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The United States Navy (USN) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. Its stated mission 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 currently has nearly 500,000 personnel on active duty or in the Navy Reserve and operates 278 ships in active service and more than 4,000 aircraft.

The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was
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disbanded in 1790. The United States Constitution, though, provided the legal basis for a seaborne military force by giving Congress the power "to provide and maintain a navy." Depredations against American shipping by Barbary Coast corsairs spurred Congress to employ this power in 1794 by passing the Naval Act of 1794 ordering the construction and manning of six frigates. The U.S. Navy came into international prominence in the 20th century, especially during World War II. Operating in both the European and Pacific theaters, it was a part of the conflict from the onset of American military involvement from the attack on Pearl Harbor to Japan's official surrender aboard the USS Missouri. The U.S. Navy had a role in the subsequent Cold War, in which it evolved into a nuclear deterrent and crisis response force while preparing for a possible global war with the Soviet Union.

The 21st-century U.S. Navy maintains a sizeable presence in the world, deploying in such areas as East Asia, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. Its ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises makes it an active player in American foreign and defence policy.

U.S. Navy news

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.


Source: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/08/ap-navy-ashland-piracy-charges-dropped-081710/
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USS Wisconsin (BB-64) is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and launched on 7 December 1943.

During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions. During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet." She was reactivated 1 August 1986 and modernized as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War.

Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, and a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the 1991 Gulf War, and currently functions as a museum ship at Nauticus, the National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Wisconsin was struck from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) on 17 March 2006, and is currently awaiting donation for permanent use as a museum ship.

Selected picture

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An aviation boatswain's mate guides an F/A-18 Super Hornet to the catch.

Photo credit: Wilsbadkarma


Equipment

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The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile with stubby wings. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a submerged submarine.

Quotes

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"The Navy has both a tradition and a future--and we look with pride and confidence in both directions." — Admiral George Anderson

Selected biography

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (December 23, 1923 – July 5, 2005) was one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the United States Navy. Shot down over enemy territory in 1965, Stockdale was the highest ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He was released in 1973. He was awarded 26 personal combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor and four Silver Stars.

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