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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.

Dempsey: Syrian Rebel Training May Take 12 Months

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey

PARIS -- Moderate Syrian rebels, once they are made battle-ready by a U.S.-led coalition, may be asked to help restore the border between Syria and Iraq that Islamic State group militants have effectively wiped out, the top American military official said Thursday. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey cautioned, however, that it may be a year before the Sy... more

School Districts Stock Up on Military MRAPs, M16s, Grenade Launchers

The L.A. Unified's School District police department received a MRAP vehicle like this one through a federal program. (AP Photo/The Republican-American, Steven Valenti, File)

LOS ANGELES -- School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles. At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon's surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police re... more

US Seeks to Keep Artillery Brigade Near Korean DMZ

Members of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, conduct a live fire exercise with the M-270A1 multiple launch rocket system in South Korea, on March 7, 2013. Carlos R. Davis/Army

SEOUL, South Korea -- The U.S. wants to keep an artillery brigade stationed near the Demilitarized Zone after the planned relocation of American forces to the southern half of South Korea, according to media reports. The request to keep the 2nd Infantry Division's 210th Fires Brigade at Camp Casey was made earlier this week during military cons... more

Militants Planned to Target US Ships With Hijacked Pakistani Frigate

Al-Qaida militants, who tried to hijack a Pakistan Navy frigate earlier this month, intended to use it to target U.S. Navy vessels on anti-terrorism patrol in the northwestern Indian Ocean, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing Pakistani security officials. The Sept. 6 raid, which was foiled after a firefight and a suicide bombi... more

Scots Reject Independence in Historic Vote

No supporters for the Scottish independence referendum celebrate an early result at a No campaign event at a hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, early Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Matt Dunham/AP

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Scottish voters have resoundingly rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core. The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain's economic and political establishment, incl... more

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