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Few Know the Importance of America's Navy and Coast Guard

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Help Make Investment In Our Sea Services a National Priority MISSION: The Sea Power Ambassador program was an initiative of the American Shipbuilding
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2008
      Help Make Investment In Our Sea Services a National Priority
      MISSION: The Sea Power Ambassador program was an initiative of the American Shipbuilding Association and the Navy League of the United States to educate the American public and our nation's elected officials on the need to rebuild the fleet of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard to meet America's security requirements in the 21st Century. On 19 October 2004, the Navy League severed its ties with this program (see post http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SeaPower/messages/268).

      CRISIS: America faces a national security crisis. The U.S. Navy fleet has dropped from 594 ships in 1987 to 280 ships today. This number represents the smallest Navy in our Nation's history since 1917. For 12 years, the nation has been ordering on average six new warships a year. This is the lowest rate of naval ship production since 1932, and if continued, our Navy will shrink to a fleet of 180 ships. While the Navy's fleet is on a dive course, the need for a larger and more capable fleet is more imperative now than at any other time in our history.

      RESOURCES: The site, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SeaPower, provides information about the maritime fleet, the shipbuilding industry, contractors, potential adversaries, and other items pertaining to the subject. The posts exceed 750 since the site was initiated 18 March 2004.

      INVITATION: Please join and use SeaPower as an aid to covey our message to our nation's citizens and government officials.

      Phelps Hobart
      President, Pacific Merchant Marine Council
      National Director
      Navy League of the United States
      PMMC at cwo dot com | (916) 739.6949

      Note opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the position of the American Shipbuilding Association or the Navy League.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:01 PM
      Subject: Few Know the Importance of America's Navy and Coast Guard

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      October 21, 2008

      Few Know the Importance
      of America's Navy and Coast Guard

      Despite the multitude of missions the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard fulfill, most Americans are unfamiliar with the day-to-day role the sea services play in their lives.  The Navy has reported that in a 2004 Gallup Poll, most Americans ranked the Navy at 9% and Coast Guard at 4% in their overall importance to the national security and safety of this country.  Even though Americans do not see the daily operations of naval and Coast Guard ships, the sea services are working around the clock in support of the safety of U.S. borders and America's security around the world.  Following are a few recent examples.

      • Ninety percent of global commerce is transported across the seas.  According to a September 2nd Navy Times article nearly 200 acts of piracy have been reported around the world so far this year.  Many of the incidents are occurring in high-traffic areas critical to the global economy.  The most recent act took place off the coast of Somalia after a group of pirates hijacked a vessel carrying 33 Soviet-designed tanks and other arms.  The U.S. Navy has been actively engaged in security operations in the area, particularly in patrolling the entrance to the Gulf of Aden after an increase in pirate activity.  The Gulf of Aden leads to the Suez Canal, which is one of the world's busiest shipping channels.
      • In late August Russia invaded the country of Georgia, deploying its ships to blockade Georgia's Black Sea Coast.  Russian forces bombed several ports and sank eight Georgian naval vessels in the harbor.  U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships responded by delivering humanitarian aid to the Georgian refugees.  Despite Russian protests, U.S. Navy warships maintained a watchful presence outside the Georgian ports until a cease-fire agreement between Russia and Georgia was achieved.
      • The Navy and Coast Guard are instrumental in countering increasingly sophisticated narcotics traffickers.  On September 13th, the Navy and Coast Guard intercepted a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in open waters off the coast of Guatemala that was carrying 37 bales of cocaine valued at $187 million.
      • The Coast Guard polar icebreaker USCGC Healy is working with Canada in exploring North America's Arctic territorial claim in response to Russia's continued effort to claim that the area is part of its continental shelf in order to obtain the mineral resources there.
      • The Navy and Coast Guard were mobilized in advance of the successive hurricanes striking the Gulf of Mexico so far this year.  According to the Coast Guard, more than 200 people were rescued before, during, and after Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast in early September.  In the days following the storm, the Coast Guard headed recovery operations, inspected damage to the Texas ports and oil and gas platforms, removed debris and repaired navigation aids in the Houston Shipping Channel, and participated in environmental remediation.  The Navy has been delivering relief supplies to Haiti, which was heavily damaged by Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike.

      India Building Blue Water Fleet

      On August 8th, India's Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta stated that India's Navy aims to have a fleet of more then 160 ships by 2022.  India joins the ranks of China and Russia in devoting considerable resources in building its blue-water fleet, with the potential to be the leading naval presence in the Indian Ocean.  India intends to make the Navy the first of its armed services with an industrial base capable of designing and building all major ships in India.  Admiral Mehta stated that, "currently 38 vessels are under construction in the country including 1 aircraft carrier, 3 frigates, 6 submarines, 1 landing ship, and 4 anti-submarine vessels are under development."

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