an impact when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built after her were referr ...
brought the U.S. in line with the navies of countries such as
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom, a sovereign state in Europe comprising the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands * Great Britain, the largest island in the United Kingdom * Ro ...
and
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German , demonym = German , government_type = Federal parliamentary republi ...
. In 1907, most of the Navy's battleships, with several support vessels, dubbed the
Great White Fleet The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the group of United States Navy battleships which completed a journey around the globe from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909 by order of United States President Theodore Roosevelt. Its ...

Great White Fleet
, were showcased in a 14-month circumnavigation world. Ordered by President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer, who served as the 26th president of the Unite ...

Theodore Roosevelt
, it was a mission designed to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend to the global theater. By 1911, the U.S. had begun building the super-dreadnoughts at a pace to eventually become competitive with Britain. The 1911 also saw the first naval aircraft with the navy which would lead to the informal establishment of United States Naval Flying Corps to protect shore bases. It was not until 1921 US naval aviation truly commenced.


World War I and interwar years

During
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", i ...
, the U.S. Navy spent much of its resources protecting and shipping hundreds of thousands of Soldiers and Marines of the
American Expeditionary Force The American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F. or AEF) was a formation of the United States Army on the Western Front of World War I. The AEF was established on July 5, 1917, in France under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. It fought alongside Fr ...
and war supplies across the Atlantic in
U-boat U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word ''U-Boot'' , a shortening of ''Unterseeboot''. While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one (in common with several other languages) refers specifically to military submarines ...
infested waters with the
Cruiser and Transport ForceThe Cruiser and Transport Service was a unit of the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet during World War I that was responsible for transporting American men and materiel to France. Composition On 1 July 1918, the Cruiser and Transport Force was co ...
. It also concentrated on laying the
North Sea Mine Barrage The North Sea Mine Barrage, also known as the Northern Barrage, was a large minefield laid easterly from the Orkney Islands to Norway by the United States Navy (assisted by the Royal Navy) during World War I. The objective was to inhibit the mo ...
. Hesitation by the senior command meant that naval forces were not contributed until late 1917. Battleship Division Nine was dispatched to Britain and served as the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Its presence allowed the British to decommission some older ships and reuse the crews on smaller vessels. Destroyers and U.S. Naval Air Force units like the
Northern Bombing Group The Northern Bombing Group consisted of United States Navy and United States Marine Corps squadrons conducting strategic bombing of German U-boat bases along the Belgian coast during World War I. The first United States military unit sent to Europe ...
contributed to the anti-submarine operations. The strength of the United States Navy grew under an ambitious ship building program associated with the
Naval Act of 1916 The Naval Act of 1916 was also called the "Big Navy Act" was United States federal legislation that called for vastly enlarging the US Navy. An overlooked landmark piece of legislation, President Woodrow Wilson determined amidst the repeated incid ...
. Naval construction, especially of battleships, was limited by the
Washington Naval Conference The Washington Naval Conference was a disarmament conference called by the United States and held in Washington, DC from November 12, 1921 to February 6, 1922. It was conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations. It was attended by nine ...
of 1921–22. The aircraft carriers and were built on the hulls of partially built battle cruisers that had been canceled by the treaty. The
New Deal The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1939. Major federal programs and agencies included the Civilian Con ...
used
Public Works Administration In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the ''Öffentlichke ...
funds to build warships, such as and . By 1936, with the completion of , the U.S. Navy possessed a carrier fleet of 165,000 tonnes
displacement Displacement may refer to: Physical sciences Mathematics and Physics *Displacement (geometry), is the difference between the final and initial position of a point trajectory (for instance, the center of mass of a moving object). The actual path c ...
, although this figure was nominally recorded as 135,000 tonnes to comply with treaty limitations.
Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the Demo ...
, the number two official in the Navy Department during World War I, appreciated the Navy and gave it strong support. In return, senior leaders were eager for innovation and experimented with new technologies, such as magnetic torpedoes, and developed a strategy called
War Plan OrangeWar Plan Orange (commonly known as Plan Orange or just Orange) refers to a series of United States Joint Army and Navy Board war plans for dealing with a possible war with Japan during the years between the First and Second World Wars. It failed to f ...
for victory in the Pacific in a hypothetical war with Japan that would eventually become reality.


World War II

The U.S. Navy grew into a formidable force in the years prior to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, with battleship production being restarted in 1937, commencing with . Though ultimately unsuccessful, Japan tried to neutralize this strategic threat with the surprise
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States (a neutral country at the time) against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Ho ...
on 7 December 1941. Following American entry into the war, the U.S. Navy grew tremendously as the United States was faced with a two-front war on the seas. It achieved notable acclaim in the
Pacific Theater The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia ...
, where it was instrumental to the Allies' successful "
island hopping Island hopping is the crossing of an ocean by a series of shorter journeys between islands, as opposed to a single journey directly to the destination. Oceanic dispersal in biology, where terrestrial species migrate by sea from one landmass ...
" campaign. The U.S. Navy participated in many significant battles, including the
Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. Taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, the battle ...

Battle of the Coral Sea
, the
Battle of Midway#REDIRECT Battle of Midway#REDIRECT Battle of Midway {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

Battle of Midway, the
Solomon Islands Campaign The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the British Solomon Islands and Bougainville, in the Territory of New Guinea, durin ...

Solomon Islands Campaign
, the
Battle of the Philippine Sea The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20, 1944) was a major naval battle of World War II that eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasi ...

Battle of the Philippine Sea
, the
Battle of Leyte Gulf The Battle of Leyte Gulf (Filipino: ''Labanan sa Look ng Leyte'') is considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved ...
, and the
Battle of Okinawa The , codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion of Okinawa on Ap ...

Battle of Okinawa
. By 1943, the navy's size was larger than the combined fleets of all the other combatant nations in World War II. By war's end in 1945, the U.S. Navy had added hundreds of new ships, including 18 aircraft carriers and 8 battleships, and had over 70% of the world's total numbers and total tonnage of naval vessels of 1,000 tons or greater. At its peak, the U.S. Navy was operating 6,768 ships on
V-J Day Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end. The term has been applied to both of the days on whi ...
in August 1945. Doctrine had significantly shifted by the end of the war. The U.S. Navy had followed in the footsteps of the navies of Great Britain and Germany which favored concentrated groups of battleships as their main offensive naval weapons. The development of the aircraft carrier and its devastating utilization by the Japanese against the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, however, shifted U.S. thinking. The Pearl Harbor attack destroyed or took out of action a significant number of U.S. Navy battleships. This placed much of the burden of retaliating against the Japanese on the small number of aircraft carriers. During World War II some 4,000,000 Americans served in the United States Navy.


Cold War

The potential for armed conflict with the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its governmen ...
during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the per ...
pushed the U.S. Navy to continue its technological advancement by developing new weapons systems, ships, and aircraft. U.S. naval strategy changed to that of forward deployment in support of U.S. allies with an emphasis on carrier battle groups. The navy was a major participant in the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War{{native name, vi, Chiến tranh Việt Nam , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image = File:VNWarMontage.png , image_size = 300px , caption ...
, blockaded Cuba during the
Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962 ( es, Crisis de Octubre), the Caribbean Crisis (), or the Missile Scare, was a 1 month, 4 day (16 October – 20 November 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Sov ...
, and, through the use of
ballistic missile submarines upright=1.35, Soviet Project 667BD (Delta II class) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with nuclear warheads. The United Stat ...
, became an important aspect of the United States' nuclear strategic deterrence policy. The U.S. Navy conducted various combat operations in the Persian Gulf against Iran in 1987 and 1988, most notably
Operation Praying Mantis Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on 18 April 1988, by the United States Armed Forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian naval mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq War and the subsequent damage to ...
. The Navy was extensively involved in
Operation Urgent Fury The United States invasion of Grenada began at dawn on 25 October 1983. The U.S. and a coalition of six Caribbean nations invaded the island nation of Grenada, north of Venezuela. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury by the U.S. military, it result ...
,
Operation Desert Shield The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. It was codenamed Operation Deser ...
,
Operation Desert Storm Operation or Operations may refer to: Science and technology * Surgical operation or surgery, in medicine * Operation (mathematics), a calculation from zero or more input values (called operands) to an output value ** Arity, number of arguments or ...
,
Operation Deliberate Force Operation Deliberate Force was a sustained air campaign conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), in concert with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) ground operations, to undermine the military capability of the Army ...
,
Operation Allied Force The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999. The bombings co ...
,
Operation Desert Fox The 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from 16 to 19 December 1998, by the United States and the United Kingdom. The contemporaneous justification for the strikes was Ira ...
and
Operation Southern Watch Operation Southern Watch was an air-centric military operation conducted by the United States Department of Defense from Summer 1992 to Spring 2003. United States Central Command's Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA) had the mission of monit ...
. The U.S. Navy has also been involved in search and rescue/search and salvage operations, sometimes in conjunction with vessels of other countries as well as with U.S. Coast Guard ships. Two examples are the
1966 Palomares B-52 crash The 1966 Palomares B-52 crash, also called the Palomares incident, occurred on 17 January 1966, when a B-52G bomber of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command collided with a KC-135 tanker during mid-air refueling at over the Mediter ...
incident and the subsequent search for missing hydrogen bombs, and Task Force 71 of the Seventh Fleet's operation in search for
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL007 and KE007)KAL 007 was used by air traffic control, while the public flight booking system used KE 007 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage, Alaska. ...
, shot down by the Soviets on 1 September 1983.


