The mission of the U.S. Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

The U.S. Navy was founded on October 13, 1775, and the Department of the Navy was established on April 30, 1798. The Department of the Navy has three principal components: The Navy Department, consisting of executive offices mostly in Washington, D.C.; the operating forces, including the Marine Corps, the reserve components, and, in time of war, the U.S. Coast Guard (in peace, a component of the Department of Homeland Security); and the shore establishment.

The U.S. Navy fleet is comprised of aircraft carriers that allow the mobile projection of naval air power across the globe, amphibious Assault Ships that deploy and support U.S. ground forces in remote locations, cruisers that are capable of engaging multiple simultaneous targets and employed in force support or independent action, destroyers that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capability, independently or in fleet support, and submarines for underwater operations and designed to carry out research, rescue, or specific wartime missions.

The Navy also has a large inventory of aircraft of all types to support the mission.

There are approximately 318,000 sailors serving on ships and installations across the world today.

China, North Korea Criticize US Over Ferguson Situation

North Korean soldiers watch the south side with cameras in July 2013 at the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea. Lee Jin-man/AP

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan -- North Korea and China criticized the United States' human rights record after a grand jury decided not to press charges against a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo. While China veiled its criticism Tuesday, North Korea, which is believed to run a vast network of concentration ca... more

Afghan President Orders Military Review

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. AP photo

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the practices of the country's defense forces, including discussing the resumption of controversial night raids banned by his predecessor. The move appears aimed at revamping the military for the fight against the Taliban amid new indications that U.S. an... more

Guard Reinforcements Contain Damage in Ferguson

Members of the Missouri National Guard stand watch outside a command post near a protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

FERGUSON, Mo. -- National Guard reinforcements helped contain the latest protests in Ferguson, preventing a second night of the chaos that led to arson and looting after a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown. Demonstrators returned Tuesday to the riot-scarred streets. But with hundreds of addition... more

Ebola Isolation at US Base 'Pretty Much Vacation'

Contractors take a break from working on the entertainment room, called "the Hub," at the Langley Transit Center at Langley Air Force Base. The Hub features board games, computers, television sets, and video game consoles. Natasha Stannard/Air Force

HAMPTON, Va. -- With plenty of flat screen TVs, game nights and even an outdoor fire pit, life in isolation for members of the U.S. military who have returned from the Ebola mission in West Africa can look a lot like summer camp. The Defense Department is requiring military service members to undergo 21 days of isolation and monitoring as a pr... more

Obama Appears to Be Seeking a More Forceful Defense Secretary

Ashton Carter. DoD photo by R.D. Ward

REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON -- As he searches for his fourth defense secretary in six years, President Obama appears to be looking for a more forceful, articulate military leader to navigate the tough but limited wars that are likely to consume much of his final two years in office. Finding a candidate with deep Pentagon experience who can help s... more

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