Known for little more than bothering pedestrian aquatic craft with speed tickets and enforcement of exclusion zones, the department dedicated to UNSC Maritime Operations is a mostly ill-respected and insignificant sub-organization tied to the vastly networked UNSC Naval Branch. Maritime Operations, also known as the "Wet Fleet", specializes in providing security on the planetary oceans like the naval fleets that once were more numerous across the Earth's seas and defined the Age of Sail. In the Insurrections and during the Human-Covenant War, UNSC Maritime Operations was considered obselete due to the narrow field of operational capabilities they could perform. Similar to the ill-fated Colonial Military Administration, the Wet Fleet was often considered synonymous with rebel-sympathizers or glorified cops on the oceans.
This perception has been prevalent since the beginning of the UEG's colonial efforts beyond the Sol System in the 2170s and continued into the post-Covenant War Era. Throughout its history, the UNSC Maritime Operations has been looked upon as subpar to the rest of the UNSC Navy, so much so, that being assigned to the organization was considered a kind of departmental punishment or even career death sentence due to being a supposedly-humiliating post to hold, more so for naval officers rather than regular sailors. Even under these prejudices, the Wet Fleet has been an integral part of the UNSC's defense policy in maintaining the free trade and security of colony worlds and augmenting the capabilities of planetary garrisons belonging to the UNSC Air Force and the UNSC Navy. Historically, the UNSC Maritime Operations has played an integral role in significant battles including the Fall of Alluvion, Fall of Reach and the Battle of Earth.
While the past has displayed evidence that the prominence of maritime warfare has long past, new technologies and doctrine have breathed new life into the department, even as military leaders, politicians, and civilians continue to question the relevancy of such an old military branch. Only time will tell if they get gutted for good, however, the capabilities of the Wet Fleet have provided security capability that no other department in the UNSC is capable of providing.
Taking after the United Republic of North America and its own unique naval history, the UNSC constructed its Maritime Operations department around the time of the Rainforest Wars and the Interplanetary War in the 2160s when Humanity was still regulated to their homeworld and resident star system. The United Nations Space Command built a naval fleet for sustaining its continued operations on the Earth's seas. Doctrine and strategy employed by the United States Navy were directly copied and adopted and employed by the United Republic which also played a key role in the creation of the UNSC Maritime Operations forces during the Rainforest Wars. The URNA provided a large percentage of the ships used to surround and combat Kolsovic Communist and Freiden Fascist resurgent groups that were fighting against the United Nations in South America during the Amazonian Campaign.
"No presence or force has ever overshadowed the power of the Blue-Water Navy. The United Republic's fleets are an undisputed powerhouse, even in the age of missiles and interstellar rocketry."
―Admiral Nathaniel Lincoln. URNA Naval Admiral.
The mission of the United Nations Space Command Amphibious Forces is to maintain, train, and hone a battle-ready and effective presence on the waters of Human colonies for the purpose of deterring potential threats, maintaining the security of human society, and to wage war when times of conflict come calling.
Since those wars fought on Earth so long ago, the UNSC Maritime Operations have continued the same naval missions that they employed and executed centuries before, only augmenting and improving upon their capabilities as time went on. As the naval and seaborne department of the UNSC Navy, Maritime Operations are equipped to fulfill their areas of responsibility.
1. "Maintaining a battle-ready amphibious force to maintain the security of the seas and to do battle when necessary in times of conflict."
2. "Provide the necessary platforms to augment the capabilities of planetary defense in coordination with other military service branches."
3. "The deployment and development of tactics, forces, strategy, and equipment necessary to ensure that the domain of the oceans remain uncontested by any opposing forces."
While considered outdated and irrelevant in an age of interstellar warfare and planet-killing weapons, the Maritime Operations department of the UNSC Naval Branch have found some subtle ways to continue their dedication to defending the interests of Humanity and the UNSC, even when forced into a support role and limited by a continuously-constrained budget. At the end of the Human-Covenant War, the department of Maritime Operations has maintained a number of mission capabilities that have kept them relevant - primarily as a support element, buying into their current status, for dedicated planetary defense forces such as the UNSC Army and UNSC Air Force. The post-Great War capabilities that the Department of the Navy deemed appropriate include Maritime Aviation Missions, Maritime Coastal Missions, Maritime Security Missions, Maritime Combat Doctrine, and Community Support Missions.
