UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES 2017
United states Armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the federal armed forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the military's overall head, and helps form military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy is carried out.
From the time of its inception, the military played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. Even so, the Founders were suspicious of a permanent military force. It played an important role in the American Civil War, where leading generals on both sides were picked from members of the United States military. Not until the outbreak of World War II did a large standing army become officially established. The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U.S. military framework; the Act merged previously Cabinet-level Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (renamed the Department of Defense in 1949), headed by the Secretary of Defense; and created the Department of the Air Force and National Security Council.
The U.S. military is one of the largest militaries in terms of number of personnel. It draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers; although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1972. As of 2016, the United States spends about $580.3 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the United States constitutes roughly 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. For the period 2010–14, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that the United States was the world's largest exporter of major arms, accounting for 31 per cent of global shares. The United States was also the world's eighth largest importer of major weapons for the same period.The U.S. military has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful equipment, and its widespread deployment of force around the world, including about 800 military bases in foreign locations.
Lets have a quick look at it's Strength
Total Manpower: 321, 368, 864
Available Manpower: 142, 251, 00
Fit For Service: 120, 025, 000
Reaching Military age: 4, 220, 000
Active front line personnel: 1, 400, 000
Active Reserve personnel: 1, 100, 000
Tanks: 8, 848
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 41, 062
Self Propelled Guns: 1, 934
Towed Artillery: 1, 300
Total Aircraft: 13, 444
Fighters/Interceptors: 2, 308
Fixed Wing Attack Aircraft: 2, 785
Transport Aircraft: 5, 754
Trainer Aircraft: 2770
Helicopters: 6, 084
Attack Helicopters: 957
Total Naval Strength: 415
Aircraft Carrier: 16
Coastal Defense Crafts: 13
Mine Warfare: 11
he United States Army (USA) is the largest branch of the United States Armed Forces and performs land-based military operations. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 and United States Code, Title 10, Subtitle B, Chapter 301, Section 3001. As the largest and senior branch of the U.S. military, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed (14 June 1775) to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the U.S. was established as a country.After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784, to replace the disbanded Continental Army.The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
As a uniformed military service, the Army is part of the Department of the Army, which is one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The U.S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army (SECARMY), and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) who is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army (USA) was 460,000 soldiers; the Army National Guard (ARNG) had 335,000 soldiers, and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) had 195,000 soldiers; the combined-component strength of the U.S. Army was 990,000 soldiers. As a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U.S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, sustained, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders." The service participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States.
The army employs various individual weapons to provide light firepower at short ranges. The most common weapons used by the army are the compact variant of the M16 rifle, the M4 carbine, as well as the 7.62×51mm variant of the FN SCAR for Army Rangers. The primary sidearm in the U.S. Army is the 9 mm M9 pistol; the M11 pistol is also used. Both handguns are to be replaced by the M17 through the Modular Handgun System program. Soldiers are also equipped with various hand grenades, such as the M67 fragmentation grenade and M18 smoke grenade.
Many units are supplemented with a variety of specialized weapons, including the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), to provide suppressive fire at the fire-team level. Indirect fire is provided by the M203 grenade launcher. The M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun or the Mossberg 590 Shotgun are used for door breaching and close-quarters combat. The M14EBR is used by designated marksmen. Snipers use the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, and the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle.
The army employs various crew-served weapons to provide heavy firepower at ranges exceeding that of individual weapons.
The M240 is the US Army's standard Medium Machine Gun. The M2 heavy machine gun is generally used as a vehicle-mounted machine gun. In the same way, the 40 mm MK 19 grenade machine gun is mainly used by motorized units.
The US Army uses three types of mortar for indirect fire support when heavier artillery may not be appropriate or available. The smallest of these is the 60 mm M224, normally assigned at the infantry company level. At the next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section of 81 mm M252 mortars. The largest mortar in the army's inventory is the 120 mm M120/M121, usually employed by mechanized units.
Fire support for light infantry units is provided by towed howitzers, including the 105 mm M119A1[ and the 155 mm M777 (which will replace the M198).
The US Army utilizes a variety of direct-fire rockets and missiles to provide infantry with an Anti-Armor Capability. The AT4 is an unguided projectile that can destroy armor and bunkers at ranges up to 500 meters. The FIM-92 Stinger is a shoulder-launched, heat seeking anti-aircraft missile. The FGM-148 Javelin and BGM-71 TOW are anti-tank guided missiles.
