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.

Navy Grad's Cold Case Homicide Remains Unsolved 30 Years Later

In the 30 years since Pamela Cahanes was found dead, her case has remained unsolved. (Photo distributed by Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

When she was growing up on the outskirts of Stillwater, Minn., Pamela Cahanes' parents taught her to be trusting. She was raised away from the city, in a town with fewer than 10,000 people on the bank of the St. Croix River. Her parents, Louis and Alice Cahanes, ran a dairy farm. Cahanes was the seventh of eight children -- six girls, two boys... more

Veterans Frustrated by Presidential Debate on Iraq War

In this May 6, 2010 file photo, Sgt. Kevin McCulley stands in front of a monument bearing the names of more than 4,300 U.S. service members killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, at Forward Operating Base Warrior in Kirkuk. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)

Veterans of the Iraq War watched in frustration as Republican presidential contenders distanced themselves in recent days from the decision their party enthusiastically supported to invade that country. Some veterans say they long ago concluded their sacrifice was in vain, and are annoyed that a party that lobbied so hard for the war is now run... more

Top General Predicts Longer International Presence in Afghanistan

Members of the 101st Airborne Division patrol the village of Kali Nasra in eastern Afghanistan with a group of U.S. Marines, Georgian soldiers, and Afghan National Army soldiers, Oct. 13, 2014. (US Army photo by Rich Stowell)

KABUL, Afghanistan ‑ As Afghan forces try to fend off attacks by resurgent militants, the top coalition commander has been meeting with NATO leaders to hammer out details of a plan that could keep thousands of international advisers in the country for years to come. "There is overwhelming support to do something" to continue to aid the Afghan s... more

Iran Enters Iraqi Fight for Key Oil Refinery, US Officials Say

Displaced civilians from Ramadi wait to receive humanitarian aid from the United Nations in a camp in the town of Amiriyat al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Friday, May 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

WASHINGTON -- Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops -- including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons -- in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials said Friday. Two U.S. defense officials said Iranian forces have tak... more

China's Actions Mean Larger Role for One of Navy's Newest Planes

A P-8A Poseidon takes off from a Boeing facility in Seattle earlier this year, marking the 20th overall production model for the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Boeing)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The P-8A Poseidons that patrol over the South China Sea's disputed territory don't end up on many posters, nor are they likely to dethrone fighter planes as Hollywood's favorite military aircraft. The P-8, modeled after the Boeing 737, looks from afar like an average commercial flight headed from Cleveland to Omaha.... more

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