In many ways, the United States Navy serves as the crown jewel of U.S. foreign policy.  The largest and most powerful navy on the planet, America’s sea faring branch boasts 11 operational Nimitz and Ford class super carriers, each larger than any carrier in service to any other nation, with two more currently under construction.  As of June of this year, the U.S. Navy employed more than 276 deployable vessels, as well as more than 3,700 operational aircraft, meaning the United States Navy is also the world’s second largest Air Force.

In 2017, the U.S. Navy conducted combat operations in multiple theaters, executed numerous show of force and freedom of navigation missions near the Korean peninsula and in the hotly contested South China Sea, and provided a stabilizing presence in many of the world’s most heavily trafficked commercial waterways.  Here are the best pictures they’ve taken along the way:

 

#5 – In too deep

Construction Mechanic Constructionman Matt Adams, attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, traverses a mud-filled pit while participating in the endurance course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center (JETC) aboard Camp Gonsalves in Okinawa, Japan

#4 – Firing the Mark 45

The destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) fires its Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise in the Arctic Circle, Sept. 12, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Navy)

#3 – Snow Angels on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sailors create snow angels on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The ship is pierside following a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

#2 – Underwater Construction Team

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Sailors assigned to Underwater Construction Team 2 conduct a pier inspection in Apra Harbor, Guam, on June 13.

#1 – A Massive Show of Force

US Navy aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and USS Nimitz and their strike groups in the Western Pacific with ships from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. B-1B Lancer Bombers, as well as their fighter escorts, are visible at the bottom right.

 

Images courtesy of the U.S. Navy