Musing on his experience in World War II, Pacific War leader Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. said: "A Fleet is like a hand of cards at poker or bridge. You don't see it as aces and kings and deuces. You see it as a hand, a unit. You see a Fleet as a unit, not carriers, battleships and destroyers. You don't play individual cards. You play the hand." Webster's New World Dictionary defines Fleet as: "a) a number of warships under one command, usually in a definite area of operation b) the entire naval force of a country; navy."
Little sense of a Fleet in Halsey's terms exists today. The vision of the Fleet as a great armada of warships steaming together passed out of reality some years ago. Today's Fleet is an agglomeration of many kinds of ships spread over hundreds of miles of ocean, operating semi-independently, connected not by signal flags or short-range tactical radio but netted through long-range communication links of various kinds.