The Navy has three main branches: the Navy Department, the operating forces, and the shore establishment. The Navy Department is mostly located in Washington, D.C.. The operating forces include the Coast Guard (in times of war), the Marine Corps, and the naval reserve (during peace, the U.S. Coast Guard is managed by the Department of Homeland Security). The Secretary of the Navy oversees the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Chief of Naval Operations oversees the shore establishment and the naval operating forces, while the Commandant of the Marine Corps oversees the Marine operating forces. Finally, the two operating forces can work together and provide support to one another. The shore establishment includes all land-based personnel who support the system of naval ships, termed the fleet. These offices include the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and the U.S. Naval Observatory.
The U.S. Naval Observatory is among the longest-standing scientific institutions in the United States. It has been in operation since 1830, when it was called the Depot of Charts and Instruments. It operates from its Washington, D.C., headquarters, as well as an observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and a Master Clock facility for the United States, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Naval Observatory also manages the Lieutenant James Melville Gilliss Library, which houses an impressive astronomical literature selection. The Naval Observatory serves to collect and transmit invaluable astronomical information, such as the orientation of the Earth.
SEE ALSO: Air Force, U.S.; Department of Defense, U.S.; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Andrâs Gelencsér, Carbonaceous Aerosol (Springer, 2005); M.H. Goodspeed, U.S. Navy (Universe, 2003); Admiral W.J. Holland Jr., ed., The Navy (Universe, 2000); Edwin Simmons, ed., E.H. Simmons, and J.R. Moskin, The Marines (Universe, 1998); G.E. Weir, Ocean in Common: American Naval Officers, Scientists, and the Ocean Environment (Texas A&M University Press, 2001).
Claudia Winograd University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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