The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile, used by the United States Navy and Royal Navy in ship and submarine-based land-attack operations. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. Since it has been upgraded several times with guidance systems for precision navigation. In 1992–1994, McDonnell Douglas Corporation was the sole supplier of Tomahawk Missiles and produced Block II and Block III Tomahawk missiles and remanufactured many Tomahawks to Block III specifications. In 1994, Hughes outbid McDonnell Douglas Aerospace to become the sole supplier of Tomahawk missiles, it is now manufactured by Raytheon. In 2016, the U. S. Department of Defense purchased 149 Tomahawk Block IV missiles for $202.3 million. The Tomahawk missile family consists of a number of subsonic, jet engine-powered missiles designed to attack a variety of surface targets.
Although several launch platforms have been deployed or envisaged, only sea launched variants are in service. Tomahawk has a modular design, allowing a wide variety of warhead and range capabilities; the Tomahawk project was awarded to Applied Physics Laboratory near Laurel, Maryland by the US Navy. James H. Walker led a team of scientists to build this new long range missile; the original design, updated with advanced technology, is still used today. There have been several variants of the BGM-109 Tomahawk employing various types of warheads. BGM-109A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Nuclear with a W80 thermonuclear weapon. Retired from service sometime between 2010 and 2013. Reports from early 2018 state that the U. S. Navy is considering introducing a nuclear-tipped cruise missile into service. RGM/UGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile – active radar homing anti-ship missile variant. BGM-109C Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Conventional with a unitary warhead; this was a modified Bullpup warhead. BGM-109D Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Dispenser with cluster munitions.
RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – improved version of the TLAM-C. BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile – with a W84 nuclear warhead. AGM-109H/L Medium Range Air to Surface Missile – a shorter range, turbojet powered air-launched cruise missile with cluster munitions. Ground-launched cruise missiles and their truck-like launch vehicles were employed at bases in Europe. Many of the anti-ship versions were converted into TLAMs at the end of the Cold War; the Block III TLAMs that entered service in 1993 can fly 3 percent farther using their new turbofan engines and use Global Positioning System receivers to strike more precisely. Block III TLAM-Cs retain the Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation II navigation system, allowing GPS only missions, which allow for rapid mission planning, with some reduced accuracy, DSMAC only missions, which take longer to plan but terminal accuracy is somewhat better, GPS aided missions which combine both DSMAC II and GPS navigation which provides the greatest accuracy.
Block IV TLAMs have an improved turbofan engine allowing for throttle control, allowing in-flight speed changes, as well as better fuel economy and quicker launch times. The Block IV TLAMs have enhanced loiter capabilities and are equipped with a real-time targeting system for striking fleeing targets as well as onboard electro-optical sensors allowing for real-time battle damage assessment. Additionally, the Block IV missiles have the capabilities to be retargeted inflight, the ability to transmit, via satcom, an image prior to impact to assist in determining if the missile was attacking the target and the damage from the attack. A major improvement to the Tomahawk is network-centric warfare-capabilities, using data from multiple sensors to find its target, it will be able to send data from its sensors to these platforms. It will be a part of the networked force being implemented by the Pentagon. Tomahawk Block II variants were all tested during January 1981 to October 1983. Deployed in 1984, some of the improvements included: an improved booster rocket, cruise missile radar altimeter, navigation through the Digital Scene Matching Area Corellator.
Tomahawk Block III introduced in 1993 added time-of-arrival control and improved accuracy for Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator and jam-resistant GPS, lighter WDU-36 warhead, engine improvements and extended missile's range. Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System takes advantage of a loitering feature in the missile's flight path and allows commanders to redirect the missile to an alternative target, if required, it can be reprogrammed in-flight to attack predesignated targets with GPS coordinates stored in its memory or to any other GPS coordinates. The missile can send data about its status back to the commander, it entered service with the US Navy in late 2004. The Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System added the capability for limited mission planning on board the firing unit. Tomahawk Block IV introduced in 2006 adds the strike controller which can change the missile in flight to one of 15 preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target; this targeting flexibility includes the capability to loiter over
A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water. Seaplanes that can take off and land on airfields are in a subclass called amphibious aircraft. Seaplanes and amphibians are divided into two categories based on their technological characteristics: floatplanes and flying boats; these aircraft were sometimes called hydroplanes, but this term applies instead to motor-powered watercraft that use the technique of hydrodynamic lift to skim the surface of water when running at speed. Their use tailed off after World War II because of the investments in airports during the war. In the 21st century, seaplanes maintain a few niche uses, such as for dropping water on forest fires, air transport around archipelagos, access to undeveloped or roadless areas, some of which have numerous lakes; the word "seaplane" is used to describe two types of air/water vehicles: the floatplane and the flying boat. A floatplane has slender pontoons, or mounted under the fuselage. Two floats are common.
Only the floats of a floatplane come into contact with water. The fuselage remains above water; some small land aircraft can be modified to become float planes, in general, floatplanes are small aircraft. Floatplanes are limited by their inability to handle wave heights greater than 12 inches; these floats add to the empty weight of the airplane and to the drag coefficient, resulting in reduced payload capacity, slower rate of climb, slower cruise speed. In a flying boat, the main source of buoyancy is the fuselage, which acts like a ship's hull in the water because the fuselage's underside has been hydrodynamically shaped to allow water to flow around it. Most flying boats have small floats mounted on their wings to keep them stable. Not all small seaplanes have been floatplanes, but most large seaplanes have been flying boats, with their great weight supported by their hulls; the term "seaplane" is used by some instead of "floatplane". This is the standard British usage; this article treats both flying boats and floatplanes in the US fashion.
An amphibious aircraft can land both on conventional runways and water. A true seaplane can only land on water. There are amphibious flying boats and amphibious floatplanes, as well as some hybrid designs, e.g. floatplanes with retractable floats. Modern production seaplanes are most light aircraft, of a floatplane design; the Frenchman Alphonse Pénaud filed the first patent for a flying machine with a boat hull and retractable landing gear in 1876, but Austrian Wilhelm Kress is credited with building the first seaplane, Drachenflieger, in 1898, although its two 30 hp Daimler engines were inadequate for take-off, it sank when one of its two floats collapsed. On 6 June 6, 1905, Gabriel Voisin took off and landed on the River Seine with a towed kite glider on floats; the first of his unpowered flights was 150 yards. He built a powered floatplane in partnership with Louis Blériot, but the machine was unsuccessful. Other pioneers attempted to attach floats to aircraft in Britain, Australia and the United States.
On 28 March 1910, Frenchman Henri Fabre flew the first successful powered seaplane, the Gnome Omega-powered hydravion, a trimaran floatplane. Fabre's first successful take off and landing by a powered seaplane inspired other aviators, he designed floats for several other flyers; the first hydro-aeroplane competition was held in Monaco in March 1912, featuring aircraft using floats from Fabre, Curtiss and Farman. This led to the first scheduled seaplane passenger services, at Aix-les-Bains, using a five-seat Sanchez-Besa from 1 August 1912; the French Navy ordered its first floatplane in 1912. In 1911−12, François Denhaut constructed the first seaplane with a fuselage forming a hull, using various designs to give hydrodynamic lift at take-off, its first successful flight was on 13 April 1912. Throughout 1910 and 1911, American pioneering aviator Glenn Curtiss developed his floatplane into the successful Curtiss Model D land-plane, which used a larger central float and sponsons. Combining floats with wheels, he made the first amphibian flights in February 1911 and was awarded the first Collier Trophy for US flight achievement.
