Military operations are divided into three distinct categories: peace, conflict, and war. The United States Armed Forces, which include the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard, are responsible for carrying out these operations. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard are reserve components of their respective services and operate partly under state authority. The scope and purpose of military operations is a fundamental concept that helps to relate military activities and operations.
The Marine Corps, a component of the Department of the Navy, maintains amphibious and terrestrial units for contingency and combat operations. The Coast Guard, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security in times of peace, operates under the supervision of the Navy in times of war. The National Guard is a versatile force that supports combat missions, national emergencies, humanitarian efforts, national security operations, and more. Military operations can range from peaceful to dangerous.
For example, Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia required combat operations to protect U. S. forces. Support operations strengthen local authorities in times of need both domestically and abroad.
The U. military is organized, trained, and equipped for sustained full-scale combat anywhere in the world; however, its capabilities also allow for a wide variety of other operations and activities. The Allied Command Operations (ACO) is a three-level command with headquarters and support elements at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. This command is composed of 13 countries and focuses on joint maritime expeditionary operations mainly through the integration of the United States. Large-scale combat is often carried out in the form of major operations and campaigns that achieve national objectives or contribute to a larger long-term effort.
Offensive operations can also be used to prevent future conflicts; for example, placing armed soldiers at civilian checkpoints in combat zones is a type of offensive operation. Military participation, security cooperation, and deterrence activities develop knowledge of the local and regional situation, create networks and relationships with partners, shape the operational environment (OE), maintain daily tensions between nations or groups below the threshold of armed conflict, and maintain the global influence of the United States.