329,867 active duty personnel 274,300 civilian employees 100,495 ready reserve personnel 288 deployable ships (as of 2019) of 480 total ships 3,700+ Dept. of Navy manned aircraft combined (U.S. Navy operates 2,623 manned aircraft and the U.S. Marine Corps operates 1,304 manned aircraft)
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. After suffering significant loss of goods and personnel at the hands of the Barbary pirates from Algiers, the U.S. Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 for the construction of six heavy frigates, the first ships of the U.S. Navy. 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 U.S. Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world. 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 preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war.
The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy.
The development of aircraft, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements.
U.S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U.S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U.S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties.