This force structure includes active and reserve federal military forces, the United States Coast Guard, National Guard forces, state defense forces, and state emergency management agencies. However, within the area of state defense forces, one of the most overlooked and underutilized homeland security assets are naval militia forces.
The fact that naval militia resources are underutilized is particularly striking given the number of states that border on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the major rivers that traverse the United States, and the port and harbor assets associated with those maritime assets.
Naval militia are the predecessors of the United States Naval Reserve and have a history dating back to colonial America. In 1775, when the Navy was created by the Continental Congress, each colony, and later state, possessed armed naval vessels under the control of the state government.
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