Maritime Aviation Missions (MTA)
"Maritime Aviation (MTA) is the keystone of Maritime Operations in the 26th Century."
―UNSC Maritime Operations Jargon.
The Amphibious Aircraft Carrier is still a recognizable asset of the UNSC Navy.
The predominant operating mission of Maritime Operations in the twenty-sixth century is the maintenance of Maritime Aviation forces rather than the dedication to large combat vessels patrolling the high seas. Due to the versatility of aircraft carriers going back to the twentieth century, the UNSC has sure to construct a squadron of dedicated aircraft carriers on colonies with large bodies of sailable fluids, primarily oceans of seawater. Aircraft and Exoatmospheric combat craft employed by Maritime Operations, the UNSC Air Force, and the UNSC Army rely on aircraft carriers to deploy, receive, repair and refuel flying craft in their dedication to maintaining the capabilities of naval aviation.
Maritime Aviation is by far, one of the most recognizable capabilities of the UNSC Navy's Maritime Operations department. While overshadowed by dedicated star-cruisers, UNSC amphibious aircraft carriers are still behemoths on the oceans of colony worlds and are a staple of the military presence on Earth and other major human worlds.
UNSC aircraft carriers are often used to supplement starships during heavy combat to provide ground troops with dedicated aircraft support. This is a common occurrence in UNSC military doctrine where starships have to dedicate to seizing dominance in space over a battlespace before they can deploy air cover for their troops on the ground. To fill the void of dedicated air support, the UNSC developed the Reinforced Fluid Entry Apparatus to carry amphibious warships to be deployed into battle spaces from low orbit. This way, the UNSC can deploy an early air support for their ground forces while still maintained a presence in space.
RFEAs deploy large warships to a planet's oceans in the Insurrection Era.
Maritime Operations also have a limited jurisdiction to developing orbital and space capabilities not reliant on the UNSC Air Force or the UNSC Navy. Just like the other UNSC service branches, Maritime Operations employ their own dedicated array of surveillance satellites and employ Smart AI similar to other service branches. Through the employment of naval aviation, Maritime Operations have been successful in maintaining their information warfare capabilities. Much like the Earth's naval powers of old, Navys were tasked with their own space and electronic warfare capabilities as much as other branches.
Maritime Coastal Missions (MLAS/MMAL)
"Maritime Coastal Missions include Maritime Land-Attack Support (MLAS) and Multi-Method Amphibious Landings (MMAL)."
―UNSC Maritime Operations Jargon.
The 21st CenturyIowa-class Battleship was the exemplar of Naval Gunfire Support.
Coastal missions, usually tied to the niche roles of Maritime Land-Attack Support and Multi-Method Amphibious Landings, are considered some of the least-used mission capabilities of the UNSC Maritime Operations. Coastal missions usually involve forms of landing and invasion by way of the ocean - both through deployments by aircraft or by sea-going vehicles. Known as Multi-Method Amphibious Landing, such operations are typically rare and small in scope due to the capabilities by other branches to perform similar missions to greater success, such as the UNSC Marine Corps' own Orbital Drop Shock Trooper Corps who commonly deploy from low orbit in insertion pods rather than a risky assault by air or sea into hostile territory.
Due to the lack of popularity of coastal operations, Maritime Operations tend to not employ Coastal Missions, even if they are very much capable of executing the combat mission. Most of the time when coastal missions are required, the Wet Fleet will play a supportive role rather than a direct role in combat, especially to prevent high costs in manpower as amphibious invasions have a tendency to eat up manpower, no matter the strategy or circumstance. Instead, Maritime Operations will employ Maritime Land-Attack Support - a fancy way of saying Naval Gunfire Support from surface combatants or submersible aquatic craft like cruisers and submarines. Historically, Naval Gunfire Support has involved the employment of dedicated big-gun battleships such as the iconic Iowa-class Battleship that defined the twilight of the battleship role in the twentieth century when battleships began to be phased out due to the advancements in missile technology that legitimized the power and capabilities of the battleship. Limited deployment of battleships would continue into the future with advancements in conventional weapons technology, however, rocket artillery has become the dominating factor of Naval Gunfire Support at the present time.
