NAVAL SEA POWER
Learning objectives are stated at the beginning of each chapter. These learning
objectives serve as a preview of the information you are expected to learn
in the chapter.
By successfully completing the nonresident
training course (NRTC), you indicate you have met the objectives and have
learned the information. The learning objectives for chapter 1 are listed below.
Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
Define sea power.
Define the establishment of the Continental
Portray naval operations of the Civil War.
Describe naval operations of World War I.
Identify naval operations of World War II. 12.
Describe naval operations of the Korean 13.
conflict and the Vietnam conflict.
Describe naval operations in the Persian Gulf. 14.
State the reasons why a strong Navy is needed 15.
to support our national objectives.
Identify the mission of the U.S. Navy.
State the four mission areas in which the Navy
carries out its function.
Analyze the Soviet military threat.
Analyze the Soviet political threat.
Describe Soviet naval capabilities.
Outline the Soviet naval personnel structure.
Identify treaties and pacts of which the United
States is a member.
Sea power as a concept means more than
military power at sea. The Navys definition of
sea power is explained in the following paragraph:
Sea power is the sum of a nations
capabilities to implement its interests in the
ocean, by using the ocean areas for
political, economic, and military activities
in peace or war in order to attain national
objectiveswith principal components of
sea power being naval power, ocean
science, ocean industry, and ocean com-
The first use of the term sea power was by
Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, USN, in his
principal work, The Influence of Sea Power Upon
History, 1660-1783, published in 1890. Mahan
explained six conditions required for a nation to
have sea power: (1) an advantageous geographical
position; (2) serviceable coastlines, abundant
natural resources, and a favorable climate;
(3) extent of territory; (4) a population large
enough to defend its territory; (5) a society with
an aptitude for the sea and commercial enterprise;
and (6) a government with the influence to
dominate the sea.