For over two hundred and twenty years America's naval forces the Navy and Marine Corps have been forward-deployed, on call and ready to respond. In peacetime, crisis, and conflict we have answered our nation's call on countless occasions in every region of the world. Today, we find ourselves in an era of 'chaotic peace' where the challenges, though sometimes ambiguous, are as daunting as ever. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, along with the availability, of sophisticated weapons and commercial information technology on the open markets contribute to uncertain and often dangerous international situations. Our nation's need for unencumbered, forward-deployed, expeditionary forces to provide true flexibility for rapid response will he critical in the 21st century. The unique expeditionary nature of our Service will permit America to respond whenever and wherever America's citizens, friends, and interest are art risks. The expeditionary nature of naval forces means that we will continue to be the force of choice for crisis response.