This year finds the nation and its armed forces alerted, activated, and at war with Iraq and against the ideologies and systems of terrorism. By the end of April 2003, U.S. and coalition forces had taken control of Iraq and dusted the Hussein regime.
In the course of preparing for this war, a complex maritime logistical plan to supply Operation Iraqi Freedom was put in place by the U.S. Transportation Command. This plan included activation of more than 35 Ready Reserve ships, the commercial chartering of other vessels, and the offer of escorts and protection to tankers and other ships in the Persian Gulf by U.S. naval and Coast Guard personnel to protect against mines and terrorist attacks.
While troops primarily are airlifted, cargo is moved primarily by sea. During the past decade, the armed services have designed, constructed, or converted an armada of vessels that they directly operate and control to support the position and movement of ammunition, supplies, and equipment all over the globe.