From 1912, his experiments with a hulled seaplane resulted in the 1913 Model E and Model F, which he called "flying-boats". In February 1911, the United States Navy took delivery of the Curtiss Model E and soon tested landings on and take-offs from ships, using the Curtiss Model D. In Britain, Captain Edward Wakefield and Oscar Gnosspelius began to explore the feasibility of flight from water in 1908, they decided to make use of Windermere in England's largest lake. The latter's first attempts to fly attracted large crowds, though the aircraft failed to take off and required a re-design of the floats incorporating features of Borwick’s successful speed-boat hulls. Meanwhile, Wakefield ordered a floatplane similar to the design of the 1910 Fabre Hydravion. By November 1911, both Gnosspelius and Wakefield had aircraft capable of flight from water and awaited suitable weather conditions. Gnosspelius's flight was short-lived. Wakefield’s pilot, taking advantage of a light northerly wind took off and flew at a height of 50 feet to Ferry Nab, where he made a wide turn and returned for a perfect landing on the lake’s surface.
In Switzerland, Emile Taddéoli equipped the Dufaux 4 biplane with swimmers and took off in 1912. A seaplane was used during the Balkan Wars in 1913, when a Greek "Astra Hydravion" did
Apollo 7 was an October 1968 human spaceflight mission carried out by the United States. It was the first mission in the United States' Apollo program to carry a crew into space, it was the first U. S. spaceflight to carry astronauts since the flight of Gemini XII in November 1966. The AS-204 mission known as "Apollo 1", was intended to be the first manned flight of the Apollo program, it was scheduled to launch in February 1967, but a fire in the cabin during a January 1967 test killed the crew. Manned flights were suspended for 21 months, while the cause of the accident was investigated and improvements made to the spacecraft and safety procedures, unmanned test flights of the Saturn V rocket and Apollo Lunar Module were made. Apollo 7 fulfilled Apollo 1's mission of testing the Apollo command and service module in low Earth orbit; the Apollo 7 crew was commanded by Walter M. Schirra, with senior pilot / navigator Donn F. Eisele, pilot / systems engineer R. Walter Cunningham. Official crew titles were made consistent with those that would be used for the manned lunar landing missions: Eisele was Command Module Pilot and Cunningham was Lunar Module Pilot.
Their mission was Apollo's'C' mission, an 11-day Earth-orbital test flight to check out the redesigned Block II CSM with a crew on board. It was the first time, it was launched on October 11, 1968, from what was known as Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, Florida. Despite tension between the crew and ground controllers, the mission was a complete technical success, giving NASA the confidence to send Apollo 8 into orbit around the Moon two months later; the flight would prove to be the final space flight for all of its three crew members—and the only one for both Cunningham and Eisele—when it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on October 22, 1968. It was the only manned launch from Launch Complex 34, as well as the last launch from the complex. Ronald E. Evans William R. Pogue John L.'Jack' Swigert Schirra and Cunningham were first named as an Apollo crew on September 29, 1966. They were to fly a second Earth orbital test of the original Block I command and service module after Apollo 1, the first manned flight, to be made by Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee.
In December 1966, the second mission was deemed redundant and canceled, Schirra's crew were reassigned as Grissom's backup. Plans for the first manned Apollo flights were disrupted by the January 27, 1967 cabin fire which killed Grissom and Chaffee. Schirra and Cunningham were named as prime crew for the first manned flight, which would now use the Block II spacecraft designed for the lunar missions; the command module and astronauts' spacesuits had been extensively redesigned, to reduce and eliminate the chance of a repeat of the accident which killed the first crew. Schirra thus became the only astronaut to fly Mercury and Apollo missions, his crew would test the life support, propulsion and control systems during this "open-ended" mission. The duration was limited to 11 days, reduced from the original 14-day limit for Apollo 1. Since it flew in low Earth orbit and did not include the lunar module, Apollo 7 was launched with the Saturn IB booster rather than the much larger and more powerful Saturn V.
Throughout the Mercury and Gemini programs, McDonnell Aircraft engineer Guenter Wendt had been leader of the spacecraft launch pad teams, with ultimate responsibility for condition of the spacecraft at launch. He earned the astronauts' admiration, including Schirra's. However, the spacecraft contractor had changed from McDonnell to North American Rockwell, so Wendt was not the pad leader for Apollo 1. So adamant was Schirra in his desire to have Wendt back as Pad Leader for his Apollo flight, that he got his boss Deke Slayton to persuade North American management to hire Wendt away from McDonnell, Schirra lobbied North American's launch operations manager to change Wendt's shift from midnight to day so he could be pad leader for Apollo 7. Wendt remained as Pad Leader for the entire Apollo program. Wendt's face was the last they saw before the hatch was sealed, after liftoff Eisele said with a mock German accent into his radio, "I vonder vere Guenter Vendt?" The first manned American space flight in 22 months lifted from LC-34 at 15:02:45 UTC on Friday, October 11, 1968.
Liftoff proceeded flawlessly. The astronauts described it as smooth riding compared to the rough, bumpy Titan II used to launch the Gemini spacecraft. During the countdown, the wind was blowing in from the east. To launch under these weather conditions was in violation of safety rules since in the event of a launch vehicle malfunction and abort, the command module would touch down on land in Florida, which would be rough and have the potential for the crew to be injured or killed. Apollo 7 was still equipped with the old Apollo 1-style crew couches, which did not provide adequate shock protection in the event of a terrestrial landing; the crew couches had been since redesigned. While seated inside the command module, Schirra protested that launching with the wind going east to west was dangerous, but these complaints were ignored by the blockhouse crew. Following orbital injection and separation from the S-IVB, the crew turned the CSM around usin
USS Harry S. Truman
USS Harry S. Truman is the eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, named after the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman; the ship's callsign is Lone Warrior, she is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Harry S. Truman was launched on 7 September 1996 by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News and commissioned on 25 July 1998 with Captain Thomas Otterbein in command. President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker, other notable attendees and speakers included Missouri Representative Ike Skelton, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. Harry S. Truman was the flagship of Carrier Group Two and, beginning 1 October 2004, of Carrier Strike Group Ten. Beginning in 2001, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Battle Group participated in Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Deny Flight, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Summer Pulse'04, NATO Operation Medshark/Majestic Eagle'04.
In the first half of 2016, Harry S. Truman, as flagship of Carrier Strike Group 8, carried out an 8-month air operation deployment against ISIL from the Eastern Mediterranean as part of Operation Inherent Resolve; the ship has been the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 8 since June 2014. Harry S. Truman is 1,092 feet long, 257 feet wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet; the supercarrier can accommodate 90 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 sq ft each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay. With a combat load, HST displaces 97,000 tons and can accommodate 6,250 crewmembers; the warship uses two Mark II stockless anchors that came from USS Forrestal and weigh 30 tons each, with each link of the anchor chain weighing 360 pounds. She is equipped with three 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts and two Sea Sparrow SAM launchers. Harry S. Truman cost over $4.5 billion in 2007 dollars to construct. Two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors are used for propulsion, this means that the ship is capable of steaming more than three million miles before refueling.
The ship has 4 five-bladed propellers that weigh 66,220 pounds each and can drive the ship at speeds over 30 knots. Harry S Truman has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing the ship's excellence, they include Battenberg Cup 2003 Battle "E" in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014 Dorie P. Miller Memorial Award for Food Service in 2002 and 2004 Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award, an honor given to the most battle-ready ship in the U. S. Atlantic Fleet 2004 and 2009 Ney Award in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005 Admiral Stan Arthur Award, 2004 The oval seal was designed by the ship's pre-commissioning crew and is blue and gold. According to the ship's history webpage, a coat of arms "characterizes the global on-station capability of the ship and the United States Navy" and "Truman's name forms the shape of a forward-deployed aircraft carrier prepared to uphold and protect American interests"; the three flags near the bottom represent the letters "HST". The 33 gold stars surrounding the seal represent Truman's position as the 33rd President.
