Unquestioned heir to the British Empire of old, the American Navy is the mightiest force to ever rule the waves. Unchallenged masters of the waters both above and below, the US Navy's power and flexibility allows it to spearhead the use of American military power at virtually any point, at any time. Lurking deep beneath the world's oceans, America's submarine force is the most dangerous third of the Nuclear Triad, always ready if need be to rain destruction from afar, their perfect stealth keeping them safe from both interdiction and reprisal. Meanwhile, America's aircraft carriers are virtual floating cities, each containing dozens of combat aircraft capable of extending the reach of the US military to places far beyond their land-based cousins.
The US Navy is therefore the dreams and predictions of Mahan realized: He saw the ocean not as vast and impassible, but as an enormous highway for the transportation of men and munitions to virtually any land-based target. Where there is a coast, there American power - or at least the threat of American power - lies.
How much do you know about the modern American Navy? We have here in this quiz pictures of many of the US Navy's finest vessels: Can you recognize them at a mere glance? Only the most savvy sailor need apply!
The USS Georgia is an Ohio class submarine, and is therefore a respected member of the US nuclear triad- one of the three methods the US uses to potentially deliver nuclear missiles to its target. It is individually notable for featuring in a Dan Brown novel, Fire of the Raging Dragon.
The USS Monterey is a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser. Armed with a variety of missiles and a phased array radar system that makes it part of the Aegis Defense System, the Ticonderoga is a cruiser whose use is in flux, but has shown some potential promise in missile interception.
A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and by that lineage part of the pride of the US Navy, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is known as "The Big Stick" by her crew, and her radio callsign is "Rough Rider," both references to the former President and Bull Moose candidate from which she derives her name.
The USS Howard is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The vessel is named after Jimmie Howard from the Marine Corps, who won the Medal of Honor for leadership in the face of an overwhelming force of VC. When the vessel leaves home port, it passes by his grave in salute to his bravery.
The USS Zephyr is a Cyclone-class ship designed for coastal patrol. It was originally meant for the insertion of SEAL teams, but was reworked into a patrol and interdiction role instead. Many of them saw service on loan to the Coast Guard.
The USS Tortuga is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing vessel. These ships have a wide deck for the transporation of USMC vehicles, as well as potentially room for helicopter landings. It has several cranes and can be used in amphibious landings.
The USS Mahan is an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer. Her motto is "Built to Fight." The ship made some newspaper stories in January of 2017 when it fired upon an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel in the Strait of Hormuz.
The USS Sampson is an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer. The Sampson has recently been in the news for providing humanitarian aid in Kaikoura, and was also in the board game-themed film Battleship.
The USS Harry S. Truman is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. It has the callsign "Lone Warrior," ironic given the carrier role of being at the center of a fleet system. She was recently refitted in 2017, and can bear 90 aircraft.
The USS McFaul is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The latest mission in which she saw combat was off the coast of Somalia, where she captured a group of pirates as they attempted to plunder a merchant vessel.
The USS Warrior is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures vessel. In spite of its belligerent name, the Warrior is chiefly used in a defensive role, as its lightweight frame makes it unlikely to detonate mines on its own.
The USS Ashland is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship. She was notable for being involved in a battle with pirates in 2010, in which the pirate vessel was quickly destroyed. The trials of the subsequent captives captured the media eye for a time.
The USS Forrest Sherman is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. She is part of naval squadron 2, and her motto is "Relentless Fighting Spirit." She is known for narrowly dodging an ancient WW2-era mine while on a mission to the Ukraine.
The USS Jimmy Carter is a Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine. These are the most expensive submarines in existence, and only 3 of them were ever constructed! This vessel is also unusual for being named after a living person, which is an uncommon situation when naming vessels.
The USS Donald Cook is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship's motto, "Faith Without Fear," is a reference to Cook, a Medal of Honor winner who was a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. The vessel is notable for being involved in several near miss confrontations with Russian military forces.
The USS Kentucky is an Ohio-class missile submarine. True to her name, an actual bottle of bourbon was used instead of the traditional champagne to celebrate her launch! Her humorous motto is "Thoroughbred of the Fleet."