The army's most common vehicle is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly called the Humvee, which is capable of serving as a cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform, and ambulance, among many other roles. While they operate a wide variety of combat support vehicles, one of the most common types centers on the family of HEMTT vehicles. The M1A2 Abrams is the army's main battle tank, while the M2A3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle. Other vehicles include the Stryker, and the M113 armored personnel carrier, and multiple types of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
The Pentagon bought 25,000 MRAP vehicles since 2007 in 25 variants through rapid acquisition with no long-term plans for the platforms. The Army plans to divest 7,456 vehicles and retain 8,585. Of the total number of vehicles the Army will keep, 5,036 will be put in storage, 1,073 will be used for training, and the remainder will be spread across the active force. The Oshkosh M-ATV will be kept the most at 5,681 vehicles, as it is smaller and lighter than other MRAPs for off-road mobility. The other most retained vehicle will be the Navistar MaxxPro Dash with 2,633 vehicles, plus 301 Maxxpro ambulances. Thousands of other MRAPs like the Cougar, BAE Caiman, and larger MaxxPros will be disposed of.
The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS),both mounted on tracked platforms and assigned to heavy mechanized units.
While the United States Army Aviation Branch operates a few fixed-wing aircraft, it mainly operates several types of rotary-wing aircraft. These include the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance/light attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility tactical transport helicopter, and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter. Restructuring plans call for reduction of 750 aircraft and from 7 to 4 types.
Under the Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966, the Army agreed to limit its fixed-wing aviation role to administrative mission support (light unarmed aircraft which cannot operate from forward positions). For UAVs, the Army is deploying at least one company of drone MQ-1C Gray Eagles to each Active Army division.
The Army Combat Uniform, or ACU, currently features a digital Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) and is designed for use in woodland, desert, and urban environments. However, soldiers operating in Afghanistan are being issued a fire-resistant ACU with the "MultiCam" pattern, officially known as Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or "OCP".
The standard garrison service uniform is the Army Service Uniform, which functions as both a garrison uniform (when worn with a white shirt and necktie) and a dress uniform (when worn with a white shirt and either a necktie for parades or a bow tie for after six or black tie events).
The U.S. Army's black beret is no longer worn with the new ACU for garrison duty, having been permanently replaced with the patrol cap. After years of complaints that it wasn't suited well for most work conditions, Army Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey eliminated it for wear with the ACU in June 2011. U.S. soldiers still wear berets who are currently in a unit in jump status, whether the wearer is parachute-qualified, or not (maroon beret), Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade (tan beret), and Special Forces (rifle green beret) and may wear it with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions. Unit commanders may still direct the wear of patrol caps in these units in training environments or motor pools.
The army has relied heavily on tents to provide the various facilities needed while on deployment. The most common tent uses for the military are as temporary barracks (sleeping quarters), DFAC buildings (dining facilities), forward operating bases (FOBs), after action review (AAR), tactical operations center (TOC), morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) facilities, and security checkpoints. Furthermore, most of these tents are set up and operated through the support of Natick Soldier Systems Center.
The U.S. Army is beginning to use a more modern tent called the deployable rapid assembly shelter or DRASH. In 2008, DRASH became part of the Army's Standard Integrated Command Post System.
Tomb of the Unknowns is a tomb that soldiers walk and salute every day in any weather.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, and is the largest and one of the world's most technologically advanced air forces. The USAF articulates its core functions as Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command and Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personnel Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support.
The U.S. Air Force is a military service organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. The highest-ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units, and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force combat and mobility forces are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders, and neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff have operational command authority over them.
The U.S. Air Force provides air support for surface forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field. As of 2015, the service operates more than 5,137 military aircraft, 450 ICBMs and 63 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget with 308,600 active duty personnel, 177,221 civilian personnel, 69,200 Air Force Reserve personnel, and 105,500 Air National Guard personnel
Air Superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02).
Offensive Counterair (OCA) is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, missiles, launch platforms, and their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible" (JP 1-02). OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats, since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and typically enjoys the initiative. OCA comprises attack operations, sweep, escort, and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense.
Defensive Counterair (DCA) is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify, intercept, and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace" (JP 1-02). A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats. The DCA mission comprises both active and passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy" (JP 1-02). It includes both ballistic missile defense and air breathing threat defense, and encompasses point defense, area defense, and high value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative" (JP 1-02). It includes detection and warning; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; camouflage, concealment, and deception; hardening; reconstitution; dispersion; redundancy; and mobility, counter-measures, and stealth.
Airspace control is "a process used to increase operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace" (JP 1-02). It promotes the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace, mitigates the risk of fratricide, enhances both offensive and defensive operations, and permits greater agility of air operations as a whole. It both deconflicts and facilitates integration of joint air operations.