Maritime Operations employs a number of classes of Arsenal Ships and Destroyers to supplement the role now referred to as Maritime Land-Attack Support. Arsenal ships in UNSC employ typically carry large missile pods in excess of fire support and overwhelming force tactics against naval threats such as starships and other surface combatants. On the other hand, Destroyers and Cruisers employ conventional railgun and coilgun systems to deliver smart-artillery rounds over long distances for precision strikes at the request of ground forces in lieu of airstrikes by aircraft at times. There are also a number of unorthodox though technologically-advanced methods that the Wet Fleet employs to complete their Maritime Coastal Missions that remain classified or rarely mentioned.
Submarines are capable of providing for a land attack mission by employing VLS silos.
Typically, modern Gunfire Support is achieved through stealth combat vessels or submersibles that approach close to hostile shores or beyond visual range, firing guided projectiles into enemy territory - missiles, rockets, and on the rare occasion - orbital strike vehicles. Very similar to Arsenal Ship, Missile Submarines carry a great number of missile pods - so much so that they could rival the arsenals of their larger starship cousins. Launching from below the surface or at the surface of a fluid body, these versatile missile systems allow for great accuracy, efficiency, and ballistic range due access to guidance satellites and combat systems and the deployment of reentry vehicles from said missiles. While limited to where they can deploy, artillery vessels employed by the UNSC's Maritime Operations can be as versatile as their brethren in space.
Maritime Security Missions (MSA)
"The purpose of Maritime Operations is Sea Control. Better known as Maritime Security Apparatus (MSA)."
―UNSC Maritime Operations Jargon.
The general concept of control the entirety of seas, or achieving "Command of the Sea," is a total-dominance strategy that has been continuously implemented by powerful naval states as far back as the Age of Sail and even before. Nations with powerful navies that lacked capable adversaries had a tendency of establishing the imperialistic dominion of sea lanes and trade routes and achieving the concept of sea control. Akin to an occupation mission or battlespace control, Sea Control and as the UNSC Maritime Operations department puts it, Maritime Security Apparatus, the dominion of the ocean is sought after to achieve strategic goals of a state or military power.
While the UNSC Navy in space is the most powerful force in Human History and in the period following the Human-Covenant War, the domain of space as yet to be achieved with the likes of pirates, rogue military factions, and alien regional powers running amuck in the pockets of lawlessness that the UNSC is incapable of securing. On the high seas, the issue is similar. Maritime Operations seeks to maintain Sea Control as the UNSC Navy seeks to do in space, whereas, the former has achieved its goal in the concept of the Maritime Security Apparatus. On Earth especially, this was acquired in a line of succession between nation-states that had arrived at the status of "global superpower" or a world-spanning Empire. Only a few nations have achieved such a concept holistically where they had an undisputed control of the world's oceans, however, before those nations were capable of achieving such a feat, regional powers instead achieved regional supremacy in certain region's of the Earth's oceans.
The UNSC Navy performs the same mission that its sea-faring ancestors did centuries before.
Sea control is usually sought after in the interest of economic security for a nation, whereas an Empire like Great Britain attempted to regulate the sea lanes for a time to support their own mercantile interests before they adopted the capitalist economic policies. The United States and the United Republic followed a similar policy of protecting the freedom of trade during their eras of dominance, however, both also would distance themselves from freedom-through-security to direct intervention when a political or economic situation did not play their established status quo. Projected naval force in this circumstance usually led to a naval blockade or economic sanctions if a military option was not considered viable.
The UNSC's dedication to Maritime Security Apparatus involves employing a large number of sea-worthy vessels and maintaining their fleets of aircraft, satellites, and drones to provide surveillance and security on Inner and Outer colony worlds that have the presence of large bodies of water or other sea-worthy fluids.
Maritime Combat Doctrine (2-SCS)
"Maritime Combat Doctrine, while advancing with technology, does not change very much. The majority of Amphibious Combat, Surface and Submersible Combat Specialization (2-SCS), will continue to remain with vessel-based combat."
―UNSC Maritime Operations Jargon.
A Wet Fleet patrolling battlecruiser.