The USS Rafael Peralta is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Her motto is Fortis ad Finem. The vessel is named after a Marine who received his Green Card while serving and who, in the midst of house-to-house fighting, threw himself on a grenade to save his fellow Marines. He was awarded a Navy Cross for his heroism.
USS Pittsburgh is a Los Angeles-class submarine designed for fast attack purposes. She is nuclear-powered, and is armed with array of missiles. In 2012, she made the news when her commander dramatically faked his own death to get out of a relationship.
The USS O'Kane is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. It was built at the venerable Bath Iron Works.
The USS Paul Hamilton is an Arleigh-Burke-class destroyer vessel. Her motto is "The Courage to Prevail." She is part of the Aegis Defense network and packs Phalanx missile defense systems.
USS Michael Murphy is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, named for Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy. She is currently stationed in the Pacific due to increased tensions between the US and the DPRK.
USS Nitze is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Her motto is "Vision, Courage, Determination." Her latest military operation has been the attack on a radar station with her missile armament, which was successful.
USS John P. Murtha is a San Antonio-class transport dock ship. This ship's name was not without controversy, as ships of this class are typically not named after people but rather places. John Murtha was a congressman from Pennsylvania.
USS Seawolf is a nuclear fast attack submarine, and the original ship of her class, meaning that her name is also the name of the class of vessels. Her motto is, understandably, "Beware the Wolf!"
USS Albany is a Los Angeles-class submarine. She is distinct in the Los Angeles class in that her hull was actually constructed using stronger grade steel than her fellow Los Angeles submarines.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and is therefore one of America's preeminent naval weapons. It has played important roles in both Iraqi and Afghanistani deployments.
USS Fort McHenry is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship. She has recently seen service off the coast of Yemen and working in tandem with Marines in war game operations.
USS Tornado is the final Cyclone-class patrol ship. She is unique among her class for having signature management radar, allowing her to potentially intercept stealth vessels and signals.
USS Cape St. George is a Ticonderoga-class cruiser. She has contributed missile fire to American operations in Iraq, and has been involved in gun battles with pirates off the African coast. Her motto is "Ever Victorious."
USS New York is a San Antonio-class amphibious dock. She has an unusual name in that state names are not normally used for surface vessels, but an exception was made to allow for a ship named after New York to participate in the War on Terror. It is notable for being the ship that transported the suspected mastermind behind the Benghazi attacks into custody.
USS Squall is a Cyclone-class patrol vessel. Unlike many fellow patrol vessels, the Squall is notable for getting in a fracas with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boat in which shots were fired, although no casualties were recorded.
USS Sterett is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. It has had an unfortunate engagement with Somali pirates in which it was attacked by rocket propelled grenades, though no sailors on board were harmed.
USS North Dakota is a Virginia-class nuclear submarine. Its motto is "Strength from the Soil, Reapers of the Deep." It is armed with 6 missile tubes capable of launching Tomahawk-class cruise missiles, and is therefore capable of formidable ranged support.
USS Mesa Verde is a San Antonio-class transport dock. It is capable of transporting and deploying up to 800 Marines. It is surprisingly well equipped with quality of life facilities, including a shipboard gymnasium and a shopping area for personal items.
USS The Sullivans is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with an Aegis combat system. It is named after the Sullivan brothers, a group of five brothers who were all killed on a single cruiser in WW2, marking the greatest loss by a single family in any American war.
USS Newport News is a Los Angeles-class submarine with the motto "Under the Shadow of a Great Name". It provided fire support with its Tomahawk missiles during operation Iraqi Freedom, and is an ongoing part of the perpetual War on Terror.
USS Pinckney is an Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer. Her motto is "Proud to Serve," and she is named after William Pinckney, a sailor who received the Navy Cross for bravery.
USS Ralph Johnson is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. She is planned to have improved ballistic missile defense, mine sweeping capability and an embedded air wing, giving her a broad array of combat roles.
USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser, and she is indeed named after the Battle of Chancellorsville. She has both anti-surface and anti-sub capabilities, including two helicopters for carrying out sub searches.
USS John C. Stennis is a Nimitz class supercarrier. Like all Nimitz class vessel, the Stennis is nuclear-powered, effectively giving it unlimited range. She can bear eight or nine air squadrons, and has a fully operational maintenance bay and micro electronics bay for repairs as necessary.