21st century

The U.S. Navy continues to be a major support to U.S. interests in the 21st century. Since the end of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the per ...
, it has shifted its focus from preparations for large-scale war with the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its governmen ...
to special operations and strike missions in regional conflicts. The navy participated in
Operation Enduring Freedom Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was the official name used by the U.S. government for the Global War on Terrorism. On 7 October 2001, in response to the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush announced that airstrikes targeting Al Qaed ...
,
Operation Iraqi Freedom The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
, and is a major participant in the ongoing
War on Terror The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism and U.S. War on Terror, is an international military campaign launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks. The targets of the campaign are primarily Sunni ...
, largely in this capacity. Development continues on new ships and weapons, including the and the
Littoral combat ship#REDIRECT Littoral combat ship#REDIRECT Littoral combat ship {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. Because of its size, weapons technology, and ability to project force far from U.S. shores, the current U.S. Navy remains an asset for the United States. Moreover, it is the principal means through which the U.S. maintains international global order, namely by safeguarding global trade and protecting allied nations. In 2007, the U.S. Navy joined with the U.S. Marine Corps and
U.S. Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, mul ...
to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. The strategy was presented by the
Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a memb ...
, the
Commandant of the Marine Corps The commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions. The CMC reports directly to the secre ...
, and
Commandant of the Coast Guard The commandant of the Coast Guard is the service chief and highest-ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The commandant is an admiral, appointed for a four-year term by the president of the United States upon confirmation by the Unite ...
at the International Sea Power Symposium in
Newport, RI Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is located in Narragansett Bay approximately southeast of Providence, south of Fall River, Massachusetts, south of Boston, and northeast of New York City. It i ...
on 17 October 2007. The strategy recognized the economic links of the global system and how any disruption due to regional crises (man-made or natural) can adversely impact the U.S. economy and quality of life. This new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent these crises from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to prevent negative impacts on the U.S. In 2010, Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, noted that demands on the Navy have grown as the fleet has shrunk and that in the face of declining budgets in the future, the U.S. Navy must rely even more on international partnerships. In its 2013 budget request, the navy focused on retaining all eleven big deck carriers, at the expense of cutting numbers of smaller ships and delaying the SSBN replacement. By the next year the USN found itself unable to maintain eleven aircraft carriers in the face of the expiration of budget relief offered by the
Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (; ) is a federal statute concerning spending and the budget in the United States, that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 26, 2013. On December 10, 2013, pursuant to the provisions of th ...
and CNO
Jonathan Greenert Jonathan William Greenert (born May 15, 1953) is a former United States Navy admiral who served as the 30th Chief of Naval Operations from September 23, 2011, to September 18, 2015. He previously served as the 36th Vice Chief of Naval Operations fr ...
said that a ten ship carrier fleet would not be able to sustainably support military requirements. The British
First Sea Lord The First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff (1SL/CNS) is the professional head of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy and Naval Service. Admiral Tony Radakin was appointed First Sea Lord in June 2019. Originally titled the "Senior Naval Lord to ...
George Zambellas Admiral Sir George Michael Zambellas, (born 4 April 1958) is a retired Royal Navy officer. He was the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from April 2013 until he handed over duties to Admiral Sir Philip Jones in April 2016. In his early ...
said that the USN had switched from "outcome-led to resource-led" planning. One significant change in U.S. policymaking that is having a major effect on naval planning is the Pivot to East Asia. In response, the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
Ray Mabus Raymond Edwin Mabus Jr. (born October 11, 1948) is an American politician, diplomat, and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2017. Mabus previously served as the State Auditor of M ...
stated in 2015 that 60 percent of the total U.S. fleet will be deployed to the
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia ...

Pacific
by 2020. The Navy's most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan, published in 2016, calls for a future fleet of 350 ships in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive international environment. A provision of the 2018
National Defense Authorization Act The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the name for each of a series of United States federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense. The first NDAA was passed in 1961. The U.S. Congress ove ...
called for expanding the naval fleet to 355 ships "as soon as practicable", but did not establish additional funding nor a timeline.


Organization

The U.S. Navy falls under the administration of the Department of the Navy, under civilian leadership of the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
(SECNAV). The most senior naval officer is the
Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a memb ...
(CNO), a four-star admiral who is immediately under and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. At the same time, the Chief of Naval Operations is a member of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the United States Department of Defense, that advises the president of the United States, the secretary of defense, the Homeland Security Council and the N ...
, which is the second-highest deliberative body of the armed forces after the
United States National Security Council Ronald Reagan's National Security Council. Participants include George Shultz, William F. Martin, Cap Weinberger, Colin Powell and Howard Baker. The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the ...
, although it only plays an advisory role to the President and does not nominally form part of the
chain of command A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations are responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Navy so that it is ready for operation under the commanders of the
unified combatant command#REDIRECT Unified combatant command {{R from move ...
s.


Operating forces

There are nine components in the operating forces of the U.S. Navy: the
United States Fleet Forces Command The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to a wide variety of U.S. forces. The naval resources may be allocated to Combatant Commanders such as United State ...
(formerly United States Atlantic Fleet),
United States Pacific Fleet The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a theater-level component command of the United States Navy, located in the Pacific Ocean. It provides naval forces to the Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Ha ...
,
United States Naval Forces Central Command United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the U ...
,
United States Naval Forces Europe United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-CNA), is the United States Navy component command of the United States European Command and United States Africa Command. Prior to 2020, CNE-CNA was previously referred to as United States Naval Forces ...
,
Naval Network Warfare Command Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM) is the United States Navy's information operations, intelligence, networks and space unit. Naval Network Warfare Command's mission is to execute, under Commander TENTH Fleet Operational Control, tactical ...
, Navy Reserve,
United States Naval Special Warfare Command The United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), also known as NSWC or WARCOM is the Naval component of United States Special Operations Command, the unified command responsible for overseeing and conducting the nation's special ...
,
Operational Test and Evaluation Force The Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) serves as an independent and objective agency within the United States Navy for the operational testing and evaluation (OT&E) of naval aviation, surface warfare, submarine warfare, C4I, cryptolog ...
, and
Military Sealift Command Military Sealift Command (MSC) is an organization that controls the replenishment and military transport ships of the United States Navy. Military Sealift Command has the responsibility for providing sealift and ocean transportation for all US mi ...
. Fleet Forces Command controls a number of unique capabilities, including Military Sealift Command, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, and
Navy Cyber Forces Navy Cyber Forces (CYBERFOR) was the type commander for the U.S. Navy's global cyber workforce. The headquarters was located at 115 Lake View Parkway in Suffolk, Virginia. CYBERFOR provided forces and equipment in cryptology/signals intelligence, ...
. The United States Navy has seven active numbered fleets –
Second The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) (French: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a day – this factor derived from th ...
,
Third Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers *3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics), , a fraction that is one of three equal parts *¹⁄₆₀ of a ''second'', or ¹⁄₃₆₀₀ of a ''minute'' Places * 3rd Street (disa ...
, Fifth, Sixth,
Seventh Fleet The Seventh Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It is headquartered at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of th ...
and are each led by a
vice admiral Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies,Vice admiral is a three-star rank in the navies of NA ...
, and the Fourth Fleet is led by a
rear admiral#REDIRECT Rear admiral#REDIRECT Rear admiral {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. These seven fleets are further grouped under Fleet Forces Command (the former Atlantic Fleet), Pacific Fleet, Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Naval Forces Central Command, whose commander also doubles as Commander Fifth Fleet; the first three commands being led by four-star admirals. The
United States First Fleet The First Fleet was a numbered fleet of the United States Navy, in operation from January 1947 to 1 February 1973 in the western Pacific Ocean as part of the Pacific Fleet. In 1973, it was disestablished and its duties assumed by the United States ...
existed after the Second World War from 1947, but it was redesignated the Third Fleet in early 1973. The
United States Second Fleet The United States Second Fleet is a numbered fleet in the United States Navy responsible for the East Coast and North Atlantic Ocean. The Fleet was established following World War II. In September 2011, Second Fleet was deactivated in view of th ...
was deactivated in September 2011 but reestablished in August 2018 amid heightened tensions with Russia. It is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, with responsibility over the East Coast and North Atlantic. In early 2008, the Navy reactivated the
United States Fourth Fleet The U.S. Fourth Fleet is a United States Navy numbered fleet. It is the Naval Component Command of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). The Fourth Fleet is headquartered at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida. It is responsible for U.S ...
to control operations in the area controlled by Southern Command, which consists of US assets in and around Central and South America. Other number fleets were activated during World War II and later deactivated, renumbered, or merged.


