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Importance of Sea Power
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Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
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Mission of the Navy
134.1 Figure 1-2.—U.S. ships blowing up oil platform in the Persian Gulf. the  world.  The  north-to-south  span  of  the  Pacific  is more  than  75,000  miles.  The  Pacific  separates  Asia and North America by only 67 miles at the northern extremes.  These  two  continents  veer  sharply  away from each other at the southern extremes with more than 10,500 miles of the Pacific Ocean between them. By  its  very  size,  the  Pacific  influences  the  strategic thinking and planning of every nation bordering it. A   third   ocean   bordering   the   North   American continent has achieved  strategic  importance  because of   the   development    of    nuclear    power.    Nuclear submarines  can  remain  submerged  under  the  polar ice  pack  for  long  periods  of  time.  Therefore,  their entry  into  the  Arctic  Ocean  has  made  this  a  5.5- million-square-mile     potential     battleground.     The Arctic  Ocean  is  also  important  because  the  Soviet Union’s longest coastline borders it. Since  the  Arctic Ocean has become a naval operating area, the whole Eurasian  continent,  including  the  Soviet  Union,  has become   vulnerable   to   sea   power.   The   southern borders of  the  Eurasian  continent  have  always  been susceptible to pressure from the sea. For centuries, the Indian Ocean has been an arena for competing sea powers vying for the riches of south Asian   and   Middle   Eastern   shores.   Twenty-eight million  square  miles  of  the  Indian  Ocean  stretches from Malaysia to Africa, countries that occupy a third of the world’s population. Most of the populated land areas of the world are no more than 500 miles from the sea. In the event of armed  conflict,  virtually  no  spot  on  earth  is  beyond the  range  of  attack  from  the  sea.  This  is  the  most profound change in the total  history  of  warfare.  Sea power   can   be   deployed   over   three-fourths   of   the earth’s     surface unhampered by international boundaries.  The  sea  is  unowned—but  it  is  jointly owned by all sovereign nations. Because  the  sea  is  so  important  in  the  event  of armed conflict, the U.S. Navy needs to remain strong. However, a strong Navy is also important in support of our national objectives for the following reasons: •  Two  of  our  states  (Hawaii  and  Alaska)  are located overseas. 1-11

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