These are the final stage of the powerful conveyor that is the Navy’s Gator Fleet, the numerous, rather ugly, remarkably capable ships that carry the Marines to the far ends of the world and deliver them on the beach when needed. While this fleet has been mainly a humanitarian instrument for many years now it is one of the principal reasons for the US Navy to be as big and capable as it is. The US Navy has many tasks the most obvious ones are to keep the sea lanes open for merchant traffic. While air freight is important these days it is the vast cargo ships carrying oil, ore, containers, and vehicles that really undergird the world merchant economy. The US Navy also provides our most secure strategic weapon the strategic missile submarine. The US Navy and the Marines hold at risk every trouble maker with a maritime coast, providing the implicit or explicit threat that major combat boots (and tracks) can be on their ground if they provide the right (or is that wrong) stimulus.