The primary purpose of UNSC Maritime Operations has always been combatting, to wage war. However, due to the shifting balance of the battlespace - the wars off planets became more numerous and the conflicts at sea significantly decreased as the oceans became a less viable and less valuable resource as it had been during the centuries that Mankind had been shackled to a single world and without the technology or drive to strike outside their own solar system. The sea is no longer the primary fighting field of Humanity and many historians, military commanders, and civilians understand this. It's just about common knowledge in the 26th Century.
However, the need for sea-faring vessel remains as spaceships can't be the end-all, be-all of human transports, both in the military and civilian spheres. Maritime Operations maintains a fleet of combat-worthy vessels, though, their numbers are few in comparison to the many starships employed by the UNSC Navy. Long gone are the days of big-gun battleships and large fleets of boats transiting over great lengths to meet an enemy at hostile shores or on the vast oceans where one's aim and informational-strategic superiority was the key to winning the battle. War has evolved as it were and therefore Maritime Operations have been stacked with a far smaller budget than that is comparable to the naval military fleets that once operated on the Earth's wet surface like that belonging to the United States of America or Great Britain.
Technology supplements the need for quantity with quality. Maritime Combat Doctrine in the 26th Century is dominated by a large fleet of fast patrol craft - these patrol cutters are not very big with minimal crew and few major weapons. These cutters provide for reconnaissance and policing duties - they aren't properly designed for combat, however, they can be converted to fulfill the roles of decoy and assault craft, minesweepers, torpedo boats, and recon craft. The purpose of these smaller ships is to lessen the burden of larger, more traditional naval vessels. Such maritime doctrine is divided into two scopes with these more traditional vessels, Surface and Submersible Combat Specializations. Surface vessels, most commonly referred to as "surface combatants," are the combat specialists of the high seas. They serve as the primary combat vehicle of Maritime Operations and are by far the most versatile. Depending on their role and their mass, surface combatants can be designated into certain roles and classes of vessel. The UNSC Wet Fleet employs a number of these types of vessels, most common among them are frigates, destroyers, and cruisers - the replacement for big-gun warships employing both large-caliber weapons and assortments of missiles. These types of ship carry few aircraft, usually a couple or rotor-wing or VTOL-type short-range craft for a number of missions including rescue and resupply, anti-submersible, minesweeping, and weapons guidance. Other surface craft includes supply ships, commando carriers, and aircraft carriers.
One form of a Wet Fleet VLS Submarine.
On the other hand, the UNSC also employ submersible combat vessels, mostly hydrogen-converting and nuclear-powered submarines. These submarines were typical of the carrier, fast attack, and missile launch variety. The largest subs are designed for carrier duties that either carries smaller submersible craft for stealth and recovery operations employing a concept of a "mothership" doctrine. There is a rare number of these submarines that are also used for aircraft carrier duties, however, the complexity of the deployment and retrieval has usually limited their use. Missile-carrying submarines usually are designed to accommodate missiles designed for space combat so that submarines can have a limited effect on orbiting conflicts. An unsuspecting warship in a planet's low orbit or upper atmosphere might be caught by a sub's nuclear missile under this theorem. The last variant of the submarines, the fast attack is usually employed for dealing with enemy submarines and surface combatants though this role is highly limited. While combat missions are extremely limited in this era, the Insurrections featured a number of amphibious actions and newer technologies have somewhat revitalized Maritime Operations.
Community Support Missions (CSO)
"The main job that Maritime Operations fulfills is its civil service duty to the Colonial Community. These tasks are known as Community Support Operations (CSO)."
―UNSC Maritime Operations Jargon.
Community Support Operations are the main responsibility of UNSC Maritime Operations in the time of space warfare. Rather than fight wars, the Wet Fleet is dedicated to preventing minor crimes and maintaining safety on a planetary level - usually patrolling and policing the skies and seas. It's for this reason that Maritime Operations is looked down upon. These Community Support Missions typically involve enforcing no-fly zones, traffic stops over contraband and smuggling, speed limits, and security patrols. Otherwise, the Wet Fleet isn't given much of a role in active combat roles. It's because of this lack of visible involvement as with the rest of the UNSC, it is considered an outdated organization.
UNSC Wet Fleet Patrol Craft.
