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The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is larger than the next 13 largest navies combined in terms of battle fleet tonnage. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier fleet, with 10 in service, one under construction, and two in reserve. The service has 317,054 personnel on active duty and 109,671 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 288 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft. The navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. Depredations against American shipping by Barbary Coast forces in the Mediterranean Sea spurred Congress to employ this power by passing the Naval Act of 1794 ordering the construction and manning of six frigates. These ships were used to end most pirate activity off the Barbary Coast. In the 20th century, American blue-water navy capability was demonstrated by the 1907–1909 world tour of the Great White Fleet. The 21st century United States Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in such areas as East Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. It is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in U.S. foreign and defense policy. (via Freebase)