"Ships and sailors go to sea, and global navies sail far from home. Today, your Navy is forward deployed and engaged around the world, delivering the full range of core capabilities defined in our Maritime Strategy and demonstrating the speed, agility, and flexibility required by a nation with global interests in a time of increasing unpredictability. On any given day, more than 44,000 Sailors are deployed and nearly half of our 288 ships are underway. As we have throughout our 235 year history, America's Navy goes where America's interests are. So today, in full commitment to current combat operations in Afghanistan, more than 14,000 Sailors serve on the ground in the Middle East, and another 10,000 serve there at sea. At the same time, we know our nation's interests extend far beyond Afghanistan. Our Navy provides ballistic missile defense in the Mediterranean and humanitarian assistance in Central America. We are carrying out maritime security operations off the coast of Africa, and building partnerships and ensuring freedom of navigation in the waters of the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. Our Navy is in high demand today, and I expect this demand to only increase as global trends in demographics, economics, natural resources and climate change drive significant change in the maritime and global security environments. The opening of the Arctic and the imminent expansion of the Panama Canal are just two examples of events that will reshape the way the world moves goods across the globe, and by extension, will have profound effects on communities ashore. Meanwhile, the proliferation of new technologies is adding an entirely new dimension to our very concept of security, as the information domain evolves to become a central component of our nation's treasure and strength, and not simply a vehicle of them."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/