As a maritime nation, the United States is dependent upon the sea for both national security and economic prosperity. Our Navy must be prepared to meet future security challenges. At any one time, more than 40 percent of US Navy ships are underway daily, globally present and persistently engaged. Global maritime security can only be achieved through the integration of national and regional maritime cooperation. Forward presence provides the opportunity to conduct cooperative activities with allies and an expanding set of international partners. The United States needs to be in the best position possible to shape emerging ocean policy issues. These include counter proliferation and irregular challenges at sea such as piracy. They also include pressures for more coastal State assertions of control that threaten to undo the traditional balance with high seas freedoms. Additionally, the United States has national security interests in the Arctic and must be prepared to operate in this unique and harsh environment, either independently or in conjunction with other nations.