The Wet Fleet has been battling this prejudice for several centuries now to little success, however, their limited successes have at least allowed them to stay relevant enough to avoid the chopping block of an administrative government board. Tied to their low opinion in civic circles, the UNSC Maritime Operations often receive the lowest-assessed personnel and a shrunken budget which has over-time perpetuated the concept of the Wet Fleet being over-paid and under-worked. They're treated like corrupt civil servants rather than dignified military personnel. It doesn't help either, that the issues that are rumored to plague the Wet Fleet are in part, factually true.
Culture & Public Opinion
Wet Fleet Parody Advert.
The Public Relations with UNSC Maritime Operations, both inside and outside the military, is best described as neutral to poor. Due to a lack of understanding from the public and even most military planners and logistical specialists in the Defense Department, many consider the Wet Fleet an outdated department and a waste of resources. Even the public perception is that Maritime Operations is a waste of taxpayer money - to the degree that some low-level lawmakers have proposed the dissolution of the Wet Fleet and a liquidation or restructuring of its assets.
To the public's great disappointment, however, the UNSC Maritime Operations department has remained intact and standing against the disapproval of the public. The only hit they've taken since the United Nations Space Command returned governmental control to the UEG was a reduced percentage of the budget allowed to the UNSC. A smaller share means less money to continue development and maintenance of amphibious forces, however, under the current circumstances and several key allies in both the UNSC Navy and the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Wet Fleet has been able to supplement the hurt and make do, mostly unaffected by the financial difficulties.
"Puddle Pirates. Squids. Swabbies. Coasties. Sitting Ducks. Target Practice. Covenant Chum. We got called a lot of shit for having some of the lightest casualties in the Great War."
―Maritime Operations staffer on military jargon for the UNSC Wet Fleet.
Opinion of the Wet Fleet wasn't exactly redeeming.
The UNSC Maritime Operations Department suffers greatly from low public opinion, however, they face a similarly low opinion status among its fellow military branches in the United Nations Space Command. The UNSC Navy uses Maritime Operations as a dump point for disgraced officers and underperforming Naval personnel if there is a pretense that they cannot perform adequately among regular UNSC Navy forces. While a discharge would normally be in order, due to the high casualty rates of the Human-Covenant War, it was not economically sound to dispose of personnel that proved to be burdened for the UNSC's military efforts when the war effort called for an extensive manpower to fight against the Covenant Empire. To try and maintain their quotas, Maritime Operations became a dumping ground for under-performing and character-defective personal of the UNSC Marine Corps and the UNSC Navy. It was treated as a place of punishment for naval and Marine Corps officers especially. The organization's low standing in the Navy gave the Wet Fleet a reputation for being laid into a stagnant military position where someone's military career had come to a full stop. No promotion, no demotion. Pay cuts and the removal of certain security clearance ratings. It was a dead-end position to be in, and, by the end of the Human-Covenant War, the Maritime Operations department is treated as a final position in the Navy before an under-performing individual either terminated their military contract, or the individual resigned from their post.
From the outside looking in, Maritime Operations were considered overpaid and lazy. Corruption was considered a common occurrence in the Wet Fleet as many regulations were relaxed and the command structure suffered from insufficiently-maintained commanders, staff, and underfunding for equipment and supplies. Mariners were often stigmatized for being a part of the failing department. This situation developed so much in fact that jargon was developed to describe the personnel of the Maritime Operations department.
Personal nicknames derived from sailor insults were common. Swabbies. Puddle Pirates. Squids. Coasties. Sea Scouts. Night Janitors. Wet Willies. The Wet Fleet's ships were also given some unflattering nicknames. Shrimp Paste. Sitting Ducks. Target Practice. Covenant Chum. Tuna Cans. The administrative arm of the UNSC turned a blind eye to it due to their focus on fighting the Covenant, they had little room to deal with the failing infrastructure and standing of their maritime services. Even as some members of the Maritime Operations managed to break out and build themselves a standing beyond that of the failing Wet Fleet, the organization itself was considered much of a sinking ship. Given their circumstances in both the human resources and finance departments, the rhetoric was on point. The public opinion and treatment of the Wet Fleet extended not just to the Department of the Navy but to the rest of the UNSC, even groups with similar-standings to the Maritime Operations found a hard time not being critical of the Wet Fleet, such as the UNSC's limited Air Force Branch.
