The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
USS Essex (LHD-2)
USS Essex is an Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock in service with the United States Navy. The amphibious assault ship was built at what is now Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, she was launched 23 February 1991 and commissioned on 17 October 1992 while moored at North Island NAS. She is the fifth ship named for Massachusetts. Essex served as the command ship for Expeditionary Strike Group Seven until replaced by USS Bonhomme Richard on 23 April 2012. Essex conducted a training program during the spring of 1993, from 18 August until 23 November, was undergoing upgrades, during Post Shakedown Availability, in Long Beach harbor. Essex's maiden deployment was in October 1994. With the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. In January 1995, she left the Persian Gulf to prepare for the complex task of covering the withdrawal of United Nations multinational force from Somalia in Operation United Shield. Under fire from advancing Somalis, every member of the force was extracted.
Essex returned to San Diego on 25 April 1995. After a short maintenance period, Essex embarked on a vigorous workup cycle, culminating in her participation in Rim of the Pacific Exercise, a biennial, seven-nation naval exercise. On 10 October 1996, she embarked on her second Western Pacific deployment, with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron Five. During the deployment, Essex participated in multinational exercises with Qatar and Kuwait, as well as Exercise Tandem Thrust 1997, an American-Australian combined exercise with over 28,000 troops, 250 aircraft and 40 ships participating. On her return in April 1997, Essex again went into a short maintenance period, followed by a shortened workup cycle, she departed for her third Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf deployment on 21 June 1998 with the 15th MEU and Amphibious Squadron Five. Essex participated in Exercises Sea Soldier and Red Reef, participated in Military SALT and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations with the U.
S. Embassy in Kuwait. Additionally, Essex supported Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the UN-mandated no-fly zone over southern Iraq. On 26 July 2000, after successful completion of the largest crew swap in U. S. Navy history, Essex replaced USS Belleau Wood and inherited the distinctive role as the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in United States Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan. While in her forward-deployed role, Essex has participated in various humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations including East Timor in October and November 2001 and Foal Eagle in Korea in 2002. In 2004, Essex carried the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to Kuwait, along with USS Harpers Ferry and USS Juneau. Essex stayed in the Persian Gulf while the 31st MEU and the combat element 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines went into Iraq for the Battle of Fallujah. During that time, Essex went to aid in Operation Unified Assistance in Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the December 2004 tsunami, she returned to the Persian Gulf to embark the 31st MEU SOC and the combat element despite being in need of maintenance.
After picking up the MEU and the Combat Element, the three ships returned to Japan. The ship had been at sea a total of eight months. During the 2008 Myanmar Cyclone Nargis crisis and the subsequent Operation Caring Response aid mission and her amphibious group stood by off Burma from 13 May to 5 June, waiting for the Myanmar junta government to permit US aid to its citizens. In early June, with permission still not forthcoming, it was decided to put the group back on its scheduled operations. Early in 2009, Essex completed exercise Cobra Gold, cut short the previous year. Essex followed this with exercise Balikatan with the Republic of the Philippines. Essex got underway in support of exercise Talisman Saber 2009 and conducted various welldeck and flight deck evolutions in support of this joint bi-lateral exercise between the U. S. and Australian military forces. In February, at the conclusion of exercise Cobra Gold 2010, Essex visited Laem Chabang in Thailand. During 21–23 October, the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the Philippines after the Super Typhoon Juan caused extensive destruction to municipalities along the eastern coast of the Province of Isabela.
The crew was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal. At 5the request for assistance from the Japanese government, the Navy directed Essex to be deployed off the northeastern coast of Honshu after the massive 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami; the ship was involved in relief activities in the Sea of Japan off Akita Prefecture. Helicopters from the ship helped deliver relief supplies to quake and tsunami survivors along the northeast coast of Tohoku; the ship departed Sasebo in September 2011 for a patrol of the western Pacific. Accompanying the ship were the landing ships USS Germantown and USS Denver. In November, a Petty Officer 1st Class was fatally injured aboard Essex during a weapons systems test while the ship was off the coast of Bali. A command report released in early 2012 cited "breakdown of safety procedures, protocol violations and gross negligence". While Essex was scheduled to depart for Cobra Gold 2012, an annual exercise with Thailand, her participation was canceled due to maintenance issues.
