Excerpted from the book
The Navy is on station, at sea, and ready for whatever the nation may call on it
Should there be a call, the forward-deployed Navy can at a moment's notice dominate a section of the sea--above, on, and below--and it can project naval power, guns, missiles, aircraft, and Marines or other ground forces over the land. It can supplement the efforts of other services and allies without extraordinary support from overseas bases and depots. It can provide humanitarian relief and evacuate those in peril around the world. All of this the Navy does with the ships, aircraft, submarines, weapons, and organizations described in the chapters to follow, but none of it could happen without the dedicated people, many with specialized skills, who operate, maintain, and build this formidable and ready force.
This youth brings to the Navy an innovative spirit, which, while capitalizing on tradition, continually discovers and develops new ideas for getting the job done better. Today, the Navy has ships, aircraft, and weapons designed for an earlier era that have been evolved into systems that are wonderfully capable today. It is the Navy's readiness to adopt new ideas and technology that keeps it at the forefront of military preparedness. The Navy has moved into the information age with vigor and leads all the services with such concepts as network-centric warfare, cooperative engagement, and the use of electronic warfare. At the same time, the Navy pioneers the development and use of space, missiles, precision weapons of all kinds, advanced undersea technologies, and post-modern logistics support.
Today, the emphasis in the Navy is forward from the sea, the ability to project American presence, power, and support from ships afloat in international waters, while concurrently working arm-in-arm with the other American armed services and our allies. As it does so, the Navy continues to practice and prepare for the more traditional Navy missions at sea. All of this put together is an essential ingredient for American success in foreign affairs, economics, and the general welfare of people around the world, and for Americans in particular.
As the Navy moves into the twenty-first century there will be ever-increasing numbers of advances in technology, many affecting the conduct of naval operations at sea. Yet, the constants will remain. Tradition will be a guide, naval presence will be the hallmark, and it will be the young people of America who keep our nation strong on, over, and under the ocean waters.
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© 2000 Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. All rights reserved.
Photos courtesy of the U.S. Navy.