Emblem of the United States Navy
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft . making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was effectively disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. The U.S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers. It played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The 21st century U.S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. It is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U.S. foreign and military policy.
The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, which is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The craft used by the suspected pirates floats in front of the USS Ashland
Piracy charges dismissed by judge
Original articles by Steve Szkotak, The Associated Press.
Summary: Piracy charges against six Somali's accused of attacking the USS Ashland were dismissed Tuesday after the judge ruled that the U.S. government failed to make a case for piracy. Defense attorneys had argued that the men did not seize or rob the Ashland and therefore not committed piracy. The six were accused of attacking the Ashland, which was destroyed by 25mm fire from Ashland. Seven lesser charges have not been ruled upon. The men claim only to have been ferrying refugees.
The Iowa-class battleships were the biggest, the most powerful, and the last battleships built for the United States Navy. Four were built in the early 1940s for World War II; two more were laid down but were scrapped prior to completion. The four were decommissioned, then recommissioned in the 1980s, and decommissioned again in the 1990s.
Built with cost as no object "The Iowa-class fast battleships were arguably the ultimate capital ship in the evolution of the battleship." Yet even as these behemoths entered service they were being eclipsed by aircraft carriers as the most important naval vessels.
The Iowa-class battleships improved upon the earlier South Dakota class with more powerful engines, longer-caliber guns giving greater range, and an additional 200 feet (60 m) of length for improved seakeeping. The Iowas are widely considered to be amongst the most attractive battleships ever built, with a long, narrow, elegant bow and three powerful gun turrets. While excellent sea boats, the ships are quite wet forward owing to the long bow. Like all American battleships of their generation, their armament was laid out in two turrets before the superstructure and one after ("2-A-1"), with the 5 inch dual-purpose secondaries (anti-ship and anti-aircraft) flanking the superstructure.
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