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USM celebrates the 100th anniversary of Great White Fleet.

More than 100 years ago on Dec. 16, 1907, the Great White Fleet departed Hampton Roads, Virginia, marking the first global naval voyage in America's young history.

The US Navy is honoring the anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet deployment over the next year to underscore the Navy's commitment to sustaining a Navy and Marine Corps responsive to the challenges of the 21st century. To kick-off the commemorative period, the Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, hosted a ceremony from that very home port on board USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) last December 15.

In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, sent a portion of the Atlantic fleet on a world tour to test naval readiness, establish global presence and generate international goodwill. "Theodore Roosevelt's idea was a dramatic gesture aimed at audiences both at home and abroad," said Winter.

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The participating ships were painted white except for gilded scrollwork on their bows. Sixteen battleships, plus auxiliary support ships and 14,000 Sailors and Marines, embarked on the 14-month journey covering some 43,000 miles making 20 port calls on six continents.

"I think many of the antecedents of what we now talk about as integral components of our new maritime strategy date back to some of the initial experiments at that time associated with maritime activities," said Winter. "The international engagements, the exercise of the fleet in areas where they have not previously been able to cruise, the exercises of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in places like Mecina in Italy--all of these are incredible examples of what we now regard of integral components of our maritime strategy." For more information about the Great White Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/gwf.--Navy News Service
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Title Annotation:VIEWS, NEWS AND REVIEWS
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:292
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