It was announced in January 2012 that Essex would be returning to her former home port of San Diego, after 11 years of forward-deployment in Japan. Before departing for San Diego, the Essex crew will perform a hill swap with the crew of fellow Wasp-class sister-ship, Bonhomme Richard, to continue their deployment to Sasebo, bu
Concrete ships are built of steel and ferrocement instead of more traditional materials, such as steel or wood. The advantage of ferrocement construction is that materials are cheap and available, while the disadvantages are that construction labor costs are high, as are operating costs. During the late 19th century, there were concrete river barges in Europe, during both World War I and World War II, steel shortages led the US military to order the construction of small fleets of ocean-going concrete ships, the largest of, the SS Selma. Few concrete ships were completed in time to see wartime service during World War I, but during 1944 and 1945, concrete ships and barges were used to support U. S. and British invasions in the Pacific. Since the late 1930s, there have been ferrocement pleasure boats; the oldest known ferrocement watercraft was a dinghy built by Joseph-Louis Lambot in Southern France in 1848. Lambot's boat was featured in the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1855. Beginning in the 1860s, ferrocement barges were built in Europe for use on canals, around 1896, an Italian engineer, Carlo Gabellini, began building small ships out of ferrocement.
The most famous of his ships was the Liguria. Between 1908 and 1914, larger ferrocement barges began to be made in Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and California; the remains of a British ship of this type, the auxiliary coaster Violette, can be seen at Hoo, England. On August 2, 1917, Nicolay Fougner of Norway launched the first self-propelled ferrocement ship intended for ocean travel; this was an 84-foot vessel of 400 tons named Namsenfjord. With the success of this ship, additional ferrocement vessels were ordered, in October 1917, the U. S. government invited Fougner to head a study into the feasibility of building ferrocement ships in the United States. The Fougner Concrete Shipbuilding Company, Flushing Bay, New York, reported calculated cost was of $290 per deadweight ton for the Cape Fear and the Sapona which they built. About the same time, the California businessman W. Leslie Comyn took the initiative to build ferrocement ships on his own, he formed the San Francisco Ship Building Company, hired Alan Macdonald and Victor Poss to design the first American ferrocement ship, a 6,125-ton steamer named the SS Faith.
Faith was launched March 18, 1918. She cost $750,000 to build, she was used to carry bulk cargo for trade until 1921, when she was sold and scrapped as a breakwater in Cuba. On April 12, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson approved the Emergency Fleet Corporation program which oversaw the construction of 24 ferrocement ships for the war. However, when the war ended in November 1918, only 12 ferrocement ships were under construction and none of them had been completed; these 12 ships were completed, but soon sold to private companies who used them for light-trading and scrap. Other countries that looked into ferrocement ship construction during this period included Canada, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Between the world wars, there was little commercial or military interest in concrete ship construction; the reason was that other shipbuilding methods were cheaper and less labor-intensive, other kinds of ships were cheaper to operate. However, in 1942, after the U. S. entered World War II, the U.
S. military found. The U. S. government contracted McCloskey & Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to build 24 self-propelled concrete ships. Construction started in July 1943; the shipyard was at Hookers Point in Tampa, at its peak, it employed 6,000 workers. The U. S. government contracted with two companies in California for the construction of concrete barge ships. Barge ships were large vessels. Instead, they were towed by tugs. In Europe, ferro cement barges played a crucial role in World War II operations in the D-Day Normandy landings, where they were used as part of the Mulberry harbour defenses, for fuel and munitions transportation, as blockships, as floating pontoons; some were used as mobile canteens and troop carriers. Some of these vessels survive as abandoned wrecks in the Thames Estuary. One notable wartime FCB beached at Canvey Island, was destroyed by vandals on May 22, 2003. In 1944 a concrete firm in California proposed a submarine shaped freighter which they claimed could achieve speeds of 75 knots.
The war ended any more research into the project. In retrospect many believe the claims were overstated. Concrete barges served in the Pacific during 1944 and 1945. From the Charleroi, Mail, February 5, 1945: Largest unit of the Army's fleet is a BRL, going to the South Pacific to serve fresh frozen foods — ice cream — to troops weary of dry rations; the vessel can keep 64 carloads of frozen meats and 500 tons of fresh produce indefinitely at 12°F. Equipment on board includes an ice machine of five-ton daily capacity and a freezer that turns out more than a gallon of ice cream a minute. Three of the floating warehouses, designed for tropical warfare, have been built of concrete at National City, Calif. and cost $1,120,000 each. In the crew of the 265-ft. Barges are 23 Army men. One concrete barge under tow by Jicarilla was lost off Saipan during a typhoon, another barge damaged the Moreton Bay Pile Light in Brisbane, but the res
USS Portland (LPD-27)
USS Portland is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy, named after the U. S. city of Portland, Oregon. Portland's keel was laid down on 2 August 2013, at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi; the ship's sponsor is Bonnie Amos, wife of U. S. Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos. Portland was launched on 13 February 2016, she was delivered to the Navy on 18 September 2017, she was commissioned on 14 December 2017, but her commissioning ceremony was not held until 21 April 2018, when she was in the city of Portland for the festivities. The commissioning ceremony was protested by a number of local anti-war groups, who opposed a warship being named after the city; the Laser Weapon System was moved from ex-USS Ponce to Portland for indefinite testing. It was installed at the end of 2018; this article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U. S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
Priolo, Gary P.. "USS Portland". Amphibious Photo Archive. NavSource Naval History
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar