U.S. Navy Humanitarian Missions: Missions That Benefit All

1142 words - 5 pages

The humanitarian missions of the United States Navy peacefully demonstrate the Navy’s maritime and operational capabilities to distressed countries around the world, while displaying a forward naval presence involving competitive influences and promoting a more dynamic and versatile strategic sealift system. While many may view the Navy’s role as a combatant force to be its primary objective, the role of a humanitarian is just as important. This role permits the Navy to show its power and strength during times of peace, help those who are truly suffering and keep the peace in areas where disaster has left people susceptible and desperate. It also allow the Navy to respond in a rapid manner to any disaster during times of peace, which will inevitably benefit the Navy in responding to emergencies in times of war. Even the Navy does not advertise itself as a force of war, but instead as a “global force for good.” As this force, the Navy can expand American ideals and influence, while painting a favorable picture of America and building good relationships with the other countries (Roughead et al. 2). While the humanitarian missions may be vital for the country that is receiving the aid, they are just as crucial to the United States to uphold order and instill a positive influence of America in the affected area. Doing this will ensure that American interests are protected and trust can be earned.
The mission of forward naval presence, from a humanitarian standpoint, allows the world to attest to the Navy’s powerful forces, which are composed of multi-purpose ships and aircraft that are predominantly meant for combat operations, but can serve in a humanitarian capacity as dwell. A strong naval presence around the world is essential to providing the rapid support that is needed as a humanitarian and defense force, since forces are already in major locations around the world. This aspect avoids the ships having to be deployed from home bases in the United States, which would take a considerably longer time. An example of this is when Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in November of 2013. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group was ordered to proceed from its scheduled port visit in Hong Kong to the Philippines to provide aid for the more than 4.2 million people affected by the typhoon. The USS George Washington Nuclear Aircraft Carrier was present and aided in distributing food and supplies, while also providing medical instruction against the spread of disease (Kennedy). Since the strike group was already deployed in the Far East making its presence known, it was able to respond in a matter of days. By having strike groups and vessels make foreign port calls, the Navy is capable of responding to any disaster as ordered and can spread American ideals in the same fashion.
The presence of naval forces and personnel conducting humanitarian missions also inspires a “competition of influences,” since the supporting countries want to...

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