Happy 242nd US Navy, 220th USS Constitution

It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.

— George Washington

The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

— Mission statement of the United States Navy

The Celebration

USS Constitution and the Navy’s Blue Angels

AP 13 Oct 2017 The world’s oldest commissioned warship will set sail from Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston on Oct. 20. It will be the warship’s first sail since October 2014, and commemorates the Navy’s 242nd birthday and the 220th anniversary of the Constitution’s launch.

The wooden ship will travel to Fort Independence on Castle Island, where it will fire a 21-gun salute. An additional 17-gun salute will be fired as the ship passes the U.S. Coast Guard station, the former site of the shipyard where the Constitution was built and launched in 1797. ~

I would love to witness gun salutes blasting from this mighty and historied vessel!

July 21st, 1997 off the coast of Massachusetts. . . .The USS Constitution the worlds oldest commissioned war ship fires its port and starboard guns while underway in Massachusetts Bay, MA. Constitution is escorted by the frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) (center) and the destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) (right), while the Navy’s “Blue Angels” Flight Demonstration Squadron passes overhead. Commissioned on October 21st, 1797, Constitution set sail unassisted for the first time in 116 years. Constitution celebrated her 200th birthday on October 21, 1997 after completing a 40 month overhaul. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 2nd Class Todd Stevens (Released)


USS Constitution

The USS Constitution is a spectacular wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy, named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America.   She was among the first naval warships commissioned by the US government in 1794 and notably seaworthy to date.  As such she is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.   She got the nickname “Old Ironsides” from significant naval victory against the British in the War of 1812.

USS Constitution dominates HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812

The United States Navy

Non sibi sed patriae (Not for self but for country)

The U.S. Navy is the largest, most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage.  The U.S. Navy has the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, one in the reserve fleet, and two new carriers under construction.  With service has 322,421 personnel on active duty and 107,577 in the Navy Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 276 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2017.  ~wiki

The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy.  It was established during the American Revolutionary War thru the strong support and influential feats in naval battle of George Washington.   On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships; this resolution created the Continental Navy and is considered the first establishment of the U.S. Navy.

Towards the end of the Revolutionary War in 1785 the Congress sold the last remaining vessel in the Continental Navy, the Alliance, due to lack of funds to maintain the ship or support naval resources.

USS Alliance (1778), was a sailing frigate of the Continental Navy, and notable for firing the last shots of the Revolutionary War. ~wiki

The Naval Act of 1794

With the success of the Revolutionary War, the United States became an independent nation but lost its navy and the protection of the British Empire.   The subsequent decade of protection by the precursors of the Coast Guard seemed sufficient.   Ultimately, it left American merchant ships vulnerable to intimidation by hostile nations and wholesale seizure by Barbary pirates.  It was the latter that incited urgent action to create what would over time become the current US Navy. The USS Constitution was among the largest of the first warships commissioned by the US Congress in the Naval Armament Act of 1794.   These ships would aggressively respond to the Barbary threat in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, 1 Stat. 350), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794 and signed into law by President George Washington. The act authorized the construction of six frigates at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were the first ships of what eventually became the present-day United States Navy.  ~wiki


Naval Act of 1794 established what continues today as the United States Navy.


Page two of the Naval Armament Act of 1794


USS George Washington

Titans of the seas.  The Nimitz Class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built.   The next generation, the Gerald R Ford Class, will be even larger.  Carriers are only named for Presidents and other such notable individuals, like Admiral Nimitz.  Carrier strike groups are both an offensive and defensive capable presence in the seas worldwide.

USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group

Atlantic Ocean (Nov. 30, 2003) — USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group formation sails in the Atlantic Ocean. Washington is conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for their upcoming deployment. U.S Navy photo by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Summer M. Anderson. (RELEASED)

SOURCES: heavily wiki cuts – not all are cited, AP, various military themed sites.