The U.S. Navy: More than Just Aircraft Carriers (Updated)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) flies the battle ensign during maneuvers off the coast of Kauai as part of maritime exercise Koa Kai 12-2. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker)

UPDATE:

The faces of sailors shown below are but a few of the more than 322,000 men and women proudly serving in the U.S. Navy.

If you have ever wondered how many of these sailors are actually “afloat,” this neat web site not only provides those numbers — 94,107 sailors afloat worldwide — but also the regions and countries where all our active duty Navy personnel serve.

For example, there is one Navy person in Azerbaijan, 96 in Belgium, 485 in Germany, 3,374 in Italy, 4,600 in Afghanistan and 6,766 in Japan.

The same data can be found at the site for all the other U.S. military Services.

With thanks to my friend, Jessie.

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Original Post:

After the third and last presidential debate, because of remarks made by the two candidates about the strength and readiness of our Navy, a lot of attention has been focused on that Service.

While the political debate on how and if the number of horses, bayonets and aircraft carriers is a good measurement of the strength and effectiveness of our military is still raging, one aspect of our military strength — specifically the skills, dedication and professionalism of our men and women in the U.S. Navy — is beyond question.

As so happens, October is “Warfighting Month” focusing on Navy Warfighters, “a fast and flexible force deployed worldwide to preserve peace, protect commerce, and deter aggression on, above, and below the sea.”

At the heart of that force are the Navy enlisted sailors, engaged in aviation, ship and submarine duty, land patrol, special warfare, construction and many other duties.

These are just a few of those faces.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class James Johnstone, from Panama City, Fla., runs clear of a F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Dambusters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 on the flight deck aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian H. Abel)

Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search and seizure team practice vessel boarding techniques aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97). Halsey is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multinational, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces, to conduct counter-piracy operations on Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean.

Fire Control Technician 2nd Class Donnell McMillen, right, and Fire Control Technician Seaman Alexander Santosus troubleshoot a missile tube indicator in the Weapons Launch console aboard the USS Charlotte (SSN 766) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Steven Khor)

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Thomas Bohannon, left, and Master-at-Arms Seaman Sharon Berg follow military working dog, Axel, as part of a patrol and scout training exercise at Naval Station Mayport. The military working dogs are trained to provide deterrence, drug or bomb detection and patrol services. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Damian Berg)

Builder 3rd Class Timothy Fitzgerald, a Seabee assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74, uses a level to ensure the proper placement of an interior wall inside of an ammunition warehouse under construction at Tangen Pier in Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Lindsey)

Photos and captions: Courtesy U.S. Navy

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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