Shore establishments

Shore establishments exist to support the mission of the fleet through the use of facilities on land. Among the commands of the shore establishment, , are the
Naval Education and Training Command The Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) is an enterprise level shore command of the United States Navy with more than 19,000 military and staff personnel at more than 1,640 subordinate activities, sites, districts, stations, and detachment ...
, the
Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (COMNAVMETOCCOM) or CNMOC, serves as the operational arm of the Naval Oceanography Program. Headquartered at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, CNMOC is an echelon three command reporting to U ...
, the
Naval Information Warfare Systems Command The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM), based in San Diego, is one of six SYSCOM Echelon II organizations within the United States Navy and is the Navy's technical authority and acquisition command for C4ISR (Command, Control, ...
, the
Naval Facilities Engineering Command The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) is the United States Navy's engineering command, providing the Navy and United States Marine Corps with facilities and expeditionary expertise. NAVFAC is headquartered at the Washington Nav ...
, the
Naval Supply Systems Command The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) is the United States Navy's supply command, providing the Navy and United States Marine Corps with supplies, services, and quality-of-life support. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, the NAVSUP ...
, the
Naval Air Systems Command The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) provides materiel support for aircraft and airborne weapon systems for the United States Navy. It is one of the Echelon II Navy systems commands (SYSCOM), and was established in 1966 as the successor to the N ...
, the
Naval Sea Systems Command The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is the largest of the United States Navy's five "systems commands," or materiel (not to be confused with "material") organizations. From a physical perspective, NAVSEA has four shipyards for shipbuilding, con ...
, the
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) is an agency of the United States Department of the Navy that manages health care activities for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. BUMED operates hospitals and other health care faci ...
, the
Bureau of Naval Personnel Current logo of NPC The Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) in the United States Department of the Navy is similar to the human resources department of a corporation. The bureau provides administrative leadership and policy planning for the Office of ...
, the
United States Naval Academy , mottoeng = From Knowledge, Seapower , type = U.S. service academy , established = , academic_affiliations = APLUSpace-grant , superintendent = VADM Sean Buck , head_label = Commandant of Midshipmen , head = CAPT Thomas R. Buchanan , provost = ...
, the
Naval Safety Center The Naval Safety Center is a U.S. Navy organization. In May 1968, the Naval Aviation Safety Center and the Submarine Safety Center, located in New London, Connecticut, merged to become the Naval Safety Center (NSC). Programs involving surface ship ...
, the
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center 250px, Former NSAWC logo; NAWDC utilizes same logo with acronym NAWDC The Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC, pronounced NAW-DIK) was formerly known as the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC, pronounced "EN-SOCK") at Naval ...
, and the
United States Naval Observatory The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States, with a primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) for the United States Navy and the United States Department of De ...
. Official Navy websites list the
Office of the Chief of Naval OperationsThe structure of the United States Navy consists of four main bodies: the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the operating forces (described below), and the Shore Establishment. Office of the Chief of N ...
and the Chief of Naval Operations as part of the shore establishment, but these two entities effectively sit superior to the other organizations, playing a coordinating role.


Relationships with other service branches


United States Marine Corps

In 1834, the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations through combin ...
came under the Department of the Navy. Historically, the Navy has had a unique relationship with the USMC, partly because they both specialize in seaborne operations. Together the Navy and Marine Corps form the Department of the Navy and report to the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
. However, the Marine Corps is a distinct, separate service branch with its own uniformed service chief – the Commandant of the Marine Corps, a four-star general. The Marine Corps depends on the Navy for medical support (
dentists A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a medical professional who specializes in dentistry, the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. The dentist's supporting team aids in providing oral healt ...
, doctors,
nurse Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health car ...

nurse
s, medical technicians known as
corpsmen A hospital corpsman (HM r corpsman is an enlisted medical specialist of the United States Navy, who may also serve in a U.S. Marine Corps unit. The corresponding rating within the United States Coast Guard is health services technician (HS). ...
) and religious support (
chaplains The Reverend Manasseh Cutler, American Revolutionary War chaplain who served in George Washington's Continental Army">American Revolutionary War">Manasseh Cutler, American Revolutionary War chaplain who served in George Washington's Contin ...
). Thus Navy officers and enlisted sailors fulfill these roles. When attached to Marine Corps units deployed to an operational environment they generally wear Marine camouflage uniforms, but otherwise, they wear Navy
dress uniform Full dress uniform or parade dress uniform is the most formal type of uniforms used by military, police, fire and other public uniformed services for official parades, ceremonies, and receptions, including private ones such as marriages and funer ...
s unless they opt to conform to Marine Corps grooming standards. In the operational environment, as an expeditionary force specializing in amphibious operations, Marines often embark on Navy ships to conduct operations from beyond territorial waters. Marine units deploying as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operate under the command of the existing Marine chain of command. Although Marine units routinely operate from amphibious assault ships, the relationship has evolved over the years much as the Commander of the Carrier Air Group/Wing (CAG) does not work for the carrier commanding officer, but coordinates with the ship's CO and staff. Some Marine aviation squadrons, usually fixed-wing assigned to carrier air wings train and operate alongside Navy squadrons; they fly similar missions and often fly sorties together under the cognizance of the CAG. Aviation is where the Navy and Marines share the most common ground since aircrews are guided in their use of aircraft by standard procedures outlined in a series of publications known as
NATOPS The Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) program (pronounced ''NAY-Tops'') prescribes general flight and operating instructions and procedures applicable to the operation of all U.S. naval aircraft and related activit ...
manuals.


United States Coast Guard

The
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, mul ...
, in its peacetime role with the
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terror ...
, fulfills its law enforcement and rescue role in the maritime environment. It provides
Law Enforcement Detachments Members of LEDET 404 survey the deck of the self-propelled, semi-submersible craft they seized on September 13, 2008. Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guar ...
(LEDETs) to Navy vessels, where they perform arrests and other law enforcement duties during naval boarding and interdiction missions. In times of war, the Coast Guard operates as a service in the Navy. At other times, Coast Guard
Port Security Unit United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of reques ...
s are sent overseas to guard the security of ports and other assets. The Coast Guard also jointly staffs the Navy's naval coastal warfare groups and squadrons (the latter of which were known as harbor defense commands until late-2004), which oversee defense efforts in foreign littoral combat and inshore areas.


Personnel

The United States Navy has over 400,000 personnel, approximately a quarter of whom are in ready reserve. Of those on active duty, more than eighty percent are enlisted sailors and around fifteen percent are
commissioned officer An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and warrant officers. However, when used wit ...
s; the rest are
midshipmen A midshipman is an officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Canada (Naval Cadet), Australia, Bangladesh, Namibia, New Zealand, South Afric ...
of the
United States Naval Academy , mottoeng = From Knowledge, Seapower , type = U.S. service academy , established = , academic_affiliations = APLUSpace-grant , superintendent = VADM Sean Buck , head_label = Commandant of Midshipmen , head = CAPT Thomas R. Buchanan , provost = ...
and midshipmen of the
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program is a college-based, commissioned officer training program of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. Origins A pilot Naval Reserve unit was established in September 1924 ...
at over 180 universities around the country and officer candidates at the Navy's
Officer Candidate School#REDIRECT Officer candidate school {{R from move ...
. Enlisted sailors complete basic military training at boot camp and then are sent to complete training for their individual
careers The career is an individual's metaphorical "journey" through learning, work and other aspects of life. There are a number of ways to define career and the term is used in a variety of ways. Definitions The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' define ...
. Sailors prove they have mastered skills and deserve responsibilities by completing Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) tasks and examinations. Among the most important is the "warfare qualification", which denotes a journeyman level of capability in Surface Warfare, Aviation Warfare, Information Dominance Warfare, Naval Aircrew, Special Warfare, Seabee Warfare, Submarine Warfare or Expeditionary Warfare. Many qualifications are denoted on a sailor's uniform with U.S. Navy badges and insignia.


