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All over the world, the summer months are a time for family holidays and taking a break from the daily grind of work and school--but not for the men and women of the U.S. Navy. In fact the hottest months of 2008 were a time of incredible productivity, even by their own high standards. For Sailors constantly on the move, summer 2008 was spent just how they like it--in the fast lane.
Across the globe, Sailors were again at the forefront of world events this summer, demonstrating all six of the core capabilities of the Maritime Strategy: Deterrence; forward presence; maritime security; power projection; humanitarian assistance and disaster response; and sea control.
The Maritime Strategy, officially known as "The Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," was signed by the chiefs of all the sea services--the Navy, Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. The unique talents of the men and women of each service are necessary to put the Maritime Strategy into action.
Among the most important objectives of the Maritime Strategy are three themes that dominated "Conversations with the Country," a series of public forums between the sea services and the American people. Those themes are: Remaining strong; protecting American citizens and the homeland; and working with partners around the world to prevent war.
The following is a small sampling of the work accomplished by the Navy in the last four months and highlights a few examples of the expansive efforts of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen as they put the Maritime Strategy into action.
Central Command (CENTCOM)
With much of the world's attention tuned into the daily events taking place in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, the Navy's contributions in this part of the world were diverse this past summer.
In Spring, mine countermeasure forces from coalition navies conducted operations to survey and clear mine danger areas (MDAs) from the Northern Persian Gulf (NPG).
The U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy worked together with regional navies to ensure sea lanes were clear for mariners.
"Our work directly supports the future success of [their countries] by improving access to their ports and sea-lanes," said Cmdr. David Hunkin, commander of the Royal Navy's Mine Warfare Battlestaff. "The navies of Kuwait, Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom have worked hard together [during] the past few months, and we have built very close working relationships. Each nation has brought their own expertise and equipment, and we have melded them together into an effective coalition mine countermeasures task group."
The ultimate aim of …