The Harry S. Truman battle flag was designed by the ship's crew and is a variation of the guidons carried by the companies of the 129th Field Artillery Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division, such as Battery D, the battery under the command of Army Capt. Harry Truman during World War I, it consists of crossed cannons on a scarlet background with the phrase "Give'em hell", a reference to Truman's 1948 reelection campaign. The keel was laid by Newport News Shipbuilding on 29 November 1993 and the ship was christened on 7 September 1996. HST was authorized and laid down as USS United States but her name was changed in February 1995 at the direction of Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. Three Newport News ship workers died during construction when a pump room filled with methane and hydrogen sulfide gases during a sewage leak on 12 July 1997, they are commemorated by a brass plaque in the tunnel off Hangar Bay No. 1. The ship was christened on 7 September 1996, launched 13 September 1996, the crew began moving aboard from contract housing in Newport News in January 1998.
The ship completed builder's sea trial on 11 June 1998 after a short delay due to noise issues in one of the reactor closure heads. The ship was accepted by the Navy on 30 June 1998 and was commissioned on 25 July 1998 at Naval Station Norfolk; the keynote speaker of the commissioning ceremony was President Bill Clinton. Other notable attendees and speakers were: Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. who pushed to have the carrier named after the 33rd president. Harry S. Truman left port for sea for the first time as a U. S. Navy carrier in August 1998 to conduct flight deck certifications, an exercise designed to test the ship’s ability to launch and recover aircraft; that was followed by numerous at sea periods for various training exercises. The Maiden deployment of Harry S Truman began on 28 November 2000 with Carrier Air Wing 3 embarked. After transiting the Suez Canal, the air wing flew 869 combat sorties in support of Operation Southern Watch, including a strike on Iraqi integrated air defense system sites on 16 February 2001, in a sanctioned response to Iraqi surface-to-air missile fire against United Nations Security Council coalition forces.
Combat operations ended on 27
Military Sealift Command
The United States Navy's Military Sealift Command is an organization that controls the replenishment and military transport ships of the Navy. Military Sealift Command has the responsibility for providing sealift and ocean transportation for all US military services as well as for other government agencies, it first came into existence on 9 July 1949 when the Military Sea Transportation Service became responsible for the Department of Defense's ocean transport needs. The MSTS was renamed the Military Sealift Command in 1970. Military Sealift Command ships are made up of a core fleet of ships owned by the United States Navy and others under long-term-charter augmented by short-term or voyage-chartered ships; the Navy-owned ships carry blue and gold stack colors, are in service with the prefix USNS, rather than in commission, have hull numbers as an equivalent commissioned ship would have with the prefix T- and are civilian manned by either civil service mariners or contract crews as is the case of the special mission ships.
Some ships may have Navy or Marine Corps personnel on board to carry out communication and special mission functions, or for force protection. Ships on charter or equivalent, retain commercial colors and bear the standard merchant prefix MV, SS, or GTS, without hull numbers. Eight programs compose Military Sealift Command: Fleet Oiler, Special Mission, Strategic Sealift, Salvage and Hospital Ship, Combat Logistics Force, Expeditionary Mobile Base, Amphibious Command Ship, Cable Layer and Expeditionary Fast Transport. MSC reports to the Department of Defense's Transportation Command for defense transportation matters, to the Navy Fleet Forces Command for Navy-unique matters, to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for procurement policy and oversight matters. Military Sealift Command is organized around eight programs: Fleet Oiler Program N031 Special Mission Program N032 Strategic Sealift Program N033 Tow, Salvage and Hospital Ship Program N034 Sealift Program N035 Combat Logistics Force Program N036 Expeditionary Mobile Base, Amphibious Command Ship, Cable Layer Program N037 Expeditionary Fast Transport Program N038 On 9 January 2012, the MSC command organization was reorganized via a realignment of its structure to increase its efficiency while maintaining effectiveness.
