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United States Navy Camouflage Part 2
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A modernization program beginning in the 1880s when the first steel hulled warships stimulated the American steel industry, and 

"the new steel navy" was born.[28] This rapid expansion of the U.S. Navy and its easy victory over the Spanish Navy in 1898 

brought a new respect for American technical quality. Rapid building of at first pre-dreadnoughts, then dreadnoughts brought 

the U.S. in line with the navies of countries such as Britain and Germany. In 1907, most of the Navy's battleships, with several 

support vessels, dubbed the Great White Fleet, were showcased in a 14-month circumnavigation of the world. Ordered by 

President Theodore Roosevelt, it was a mission designed to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend to the global theater.

[18] By 1911, the U.S. had begun building the super-dreadnoughts at a pace to eventually become competitive with Britain.[29]

World War I and interwar years[edit]

The U.S. Navy saw little action during World War I. It concentrated on mine laying operations against German U-Boats. 

Hesitation by the senior command meant that naval forces were not contributed until late 1917. Battleship Division Nine was 

dispatched to Britain and served as the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Its presence allowed the British to 

decommission some older ships and reuse the crews on smaller vessels. Destroyers and U.S. Naval Air Force units contributed 

to the anti-submarine operations. The strength of the United States Navy grew under an ambitious ship building program 

associated with the Naval Act of 1916.

Naval construction, especially of battleships, was limited by the Washington Naval Conference of 1921–22. The aircraft 

carriers USS Saratoga (CV-3) and USS Lexington (CV-2) were built on the hulls of partially built battle cruisers that had been 

canceled by the treaty. The New Deal used Public Works Administration funds to build warships, such as USS Yorktown (CV-

5) and USS Enterprise (CV-6). By 1936, with the completion of USS Wasp (CV-7), the U.S. Navy possessed a carrier fleet of 

165,000 tonnes displacement, although this figure was nominally recorded as 135,000 tonnes to comply with treaty limitations. 

Franklin Roosevelt, the number two official in the Navy Department during World War I, appreciated the Navy and gave it strong 

support. In return, senior leaders were eager for innovation and experimented with new technologies, such as magnetic 

torpedoes, and developed a strategy called War Plan Orange for victory in the Pacific in a hypothetical war with Japan that 

would eventually become reality.[30]

World War II[edit]

Main articles: United States Navy in World War II and Naval history of World War II

The battleship USS Idahoshells Okinawa on 1 April 1945

The U.S. Navy grew into a formidable force in the years prior to World War II, with battleship production being restarted in 1937, 

commencing with USS North Carolina (BB-55). Though ultimately unsuccessful, Japan attempted to neutralize this strategic 

threat with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Following American entry into the war, the U.S. Navy grew 

tremendously as the United States was faced with a two-front war on the seas. It achieved notable acclaim in the Pacific 

Theaterwhere it was instrumental to the Allies' successful "island hopping" campaign.[19] The U.S. Navy participated in many 

significant battles, including the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, the Solomon Islands Campaign, the Battle of the 

Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Battle of Okinawa. By war's end in 1945, the U.S. Navy had added hundreds of 

new ships, including 18 aircraft carriers and 8 battleships, and had over 70% of the world's total numbers and total tonnage of 

naval vessels of 1,000 tons or greater.[31][32] At its peak, the U.S. Navy was operating 6,768 ships on V-J Day in August 


Doctrine had significantly shifted by the end of the war. The U.S. Navy had followed in the footsteps of the navies of Great 

Britain and Germany which favored concentrated groups of battleships as their main offensive naval weapons.[34] The 

development of the aircraft carrier and its devastating utilization by the Japanese against the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, however, 

shifted U.S. thinking. The Pearl Harbor attack destroyed or took out of action a significant number of U.S. Navy battleships. This 

placed much of the burden of retaliating against the Japanese on the small number of aircraft carriers.[35]

Cold War[edit]

USS George Washington (SSBN-598), a ballistic missile submarine

The potential for armed conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War pushed the U.S. Navy to continue its technological 

advancement by developing new weapons systems, ships, and aircraft. U.S. naval strategy changed to that of forward 

deployment in support of U.S. allies with an emphasis on carrier battle groups.[36]

The navy was a major participant in the Vietnam War, blockaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, through the use 

of ballistic missile submarines, became an important aspect of the United States' nuclear strategic deterrence policy. The U.S. 

Navy conducted various combat operations in the Persian Gulf against Iran in 1987 and 1988, most notably Operation Praying 

Mantis. The Navy was extensively involved in Operation Urgent FuryOperation Desert ShieldOperation Desert 

StormOperation Deliberate ForceOperation Allied ForceOperation Desert Fox and Operation Southern Watch.

The U.S. Navy has also been involved in search and rescue/search and salvage operations, sometimes in conjunction with 

vessels of other countries as well as with U.S. Coast Guard ships. Two examples are the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash incident 

and the subsequent search for missing hydrogen bombs, and Task Force 71 of the Seventh Fleet's operation in search 

for Korean Air Lines Flight 007, shot down by the Soviets on 1 September 1983.

The U.S. Navy falls under the administration of the Department of the Navy, under civilian leadership of the Secretary of the 

Navy (SECNAV). The most senior naval officer is the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), a four-star admiral who is immediately 

under and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. At the same time, the Chief of Naval Operations is one of the Joint Chiefs of 

Staff, which is the second-highest deliberatory body of the armed forces after the United States National Security Council

although it only plays an advisory role to the President and does not nominally form part of the chain of command. The 

Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations are responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Navy 

so that it is ready for operation under the command of the unified combat command commanders.

Relationships with other service branches[edit]

United States Marine Corps[edit]

Marine F/A-18 from VMFA-451 prepares to launch from USS Coral Sea (CV-43)

Main article: United States Marine Corps

In 1834, the United States Marine Corps came under the Department of the Navy.[49] Historically, the Navy has had a unique 

relationship with the USMC, partly because they both specialize in seaborne operations. Together the Navy and Marine Corps 

form the Department of the Navy and report to the Secretary of the Navy. However, the Marine Corps is a distinct, separate 

service branch[50] with its own uniformed service chief – the Commandant of the Marine Corps, a four-star general.

The Marine Corps depends on the Navy for medical support (dentistsdoctorsnurses, medical technicians known 

as corpsmenand religious support (chaplains). Thus Navy officers and enlisted sailors fulfill these roles. When attached to 

Marine Corps units deployed to an operational environment they generally wear Marine camouflage uniforms, but otherwise 

they wear Navy dress uniforms unless they opt to conform to Marine Corps grooming standards.[citation needed]

In the operational environment, as an expeditionary force specializing in amphibious operations, Marines often embark on Navy 

ships to conduct operations from beyond territorial waters. Marine units deploying as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force 

(MAGTF) operate under the command of the existing Marine chain of command. Although Marine units routinely operate from 

amphibious assault ships, the relationship has evolved over the years much as the Commander of the Carrier Air Group/Wing 

(CAG) does not work for the carrier commanding officer, but coordinates with the ship's CO and staff. Some Marine aviation 

squadrons, usually fixed-wing assigned to carrier air wings train and operate alongside Navy squadrons; they fly similar 

missions and often fly sorties together under the cognizance of the CAG. Aviation is where the Navy and Marines share the 

most common ground, since aircrews are guided in their use of aircraft by standard procedures outlined in series of publications 

known as NATOPS manuals.