Uniforms

The uniforms of the U.S. Navy have evolved gradually since the first uniform regulations for
officers An officer is a person who has a position of authority in a hierarchical organization. The term derives from Old French ''oficier'' "officer, official" (early 14c., Modern French ''officier''), from Medieval Latin ''officiarius'' "an officer," from ...
were issued in 1802 on the formation of the Navy Department. The predominant colors of U.S. Navy uniforms are
navy blue Navy blue is a very dark shade of the color blue. Navy blue got its name from the dark blue (contrasted with naval white) worn by officers in the Royal Navy since 1748 and subsequently adopted by other navies around the world. When this color na ...
and
white White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of fresh snow, chalk and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and ...
. U.S. Navy uniforms were based on
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the K ...
uniforms of the time, and have tended to follow that template.


Commissioned officers

The commissioned officer ranks of the U.S. Navy are divided into three categories:
junior officer Junior officer, company officer or company grade officer refers to the lowest operational commissioned officer category of ranks in a military or paramilitary organization, ranking above non-commissioned officers and below senior officers. The ter ...
s, senior officers, and
flag officer A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command. The term is used differently in different countries: *In many countries, ...
s. Junior officers are those officers in pay grades O-1 to O-4, while senior officers are those in pay grades O-5 and O-6, and flag officers are those in pay grades of O-7 and above. Navy officers serve either as a
line officer In the United States Armed Forces, a line officer or officer of the line is a U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps commissioned officer or warrant officer who exercises general command authority and is eligible for operational command positions, as oppo ...
or as a staff corps officer. Line officers wear an embroidered gold star above their rank of the naval service dress uniform while staff corps officers and commissioned warrant officers wear unique designator insignias that denotes their occupational specialty.


=Warrant officers

= Warrant and chief warrant officer ranks are held by technical specialists who direct specific activities essential to the proper operation of the ship, which also require commissioned officer authority. Navy warrant officers serve in 30 specialties covering five categories. Warrant officers should not be confused with the
limited duty officer A limited duty officer (LDO) is an officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps who was selected for commissioning based on skill and expertise. They are the primary manpower source for technically specific billets not best su ...
(LDO) in the Navy. Warrant officers perform duties that are directly related to their previous enlisted service and specialized training. This allows the Navy to capitalize on the experience of warrant officers without having to frequently transition them to other duty assignments for advancement. Most Navy warrant officers are accessed from the
chief petty officer#REDIRECT Chief petty officer {{R from other capitalisation ...
pay grades, E-7 through E-9, analogous to a senior non-commissioned officers in the other services, and must have a minimum 14 years time in service.


Enlisted

Sailors in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are considered to be in apprenticeships. They are divided into five definable groups, with colored group rate marks designating the group to which they belong: Seaman, Fireman, Airman, Constructionman, and Hospitalman. E-4 to E-6 are
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which includes most or all enlist ...
s (NCOs), and are specifically called
Petty officer#REDIRECT Petty officer {{R from other capitalisation ...
s in the Navy. Petty Officers perform not only the duties of their specific career field but also serve as leaders to junior enlisted personnel. E-7 to E-9 are still considered Petty Officers, but are considered a separate community within the Navy. They have separate berthing and dining facilities (where feasible), wear separate uniforms, and perform separate duties. After attaining the rate of Master Chief Petty Officer, a service member may choose to further their career by becoming a
Command Master Chief Petty Officer#REDIRECT Command master chief petty officer ...
(CMC). A CMC is considered to be the senior-most enlisted service member within a command, and is the special assistant to the
Commanding Officer#REDIRECT Commanding officer#REDIRECT Commanding officer {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
in all matters pertaining to the health, welfare, job satisfaction, morale, utilization, advancement and training of the command's enlisted personnel. CMCs can be Command level (within a single unit, such as a ship or shore station), Fleet level (squadrons consisting of multiple operational units, headed by a flag officer or commodore), or Force level (consisting of a separate community within the Navy, such as Subsurface, Air, Reserves). CMC insignia are similar to the insignia for Master Chief, except that the rating symbol is replaced by an inverted five-point star, reflecting a change in their rating from their previous rating (i.e., MMCM) to CMDCM. The stars for Command Master Chief are silver, while stars for Fleet or Force Master Chief are gold. Additionally, CMCs wear a badge, worn on their left breast pocket, denoting their title (Command/Fleet/Force).


Badges of the United States Navy

Insignia and badges of the United States Navy are military "badges" issued by the
United States Department of the Navy The United States Department of the Navy (DN) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Navy was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798 (initiated ...
to naval service members who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Navy. Most naval aviation insignia are also permitted for wear on uniforms of the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations through combin ...
. As described in Chapter 5 of U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, "badges" are categorized as ''breast insignia'' (usually worn immediately above and below ribbons) and ''identification badges'' (usually worn at breast pocket level). Breast insignia are further divided between ''command'' and ''warfare and other qualification''. Insignia come in the form of metal "pin-on devices" worn on formal uniforms and embroidered "tape strips" worn on work uniforms. For the purpose of this article, the general term "insignia" shall be used to describe both, as it is done in Navy Uniform Regulations. The term "badge", although used ambiguously in other military branches and in informal speak to describe any pin, patch, or tab, is exclusive to ''identification badges'' and authorized '' marksmanship awards'' according to the language in Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5. Below are just a few of the many badges maintained by the Navy. The rest can be seen in the article cited at the top of this section: File:Naval Aviator Badge.jpg, Naval Aviator Badge File:Submarine Officer badge.jpg, Submarine Officer badge File:Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png, Surface Warfare Officer Insignia


Bases

The size, complexity, and international presence of the United States Navy requires a large number of navy installations to support its operations. While the majority of bases are located inside the United States itself, the Navy maintains a significant number of facilities abroad, either in U.S.-controlled territories or in foreign countries under a
Status of Forces Agreement#REDIRECT Status of forces agreement {{R from other capitalisation ...
(SOFA).


Eastern United States

The second largest concentration of installations is at
Hampton Roads Hampton Roads is the name of both a body of water that serves as a wide channel for the James, Nansemond and Elizabeth rivers between Old Point Comfort and Sewell's Point where the Chesapeake Bay flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and the surroundin ...
,
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are s ...