Space superiority is "the degree of dominance in space of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02). Space superiority may be localized in time and space, or it may be broad and enduring. Space superiority provides freedom of action in space for friendly forces and, when directed, denies the same freedom to the adversary.
Space Force Enhancement is defined as the "combat support operations and force-multiplying capabilities delivered from space systems to improve the effectiveness of military forces as well as support other intelligence, civil, and commercial users. This mission area includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; command, control, and communications; positioning, navigation, and timing; and environmental monitoring" (JP 1-02).
Space Force Application is defined as "combat operations in, through, and from space to influence the course and outcome of conflict. This mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force projection" (JP 1-02).
Space Control is defined as "operations to ensure freedom of action in space for the US and its allies and, when directed, deny an adversary freedom of action in space. This mission area includes: operations conducted to protect friendly space capabilities from attack, interference, or unintentional hazards (defensive space control); operations to deny an adversary's use of space capabilities (offensive space control); and the requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations depend (space situational awareness)" (JP 1-02).
Space Support is defined as "operations to deploy and sustain military and intelligence systems in space. This mission area includes: launching and deploying space vehicles; maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, rendezvous and proximity operations; disposing of (including de-orbiting and recovering) space capabilities; and reconstitution of space forces, if required" (JP 1-02).
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. 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 ten in service, two in the reserve fleet, and three new carriers under construction. The service has 323,792 personnel on active duty and 108,515 in the Navy Reserve. It has 274 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of October 2016.
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. It 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 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 areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U.S. foreign and military policy.
The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, which is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is a four-star admiral and the senior naval officer of the Department of the Navy. The CNO may not be the highest ranking naval officer in the armed forces if the Chairman or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who by law outrank the CNO, are Navy officers.
The United States Navy continues to be a major support to U.S. interests in the 21st century. Since the end of the Cold War, it has shifted its focus from preparations for large-scale war with the Soviet Union to special operations and strike missions in regional conflicts. The navy participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is a major participant in the ongoing War on Terror, largely in this capacity. Development continues on new ships and weapons, including the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier and the Littoral combat ship. Because of its size, weapons technology, and ability to project force far from U.S. shores, the current U.S. Navy remains a potent asset for the United States. Moreover, it is the principal means through which the U.S. maintains international global order, namely by safeguarding global trade and protecting allied nations.
In 2007, the U.S. Navy joined with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. The strategy was presented by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commandant of the Coast Guard at the International Sea Power Symposium in Newport, RI on 17 October 2007. The strategy recognized the economic links of the global system and how any disruption due to regional crises—man-made or natural—can adversely impact the U.S. economy and quality of life. This new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent these crises from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to prevent negative impacts on the U.S.
In 2010, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, noted that demands on the Navy have grown as the fleet has shrunk and that in the face of declining budgets in the future, the U.S. Navy must rely even more on international partnerships.
In its 2013 budget request, the navy focused on retaining all eleven big deck carriers, at the expense of cutting numbers of smaller ships and delaying the SSBN replacement. By the next year the USN found itself unable to maintain eleven aircraft carriers in the face of the expiration of budget relief offered by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and CNO Jonathan Greenert said that a ten ship carrier fleet would able to sustainably support military requirements. First Sea Lord George Zambellas said that the USN had switched from "outcome-led to resource-led" planning.
The U.S. Navy currently has a three-step plan to boost the fleets' firepower: in the near-term, develop the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile to create a surface-launched, over-the-horizon cruise missile with greater coverage than the 75 mi (121 km)-ranged Harpoon anti-ship missile to have the capability that was lost with the retirement of the Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile; in the mid-term, replace defensive missile systems with laser weapon systems; and in the long-term, equip ships with electromagnetic railguns for over-the-horizon bombardment. Lasers like the Laser Weapon System in testing are currently for defense of ships and would allow missile compartments to be freed up for offensive system, while the laser could run as long as the ship has power. They may only be relegated to short-range defensive work, as they cannot fire over the horizon or out of line-of-sight. Railguns will be offensive and fire projectiles at Mach 7 out to 125 mi (201 km). They will serve as a complement to cruise missiles, as they have less range, components wear out fast, and currently only Zumwalt-class destroyers can generate enough electrical power for desired performance.
One significant change in U.S. policymaking that is having a major effect on naval planning is the Pivot to East Asia. In response this, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has stated that 60 percent of the total U.S. fleet will be deployed to the Pacific by the year 2020. The Navy's most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan, published in 2016, calls for a future fleet of 308 ships in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive international environment.