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Stewards of the Sea Menu

Training and Testing

The Navy’s mission is to protect America by defending freedom, preserving economic prosperity, and keeping the seas open and free. This is accomplished by training, certifying and providing combat-ready Naval forces to combatant commanders that are capable of conducting prompt, sustained, naval, joint and combined operations in support of U.S. national interests. Naval forces must be ready to respond to many different situations in different environmental settings, often under crisis conditions. From large-scale conflict response to maritime security to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Sailors must be fully trained and prepared to perform these various and demanding duties at a moment’s notice.

Training Activities

Sailors and Marines must maintain a rigorous, comprehensive training regimen to ensure that ships, aircraft, and submarines are prepared to deploy on schedule and all personnel are ready to carry out their duties as required. Sailors participate in four levels of at-sea training, from learning basic skills to working with other military services. This training includes:

  • Basic level training, which consists of individuals, small groups of personnel, or a single crew (ship, submarine, or aircraft) training on its own.
  • Advanced level training, which hones tactics, techniques, and procedures with other units for mission-specific training.
  • Integrated training, which combines individual units and staffs into strike groups or other combined-arms forces and concludes with certification for deployment.
  • Sustainment training, which allows strike groups to maintain their highest level of readiness and proficiency.

Testing Activities

In addition to training, the Navy uses air and sea space to conduct research and development, testing, and evaluation activities to ensure vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems operate as intended. Conducting testing activities in varying marine environments, such as differing water depths, seafloor types, salinity levels, and other ocean conditions, and in replicated warfighting environments, allows for accurate evaluation of systems before use by Sailors during real world operations.

Testing activities are a critical component to maintaining readiness. Research and development of new technologies by the U.S. Department of Defense occurs continually to ensure the U.S. military can counter new and emerging threats. These technologies must be tested and evaluated before use. Testing activities may include:

  • Basic and applied scientific research and technology development.
  • Testing, evaluation, and maintenance of sensors and systems, such as missiles, torpedoes, radar, active and passive sonar systems, vessels, submarines, and aircraft.
  • Acquisition of technologically advanced vessels, aircraft, and systems to support missions.

Military readiness training and testing activities must be as realistic as possible to provide Sailors and Marines with the experiences necessary for success and survival on land, in the air, and on the open ocean. The Navy’s training range complexes provide these realistic environments, with the land, airspace, sea surface, and undersea space necessary for mission success and public safety.