Ensuring access in the littoral will be one of the major challenges facing maritime forces very soon. The U.S. Navy has a vested interest in demonstrating that it can gain access in a non-permissive environment; indeed, it must in order to support the forward presence and crisis response missions articulated in the U.S. National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy. The littoral environment features a host of unique challenges that include compressed space and reaction time, a cluttered environment, unusual oceanographic sound profiles, as well as climate patterns very different from typical open ocean norms. Additionally, a potential adversary can present numerous area denial strategies including coastal defenses, fast patrol boats, small diesel submarines, mines, and integrated littoral defenses. Ensuring access will require U.S. forces to incorporate Operational Maneuver from the Sea in consonance with realistic training and technological development. Building effective littoral warfare methodologies is an evolutionary process and will take time, but ensuring access is not an insurmountable task.