To better manage this new program structure, MSC repositioned three of its key Senior Executive Service personnel, with one SES acting as the program executive over MSC's government-operated ships, a second SES serving as the program executive over contract-operated ships, a third SES overseeing total force manpower management for MSC worldwide operations. MSC realigned two of its four mission-driven programs and adding a fifth program; the Prepositioning and Sealift programs are unchanged by the 2012 reorganization. As of June 2013, Military Sealift Command operated around 110 ships, employed 9,800 people. In 2015, the Military Sealift Command underwent further restructuring with the relocation from the former headquarters at Washington Navy Yard to Naval Station Norfolk; the Combat Logistics Force was the part of the MSC most associated with directly supporting the Navy. In 1972, a study concluded that it would be cheaper for civilians to man USN support vessels such as tankers and stores ships.
The CLF is the American equivalent of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary. These MSC ships are painted haze gray and can be identified by the blue and gold horizontal bands around the top of their central smokestack; the Combat Logistics Force was called the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. After a 2012 reorganization, this program now maintains the 32 government-operated fleet underway replenishment ships from the former Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. Fleet replenishment oilers form the Oilers Program N031, while the dry cargo/ammunition ships and fast combat support ships were separated to Explosive Program N036. Fleet Oiler Program ship types. Oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection and tracking, acoustic research and submarine support are among the specialized services this program supports. Special mission ships work for several different US Navy customers, including the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Oceanographer of the Navy; these ships like those of the NFAF are painted haze gray with gold stack bands.
After a 2012 reorganization, this program now maintains all of its 24 contract-operated ships involved in missile range instrumentation, ocean surveillance and special warfare support, oceanographic survey, navigation test support. Some of its ships were transferred to the new Service Support program. Special Mission ship types.
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
September 11 attacks
The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks. Four passenger airliners operated by two major U. S. passenger air carriers —all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures.
A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, which led to a partial collapse of the building's west side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was flown toward Washington, D. C. but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, after its passengers thwarted the hijackers. 9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively. Suspicion fell on al-Qaeda; the United States responded by launching the War on Terror and invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had failed to comply with U. S. demands to extradite Osama bin expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent terrorist attacks. Although Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader denied any involvement, in 2004 he claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U. S. support of Israel, the presence of U. S. troops in Saudi Arabia, sanctions against Iraq as motives. After evading capture for a decade, bin Laden was located in Pakistan and killed by SEAL Team Six of the U. S. Navy in May 2011; the destruction of the World Trade Center and nearby infrastructure harmed the economy of Lower Manhattan and had a significant effect on global markets, which resulted in the closing of Wall Street until September 17 and the civilian airspace in the U. S. and Canada until September 13. Many closings and cancellations followed, out of respect or fear of further attacks. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, the Pentagon was repaired within a year. On November 18, 2006, construction of One World Trade Center began at the World Trade Center site; the building was opened on November 3, 2014. Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County and the Flight 93 National Memorial in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Although not confirmed, there is evidence of alleged Saudi Arabian involvement in the attacks. Given as main evidence in these charges are the contents of the 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; these 28 pages contain information regarding the material and financial assistance given to the hijackers and their affiliates leading up to the attacks by the Saudi Arabian government. The origins of al-Qaeda can be traced to 1979. Osama bin Laden helped organize Arab mujahideen to resist the Soviets. Under the guidance of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden became more radical. In 1996, bin Laden issued his first fatwā. In a second fatwā in 1998, bin Laden outlined his objections to American foreign policy with respect to Israel, as well as the continued presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.
Bin Laden used Islamic texts to exhort Muslims to attack Americans until the stated grievances are reversed. Muslim legal scholars "have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries", according to bin Laden. Bin Laden orchestrated the attacks and denied involvement but recanted his false statements. Al Jazeera broadcast a statement by bin Laden on September 16, 2001, stating, "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation." In November 2001, U. S. forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Afghanistan. In the video, bin Laden admits foreknowledge of the attacks. On December 27, 2001, a second bin Laden video was released. In the video, he said: It has become clear that the West in general and America in particular have an unspeakable hatred for Islam.... It is the hatred of crusaders. Terrorism against America deserves to be praised because it was a response to injustice, aimed at forcing America to stop its support for Israel, which kills our people....