Virginia
, where the navy occupies over of land. Located at Hampton Roads are
Naval Station Norfolk Naval Station Norfolk is a United States Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, that is the headquarters and home port of the U.S. Navy's Fleet Forces Command. The installation occupies about of waterfront space and of pier and wharf space of the Hampton ...
, homeport of the Atlantic Fleet;
Naval Air Station Oceana ''Naval Air Station Oceana or NAS Oceana is a United States Navy Naval Air Station located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. NAS Oceana is under the jurisdiction of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and is the headquarters of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic and C ...
, a
Master Jet BaseIn the United States Navy, a master jet base is a naval air station with permanent basing and homeporting of carrier-based tactical jet squadrons (e.g., fighter, strike fighter, attack), carrier air wings, and the provision of one or more jet-capable ...
;
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It includes ...
; and Training Support Center Hampton Roads as well as a number of Navy and commercial shipyards that service navy vessels. The Aegis Training and Readiness Center is located at the Naval Support Activity South Potomac in
Dahlgren, Virginia Dahlgren is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in King George County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,653 at the 2010 census, up from 997 in 2000. History Since 1918, Dahlgren has been the site of a U.S. na ...
. Maryland is home to
NAS Patuxent River Naval Air Station Patuxent River , also known as NAS Pax River, is a United States naval air station located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River. It is home to Headquarters, Naval Air Sys ...
, which houses the Navy's Test Pilot School. Also located in Maryland is the
United States Naval Academy , mottoeng = From Knowledge, Seapower , type = U.S. service academy , established = , academic_affiliations = APLUSpace-grant , superintendent = VADM Sean Buck , head_label = Commandant of Midshipmen , head = CAPT Thomas R. Buchanan , provost = ...
, situated in
Annapolis Annapolis ( ) is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis i ...
. NS Newport in
Newport, Rhode Island Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is located in Narragansett Bay approximately southeast of Providence, south of Fall River, Massachusetts, south of Boston, and northeast of New York City. It i ...
is home to many schools and tenant commands, including the
Officer Candidate School#REDIRECT Officer candidate school {{R from move ...
,
Naval Undersea Warfare Center The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) is the United States Navy's full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support center for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, and offensive and defensive weapons s ...
, and more, and also maintains inactive ships. There is also a naval base in Charleston, South Carolina. This is home to the Nuclear A-School, and the Nuclear Field Power school, and one of two nuclear 'Prototype' Schools. The state of Florida is the location of three major bases,
NS Mayport Naval Station Mayport is a major United States Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains a protected harbor that can accommodate aircraft carrier-size vessels, ship's intermediate maintenance activity (SIMA) and a military airfield (Admiral ...
, the Navy's fourth largest, in
Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville it ...
;
NAS Jacksonville Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jacksonville) is a large naval air station located approximately eight miles (13 km) south of the central business district of Jacksonville, Florida, United States., effective 2007-10-25 Location NAS Jackso ...
, a Master Air Anti-submarine Warfare base; and
NAS Pensacola built by the U.S. on the Florida coast Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola (formerly NAS/KNAS until changed circa 1970 to allow Nassau International Airport, now Lynden Pindling International Airport, to have IATA code NAS), "The Cradle ...
; home of the
Naval Education and Training Command The Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) is an enterprise level shore command of the United States Navy with more than 19,000 military and staff personnel at more than 1,640 subordinate activities, sites, districts, stations, and detachment ...
, the Naval Air Technical Training Center that provides specialty training for enlisted aviation personnel and is the primary flight training base for Navy and Marine Corps
Naval Flight Officer#REDIRECT Naval flight officer ...
s and enlisted
Naval Aircrewman The Naval Aircrewman rating (known as Aviation Warfare Systems Operator or AW prior to 2008) is an enlisted rating of the US Navy. It was previously designated as aviation anti-submarine warfare operator. However, under the CNO-directed "Helicopt ...
. There is also NSA Panama City, Florida which is home to the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center. The main U.S. Navy
submarine base 97px, Plaque stating New Suffolk, New York's claim to be the first submarine base. A submarine base is a military base that shelters submarines and their personnel. Examples of present-day submarine bases include HMNB Clyde, Île Longue (the base ...
s on the east coast are located in
Naval Submarine Base New London Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary East Coast submarine base, also known as the "Home of the Submarine Force". It is located in Groton, Connecticut directly across the Thames River from its namesake city of New Lon ...
in
Groton, Connecticut Groton is a town in New London County, Connecticut located on the Thames River. It is the home of General Dynamics Electric Boat, which is the major contractor for submarine work for the United States Navy. The Naval Submarine Base New London is l ...
and NSB Kings Bay in
Kings Bay, Georgia Kings Bay Base is a census-designated place (CDP) in Camden County, Georgia, United States; it is home to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. The population was 1,777 at the 2010 census. Geography Kings Bay Base is located in southeastern Camden C ...
. The
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, often called the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is a United States Navy shipyard located in Kittery on the southern boundary of Maine near the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. PNS is tasked with the overhaul, repair, and mod ...

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
near
Portsmouth, New Hampshire Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 21,233, NOTE: Population revised December 20, 2011 from original figure of 20,779. and in 2019 the estimated population was ...
, which repairs naval submarines. NS Great Lakes, north of
Chicago, Illinois (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivisio ...
is the home of the Navy's boot camp for enlisted sailors. The
Washington Navy Yard The Washington Navy Yard (WNY) is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Yard currently serves as a ceremonial and administrative c ...
in
Washington, DC ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Washington Metro, Air and Space Museum, White House, ...
is the Navy's oldest shore establishment and serves as a ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy, home to the
Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a memb ...
, and is headquarters for numerous commands.


Western United States and Hawaii

The navy's largest complex is
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake is a large military installation in California that supports the research, testing and evaluation programs of the U.S. Navy. It is part of Navy Region Southwest under Commander, Navy Installations Comman ...
, California, which covers of land, or approximately 1/3 of the U.S. Navy's total land holdings.
Naval Base San Diego Naval Base San Diego, also known as 32nd Street Naval Station, is the second largest Surface Ship base of the United States Navy and is located in San Diego, California. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consis ...
, California is the main homeport of the Pacific Fleet, although its headquarters is located in
Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Re ...
, Hawaii.
NAS North Island Naval Air Station North Island or NAS North Island is located at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay and is the home port of several aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. It is part of the largest aerospace-industrial c ...
is located on the north side of
Coronado, California Coronado is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, USA, across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. It was founded in the 1880s and incorporated in 1890. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 200 ...
, and is home to Headquarters for Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Force Pacific, the bulk of the Pacific Fleet's helicopter squadrons, and part of the West Coast
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. Typically, it is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a nav ...
fleet. is located on the southern end of the Coronado Island and is home to the navy's west coast SEAL teams and special boat units. NAB Coronado is also home to the
Naval Special Warfare Center The Phil Bucklew Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC, also known as "The Center") is a component command of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command, United States Navy. It is sited within Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California. The NS ...
, the primary training center for SEALs. The other major collection of naval bases on the west coast is in
Puget Sound Puget Sound () is a sound of the Pacific Northwest, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea. It is located along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine ...
,
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (metonym) ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on Washingt ...
. Among them, NS Everett is one of the newer bases and the navy states that it is its most modern facility. NAS Fallon, Nevada serves as the primary training ground for navy strike aircrews, and is home to the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center.
Master Jet BaseIn the United States Navy, a master jet base is a naval air station with permanent basing and homeporting of carrier-based tactical jet squadrons (e.g., fighter, strike fighter, attack), carrier air wings, and the provision of one or more jet-capable ...
s are also located at NAS Lemoore, California, and
NAS Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) is a naval air station of the United States Navy located on two pieces of land near Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, in Island County, Washington. The main portion of the base, Ault Field, is about thre ...
, Washington, while the carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft community and major air test activities are located at
NAS Point Mugu Naval Air Station Point Mugu is a former United States Navy air station that operated from 1942 to 2000 in California. In 2000, it merged with nearby Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme to form Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC). At Poin ...
, California. The naval presence in Hawaii is centered on NS Pearl Harbor, which hosts the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet and many of its subordinate commands.


United States territories

Guam , az, GUAM Demokratiya və İqtisadi İnkişaf naminə Təşkilat , ro, GUAM Organizația pentru Democrație și Dezvoltare Economică , linking_name = GUAM , symbol_type = Logo , image_symbol = GUAM logo.png , symbo ...
, an island strategically located in the Western Pacific Ocean, maintains a sizable U.S. Navy presence, including NB Guam. The westernmost U.S. territory, it contains a natural deep water harbor capable of harboring aircraft carriers in emergencies. Its naval air station was deactivated in 1995 and its flight activities transferred to nearby
Andersen Air Force Base Andersen Air Force Base (Andersen AFB, AAFB) is a United States Air Force base located primarily within the village of Yigo in the United States territory of Guam. The host unit at Andersen AFB is the 36th Wing (36 WG), assigned to the Pacific A ...
.
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico ('; abbreviated PR, tnq, Boriken, Borinquen), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and unincorporated territo ...
in the Caribbean formerly housed NS Roosevelt Roads, which was shut down in 2004 shortly after the controversial closure of the live ordnance training area on nearby Vieques Island.


Foreign countries

The largest overseas base is the
United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka or is a United States Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan. Its mission is to maintain and operate base facilities for the logistic, recreational, administrative support and service of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Seventh Fleet and other operating forc ...
, Japan, which serves as the home port for the navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and is a significant base of operations in the Western Pacific. European operations revolve around facilities in Italy ( NAS Sigonella and Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples) with NSA Naples as the homeport for the Sixth Fleet and Command Naval Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (CNREURAFSWA), and additional facilities in nearby
Gaeta Gaeta (; lat, Cāiēta; grc, Καιήτη, Kaiḗtē) is a city and ''comune'' in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is from Rome and from Naples. The town has played a c ...
. There is also NS Rota in
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , ...
and NSA Souda Bay in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed by Thessaloniki. Situated on th ...
. In the Middle East, naval facilities are located almost exclusively in countries bordering the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xalij-e Fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran ...
, with NSA Bahrain serving as the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet. NS Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is the oldest overseas facility and has become known in recent years as the location of a
detention camp Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects". Thus, while it can simply me ...
for suspected
al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; ar, القاعدة ', , translation: "The Base", "The Foundation", alternatively spelled al-Qaida and al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national terrorist organization founded in 1988. by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azza ...
operatives.


Equipment

, the navy operates over 460 ships, including vessels operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) crewed by a combination of civilian contractors and a small number of uniformed Naval personnel, 3,650+ aircraft, 50,000 non-combat vehicles and owns 75,200 buildings on .


Ships

The names of commissioned ships of the U.S. Navy are prefixed with the letters "USS", designating "United States Ship". Non-commissioned, civilian-manned vessels of the navy have names that begin with "USNS", standing for "United States Naval Ship" The names of ships are officially selected by the secretary of the navy, often to honor important people or places. Additionally, each ship is given a letter-based
hull classification symbol The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use a hull classification symbol (sometimes called hull code or hull number) to identify their ships by type and by indiv ...
(for example, CVN or DDG) to indicate the vessel's type and number. All ships in the navy inventory are placed in the
Naval Vessel Register The ''Naval Vessel Register'' (NVR) is the official inventory of ships and service craft in custody of or titled by the United States Navy. It contains information on ships and service craft that make up the official inventory of the Navy from th ...
, which is part of "the Navy List" (required by article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). The register tracks data such as the current status of a ship, the date of its commissioning, and the date of its decommissioning. Vessels that are removed from the register prior to disposal are said to be ''stricken'' from the register. The navy also maintains a
reserve fleet A reserve fleet is a collection of naval vessels of all types that are fully equipped for service but are not currently needed and thus are partially or fully decommissioned. A reserve fleet is informally said to be "in mothballs" or "mothballed"; ...
of inactive vessels that are maintained for reactivation in times of need. The U.S. Navy was one of the first to install
nuclear reactor#REDIRECT Nuclear reactor#REDIRECT Nuclear reactor {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s aboard naval vessels; today, nuclear energy powers all active U.S. aircraft carriers and
submarine upright=1.35, Russian ''Akula''-class submarine of the Northern Fleet A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also someti ...
s. In the case of the carrier, two
naval reactors Naval Reactors (NR), also known as the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, is an umbrella term for the U.S. government office that has comprehensive responsibility for the safe and reliable operation of the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion pro ...
give the ship almost unlimited range and provide enough electrical energy to power a city of 100,000 people. The U.S. Navy previously operated nuclear-powered cruisers, but all have been decommissioned. The U.S. Navy had identified a need for 313 combat ships in early 2010s, but under its plans at the time could only afford 232 to 243. In March 2014, the Navy started counting self-deployable support ships such as minesweepers, surveillance craft, and tugs in the "battle fleet" in order to reach a count of 272 as of October 2016, and it includes ships that have been put in "shrink wrap".


Aircraft carriers

An
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. Typically, it is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a nav ...
is typically deployed along with a host of additional vessels, forming a
carrier strike group A carrier strike group (CSG) is a type of carrier battle group of the United States Navy. It is an operational formation composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, usually an aircraft carrier, at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two d ...
. The supporting ships, which usually include three or four
Aegis The aegis ( ; grc, αἰγίς ''aigís''), as stated in the ''Iliad'', is a device carried by Athena and Zeus, variously interpreted as an animal skin or a shield and sometimes featuring the head of a Gorgon. There may be a connection with a dei ...
-equipped cruisers and destroyers, a frigate, and two attack submarines, are tasked with protecting the carrier from air, missile, sea, and undersea threats as well as providing additional strike capabilities themselves. Ready logistics support for the group is provided by a combined ammunition, oiler, and supply ship. Modern carriers are named after American admirals and politicians, usually presidents. The Navy has a statutory requirement for a minimum of 11 aircraft carriers. Currently there are 10 that are deployable and one, , that is currently undergoing extensive systems and technologies testing until around 2021.


Amphibious warfare vessels

Amphibious assault ship An amphibious assault ship is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. The design evolved from aircraft carriers converted for use as helicopter carriers (and, as a ...
s are the centerpieces of US amphibious warfare and fulfill the same power projection role as aircraft carriers except that their striking force centers on land forces instead of aircraft. They deliver, command, coordinate, and fully support all elements of a 2,200-strong
Marine Expeditionary Unit returns to USS ''Belleau Wood'' with members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marine expeditionary units (MEU, pronounced "") are the smallest Marine air-ground task force, air-ground task forces (MAGTF) in the United States Fleet Marine Force ...
in an amphibious assault using both air and amphibious vehicles. Resembling small aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships are capable of
V/STOL A vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) aircraft is an airplane able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft are a subset of V/STOL craft that do not require runways at all. ...
,
STOVL A short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL aircraft) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is able to take off from a short runway (or take off vertically if it does not have a heavy payload) and land vertically (i.e. with no runway). The fo ...
,
VTOL A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is one that can hover, take off, and land vertically. This classification can include a variety of types of aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with pow ...
, tiltrotor, and rotary wing aircraft operations. They also contain a
well deck In traditional nautical use, well decks were decks lower than decks fore and aft, usually at the main deck level, so that breaks appear in the main deck profile, as opposed to a flush deck profile. The term goes back to the days of sail. Late-20t ...
to support the use of
Landing Craft Air Cushion The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the United States Navy's Assault Craft Units and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). They transport weapons systems, equipment ...
(LCAC) and other amphibious assault watercraft. Recently, amphibious assault ships have begun to be deployed as the core of an
expeditionary strike group The expeditionary strike group (ESG) is a United States Navy concept introduced in the early 1990s, based on the Naval Expeditionary Task Force. The U.S. Navy fields nine expeditionary strike groups and ten carrier strike groups (CSGs), in addition ...
, which usually consists of an additional
amphibious transport dock An amphibious transport dock, also called a landing platform/dock (LPD), is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Several navies currently operate ...
and
dock landing ship A dock landing ship (also called landing ship, dock or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with well decks, such as the Soviet Ivan Rogov class, also have b ...
for amphibious warfare and an Aegis-equipped cruiser and destroyer, frigate, and attack submarine for group defense. Amphibious assault ships are typically named after World War II aircraft carriers. Amphibious transport docks are warships that embark, transport, and land Marines, supplies, and equipment in a supporting role during amphibious warfare missions. With a landing platform, amphibious transport docks also have the capability to serve as secondary aviation support for an expeditionary group. All amphibious transport docks can operate helicopters, LCACs, and other conventional amphibious vehicles while the newer ''San Antonio'' class of ships has been explicitly designed to operate all three elements of the Marines' "mobility triad":
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) (formerly known as the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle) was an amphibious assault vehicle developed by General Dynamics during the 1990s and 2000s for use by the U.S. Marine Corps. It would have been ...

Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
s (EFVs), the
V-22 Osprey The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional ...
tiltrotor aircraft, and LCACs. Amphibious transport docks are typically named after U.S. cities. The
dock landing ship A dock landing ship (also called landing ship, dock or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with well decks, such as the Soviet Ivan Rogov class, also have b ...
is a medium amphibious transport that is designed specifically to support and operate LCACs, though it is able to operate other amphibious assault vehicles in the United States inventory as well. Dock landing ships are normally deployed as a component of an expeditionary strike group's amphibious assault contingent, operating as a secondary launch platform for LCACs. All dock landing ships are named after cities or important places in U.S. and U.S. Naval history.


Cruisers

Cruiser A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, has ...
s are large surface combat vessels that conduct anti-air/anti-missile warfare, surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and strike operations independently or as members of a larger task force. Modern guided missile cruisers were developed out of a need to counter the anti-ship missile threat facing the United States Navy. This led to the development of the
AN/SPY-1 The AN/SPY-1 is a United States Navy 3D radar system manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The array is a passive electronically scanned system and is a key component of the Aegis Combat System. The system is computer controlled, using four complement ...
phased array radar and the
Standard missileStandard Missile refers to a family of American-made shipborne guided missiles: * RIM-66 Standard (SM-1MR/SM-2MR), a medium-range surface-to-air missile, the successor of the RIM-24 Tartar surface-to-air missile, currently in use by the U.S. Navy an ...
with the
Aegis combat system#REDIRECT Aegis Combat System#REDIRECT Aegis Combat System {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
coordinating the two. s were the first to be equipped with Aegis and were put to use primarily as anti-air and anti-missile defense in a battle force protection role. Later developments of
vertical launch system File:USS George Washington (SSBN-598) underway at sea, circa in the 1970s.jpg, At the verge of 1960, the U.S. Navy commissioned the George Washington as its first Ballistic Missile Submarine, making it the first VLS submarine in the world to use ...
s and the
Tomahawk missile The Tomahawk () Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile that is primarily used by the United States Navy and Royal Navy in ship- and submarine-based land-attack operations. Designed at APL/JH ...
gave cruisers additional long-range land and sea strike capability, making them capable of both offensive and defensive battle operations. The ''Ticonderoga'' class is the only active class of cruiser. All cruisers in this class are named after battles.


Destroyers

Destroyers In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against powerful short range attackers. They were originally developed in the ...
are multi-mission medium surface ships capable of sustained performance in anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive strike operations. Like cruisers, guided missile destroyers are primarily focused on surface strikes using
Tomahawk missiles Pipe tomahawk A tomahawk is a type of single-handed axe native to the many Indigenous peoples and nations of North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. The term came into the English language in the 17th century as a ...
and fleet defense through Aegis and the Standard missile. Destroyers additionally specialize in anti-submarine warfare and are equipped with VLA rockets and LAMPS Mk III Sea Hawk helicopters to deal with underwater threats. When deployed with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, destroyers and their fellow Aegis-equipped cruisers are primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities. With very few exceptions, destroyers are named after U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes.


Frigates and Littoral combat ships

underway in special naval camouflage Modern U.S.
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over time. In the 17th century, a frigate was any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built". These could be warships carrying ...
s mainly perform anti-submarine warfare for carrier and expeditionary strike groups and provide armed escort for supply convoys and merchant shipping. They are designed to protect friendly ships against hostile submarines in low to medium threat environments, using torpedoes and LAMPS helicopters. Independently, frigates are able to conduct counterdrug missions and other maritime interception operations. As in the case of destroyers, frigates are named after U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes. As of autumn 2015, the U.S. Navy has retired its most recent class of frigates, and expects that by 2020 the
Littoral Combat Ship#REDIRECT Littoral combat ship#REDIRECT Littoral combat ship {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s (LCS) will assume many of the duties the frigate had with the fleet. The LCS is a class of relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It was "envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals". They have the capabilities of a small assault transport, including a flight deck and hangar for housing two helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. The ship is easy to reconfigure for different roles, including
anti-submarine warfare officers on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy escort duties keep a sharp look out for enemy submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic, October 1941 Anti-submarine warfare (ASW, or in older form A/S) is a branch of underwater warfare that u ...
,
mine countermeasures An explosion of a Naval mine A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach ...
,
anti-surface warfare Anti-surface warfare (ASuW or ASUW) is the branch of naval warfare concerned with the suppression of surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surfac ...
, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics, all by swapping mission-specific modules as needed. The LCS program is still relatively new as of 2018 with only ten active ships, but the navy has announced plans for up to 32 ships. (See: List of littoral combat ships) The navy has announced that a further 20 vessels to be built after that will be redesignated as 'frigates'. A special case is the , commissioned in 1797 as one of the
original six frigates of the United States Navy The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on March 27, 1794, at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were built during the formative years of the United States Navy, on ...
, and which remains in commission at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She serves as a tribute to the heritage of the Navy, and occasionally sails for commemorative events such as
Independence Day An independence day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's independence or statehood, usually after ceasing to be a group or part of another nation or state, or more rarely after the end of a military occupation. Many co ...
and various victories during the
War of 1812 War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using ...
. ''Constitution'' is currently the oldest commissioned warship afloat. is older, and in commission, but is in permanent drydock.


Mine countermeasures ships

Mine countermeasures vessel A mine countermeasures vessel or MCMV is a type of naval ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. The term MCMV is also applied collectively to minehunters ...
s are a combination of
minehunter A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines. A vessel that combines both of these roles is known as a m ...
s, a naval vessel that actively detects and destroys individual
naval mines An explosion of a Naval mine A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach ...
, and
minesweeper underway in British coastal waters during World War II. A minesweeper is a small warship designed to remove or detonate naval mines. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, minesweepers keep waterways clear f ...
s, which clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of the mines. The navy has approximately a dozen of these in active service, but the mine countermeasure (MCM) role is also being assumed by the incoming classes of littoral combat ships. MCM vessels have mostly legacy names of previous US Navy ships, especially WWII-era minesweepers.


Patrol boats

A
patrol boat A patrol boat (also referred to as a patrol craft, patrol ship or patrol vessel) is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defence, border protection, immigration law-enforcement, search and rescue duties. There have been ...
is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats, though the navy currently only has a single class. They may be operated by a nation's navy or coast guard, and may be intended for marine ("
blue water 350px, The four kinds of navigable water in the Gulf of Mexico. Maritime geography is often discussed in terms of three loosely defined regions: brown water, green water, and blue water. Definitions The elements of maritime geography are loosely def ...
") or estuarine or river ("
brown water 350px, The four kinds of navigable water in the Gulf of Mexico. Maritime geography is often discussed in terms of three loosely defined regions: brown water, green water, and blue water. Definitions The elements of maritime geography are loosely def ...
") environments. The Navy has approximately a dozen in active service, which are mainly used in the littoral regions of the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xalij-e Fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran ...
, but have also been used for home port patrols and
drug interdiction#REDIRECT War on drugs {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
missions. The navy's current class of patrol boats have names based on weather phenomena.


Submarines

All current and planned U.S. Navy submarines are nuclear-powered, as only nuclear propulsion allows for the combination of stealth and long duration, high-speed sustained underwater movement that makes modern nuclear submarines so vital to a modern blue-water navy. The U.S. Navy operates three types:
ballistic missile submarine upright=1.35, Soviet Project 667BD (Delta II class) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with nuclear warheads. The United Stat ...
s,
guided missile submarine A cruise missile submarine is a submarine that carries and launches cruise missiles (SLCMs and anti-ship missiles) as its primary armament. Missiles greatly enhance a vessel's ability to attack surface combatants and strike land targets, and altho ...
s, and
attack submarine An attack submarine or hunter-killer submarine is a submarine specifically designed for the purpose of attacking and sinking other submarines, surface combatants and merchant vessels. In the Soviet and Russian navies they were and are called "mult ...
s. U.S. Navy (nuclear) ballistic missile submarines carry the stealthiest leg of the U.S. strategic triad (the other legs are the land-based U.S. strategic missile force and the air-based U.S. strategic bomber force). These submarines have only one mission: to carry and, if called upon, to launch the Trident nuclear missile. The primary missions of attack and guided missile submarines in the U.S. Navy are peacetime engagement, surveillance and intelligence, special operations, precision strikes, and control of the seas. To these, attack submarines also add the battlegroup operations mission. Attack and guided missile submarines have several tactical missions, including sinking ships and other subs, launching
cruise missile A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets, that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long ...
s, gathering intelligence, and assisting in special operations. As with other classes of naval vessels, most U.S. submarines (or "boats") are named according to specific conventions. The boats of the current U.S. ballistic missile submarine class, , are named after U.S. states. As the four current U.S. guided missile submarines are converted ''Ohio''-class boats, they have retained their U.S. state names. The members of the oldest currently-commissioned attack submarine class, the , are typically named for cities. The follow-on ' three submarines—''Seawolf'', ''Connecticut'' and ''Jimmy Carter''—share no consistent naming scheme. With the current attack submarines, the U.S. Navy has extended the ''Ohio'' class' state-based naming scheme to these submarines. Attack submarines prior to the ''Los Angeles'' class were named for denizens of the deep, while pre-''Ohio''-class ballistic missile submarines were named for famous Americans and foreigners with notable connections to the United States.


Aircraft

Carrier-based aircraft are able to strike air, sea, and land targets far from a carrier strike group while protecting friendly forces from enemy aircraft, ships, and submarines. In peacetime, aircraft's ability to project the threat of sustained attack from a mobile platform on the seas gives United States leaders significant diplomatic and crisis-management options. Aircraft additionally provide logistics support to maintain the navy's readiness and, through helicopters, supply platforms with which to conduct
search and rescue Search and rescue (SAR) is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger. The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, typically determined by the type of terrain the search is ...
,
special operations Special operations (S.O.) are military activities conducted by "specially designated, organized, selected, trained, and equipped forces using unconventional techniques and modes of employment," according to NATO. Special operations may include re ...
,
anti-submarine warfare officers on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy escort duties keep a sharp look out for enemy submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic, October 1941 Anti-submarine warfare (ASW, or in older form A/S) is a branch of underwater warfare that u ...
(ASW), and
anti-surface warfare Anti-surface warfare (ASuW or ASUW) is the branch of naval warfare concerned with the suppression of surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surfac ...
(ASuW), including the U.S. Navy's premier Maritime Strike and only organic ASW aircraft, the venerable Sikorsky
MH-60R The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk (or Sea Hawk) is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modification ...
operated by Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing. The U.S. Navy began to research the use of aircraft at sea in the 1910s, with Lieutenant Theodore G. "Spuds" Ellyson becoming the first naval aviator on 28 January 1911, and commissioned its first aircraft carrier, , in 1922. United States naval aviation fully came of age in World War II, when it became clear following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the
Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. Taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, the battle ...

Battle of the Coral Sea
, and the
Battle of Midway#REDIRECT Battle of Midway#REDIRECT Battle of Midway {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

Battle of Midway that aircraft carriers and the planes that they carried had replaced the battleship as the greatest weapon on the seas. Leading navy aircraft in World War II included the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, the Douglas SBD Dauntless, and the Grumman TBF Avenger. Navy aircraft also played a significant role in conflicts during the following Cold War years, with the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14 Tomcat becoming military icons of the era. The navy's current primary fighter and attack airplanes are the multi-mission F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18C/D Hornet and its newer cousin, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-35 Lightning II is presently under development and was scheduled to replace the C and D versions of the Hornet beginning in 2012. Initial operational capability of the F-35C is now expected to be February 2019. The Navy is also looking to eventually replace its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with the F/A-XX program. The Aircraft Investment Plan sees naval aviation growing from 30 percent of current aviation forces to half of all procurement funding over the next three decades.


Weapons

Current U.S. Navy shipboard weapons systems are almost entirely focused on missiles, both as a weapon and as a threat. In an offensive role, missiles are intended to strike targets at long distances with accuracy and precision. Because they are unmanned weapons, missiles allow for attacks on heavily defended targets without risk to human pilots. Land strikes are the domain of the BGM-109 Tomahawk, which was first deployed in the 1980s and is continually being updated to increase its capabilities. For anti-ship strikes, the navy's dedicated missile is the Harpoon Missile. To defend against enemy missile attack, the navy operates a number of systems that are all coordinated by the Aegis combat system. Medium-long range defense is provided by the RIM-67 Standard, Standard Missile 2, which has been deployed since the 1980s. The Standard missile doubles as the primary shipboard anti-aircraft weapon and is undergoing development for use in theater ballistic missile defense. Short range defense against missiles is provided by the Phalanx CIWS and the more recently developed ESSM, RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. In addition to missiles, the navy employs Mark 46 torpedo, Mark 46 and Mark 50 torpedoes and various types of naval mines. Naval fixed-wing aircraft employ much of the same weapons as the United States Air Force for both air-to-air and air-to-surface combat. Air engagements are handled by the heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder, Sidewinder and the radar guided AIM-120 AMRAAM, AMRAAM missiles along with the M61 Vulcan cannon for close range dogfighting. For surface strikes, navy aircraft utilize a combination of missiles, smart bombs, and dumb bombs. On the list of available missiles are the AGM-65 Maverick, Maverick, Standoff Land Attack Missile, SLAM-ER and AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon, JSOW. Smart bombs include the GPS-guided JDAM and the laser-guided Paveway series. Unguided munitions such as dumb bombs and cluster bombs make up the rest of the weapons deployed by fixed-wing aircraft. Rotary aircraft weapons are focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and light to medium surface engagements. To combat submarines, helicopters use Mark 46 and Mark 50 torpedoes. Against small watercraft, they utilize AGM-114 Hellfire, Hellfire and Penguin missile, Penguin air to surface missiles. Helicopters also employ various types of mounted anti-personnel machine guns, including the M60 machine gun, M60, M240 machine gun, M240, GAU-16/A, and Minigun, GAU-17/A. Nuclear weapons in the U.S. Navy arsenal are deployed through ballistic missile submarines and aircraft. The ''Ohio''-class submarine carries the latest iteration of the Trident missile, a three-stage, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with MIRV capability; the current Trident II (D5) version is expected to be in service past 2020. The navy's other nuclear weapon is the air-deployed B61 nuclear bomb. The B61 is a thermonuclear device that can be dropped by strike aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet at high speed from a large range of altitudes. It can be released through free-fall or parachute and can be set to detonate in the air or on the ground.


Naval jack

The current Maritime flags#Jacks, naval jack of the United States is the Jack of the United States, Union Jack, a small blue flag emblazoned with the stars of the 50 states. The Union Jack was not flown for the duration of the
War on Terror The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism and U.S. War on Terror, is an international military campaign launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks. The targets of the campaign are primarily Sunni ...
, during which
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense. By law, the secr ...
Gordon R. England directed all U.S. naval ships to fly the First Navy Jack. While Secretary England directed the change on 31 May 2002, many ships chose to shift colors later that year in remembrance of the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Union Jack, however, remained in use with vessels of the
U.S. Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, mul ...
and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A jack of similar design to the Union Jack was used in 1794, with 13 stars arranged in a 3–2–3–2–3 pattern. When a ship is moored or anchored, the jack is flown from the bow (ship), bow of the ship while the ensign is flown from the stern. When underway, the ensign is raised on the mainmast. Before the decision for all ships to fly the First Navy Jack, it was only flown on the oldest ship in the active American fleet, which is currently . U.S. Navy ships and craft returned to flying the Union Jack effective 4 June 2019. The date for reintroduction of the jack commemorates the Battle of Midway, which began on 4 June 1942.


Notable sailors

Many past and present United States historical figures have served in the navy. Notable officers include John Paul Jones, John Barry (naval officer), John Barry (
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
officer and first flag officer of the United States Navy), Edward Preble, James Lawrence (whose last words "don't give up the ship" are memorialized in Bancroft Hall at the
United States Naval Academy , mottoeng = From Knowledge, Seapower , type = U.S. service academy , established = , academic_affiliations = APLUSpace-grant , superintendent = VADM Sean Buck , head_label = Commandant of Midshipmen , head = CAPT Thomas R. Buchanan , provost = ...
), Stephen Decatur Jr., David Farragut, David Dixon Porter, Oliver Hazard Perry, Matthew Perry (naval officer), Commodore Matthew Perry (whose Black Ships forced the Convention of Kanagawa, opening of Japan), George Dewey (the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy (United States), Admiral of the Navy), and the officers who attained the rank of Fleet admiral (United States), Fleet Admiral during World War II: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William F. Halsey Jr.. The first American President of the United States, president who served in the navy was John F. Kennedy (who commanded the famous ''Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109, PT-109''). Others included Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush. Both
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer, who served as the 26th president of the Unite ...

Theodore Roosevelt
and Franklin D. Roosevelt were the Assistant Secretary of the Navy prior to their presidencies. Many members of United States Congress, Congress served in the navy, notably United States Senator, U.S. Senators Bob Kerrey, John McCain, and John Kerry. Other notable former members of the U.S. Navy include astronauts (Scott Kelly (astronaut), Scott Kelly, Michael J. Smith (astronaut), Michael J. Smith, Neil Armstrong, Lisa Nowak), entertainers (Mike Douglas), authors (Brandon Webb (author), Brandon Webb, Marcus Luttrell), professional athletes, and others (Gordon Haller, John Barry (WD-40), John Barry).


See also

* Bibliography of early American naval history * Columbia-class submarine, ''Columbia''-class submarine * * Modern United States Navy carrier air operations * Naval militia * United States Merchant Marine Academy * Women in the United States Navy


Notes


References


External links

* *
A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
* * * * *
America's Naval Hardware
– ''Life magazine'' slideshow * *
U.S. Navy during the Cold War
from th
Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
* (includes warship losses) * (includes ''The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II'') * * (chronology of the lead up of U.S. entry into World War II) * * * * * * {{authority control United States Navy, Navies by country Uniformed services of the United States, Navy 1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies Military units and formations established in 1775 United States Armed Forces service branches