"I served the UNSC for many years and I was proud of my service. However, I cannot be complacent with the financial hole we are digging ourselves by letting outdated military doctrine bleed us dry of lives and taxpayer money. One of these terribly outdated departments I speak of is the Navy's own Wet Fleet which I've never received a proper explanation for why they weren't scuttled back during the days of the Insurrection - not unlike the Colonial Administrative Authority. Left to the dusty shelves of history."
―Junior Senator Andrew Del Rio.
Andrew Del Rio is among the Wet Fleet's biggest critics.
The public opinion is outspokenly poor and ill-opinionated toward the UNSC Maritime Operations department that there have been calls for its shut down over the last few years following the end of the Human-Covenant War. This opinion on the UNSC's Wet Fleet goes back to the Colonial Era when the colonies were still in development. The Wet Fleet was especially disliked due to their forward presence on many distant colony worlds as part of the UNSC and Colonial Military Administration's occupations due to the threat of a surmounting Insurrection. Due to the arrival of the Insurrection in the 2400s, the Wet Fleet managed to avoid much of their major criticism when their major complaints were drowned out and discredited as rebel propaganda. The Wet Fleet also managed to escape judgment through the Human-Covenant War due to the emergency martial law government that the UNSC adopted to make the UNSC's war machine more efficient in fighting the alien Covenant. While circumventing democracy and popular opinion by the populace, it also protected Maritime Operations from being liquidated. When the War ended, however, the complaints and criticism returned. While it's not expected for the UNSC Maritime Operations to go anywhere at the current time, it could be inevitable for the Wet Fleet to be diluted. The Created Crisis, however, has placed a stop on any political action that might take place.
Public opinion is also reflected in the Unified Earth Government with several key and low-ranking politicians. At the executive office, UEG President Ruth Charet's cabinet has sought to reduce the budget of the Wet Fleet while increasing funding for the greater UNSC Navy. In the UEG Senate, several policymakers have produced dissolving the UNSC Maritime Operations too little success due to the combative interests of some of the Wet Fleet's interest group allies. One of the largest critics of the Maritime Operations is former UNSC Infinity Captain Andrew Del Rio who became a Junior Senator for one of the Jovian Moons by 2558. Del Rio is considered a pragmatic and fiscally-conservative politician, one very popular with Earth and Inner Colony-types. He is highly vocal with his distaste for what is considered "outdated" military doctrine and equipment, the Spartan-II Program and UNSC Maritime Operations among others.
Maritime Operations Directory
Naval Ship Registry
While limited by their shrunken budget, Maritime Operations has been able to maintain a number of classes and ships of notable power and tonnage. Some more ancient equipment from other era's in Humanity's history are still operated by Maritime Operations whereas other departments and branches have long since moved past.
Actium-class Arsenal Destroyer
Equipped with a large arsenal of missiles, the Actium-class Arsenal Destroyer is a type of guided-missile destroyer that carries a large number of sophisticated missile designs with many different purposes and uses. It measure at 180 meters in length.
Infiltrator-class Fast Attack Submarine
A standard-style hydrogen-powered submarine, the Infiltrator is one of the quietest naval vessels ever developed by the UNSC Navy. Equipped with VLS tubs and torpedoes, the Infiltrator-class is forward deployed by RFEA to hostile colonies for combat, infiltration, and surveillance missions in preparations for planetary invasions. This sub has a length of about 140 meters.
Maverick-class Arsenal Submarine
Heavier equipped than other Wet Fleet submarines, the Maverick is rarely seen above water and can go without resurfacing for months. These subs can carry as many missiles as a starship.
Skykeeper-class Mechanized Destroyer
Floating drone ship. Heavily-armed and very bulky. Designed for an escort role and can be piloted both by a minimal human crew, remte controls, or a UNSC dumb AI.
Diamondback-class Aviation Cruiser
Most commonly deployed using RFEAs, Diamondbacks are among the most common warships on the frontier and are often used to supplament dedicated air support when starships are occupied.
Country-class Aircraft Carrier
Class of aircraft carrier in service to UNSC forces on Reach. Many wrecks lie abandoned among the dried seabeds of the glassed colony after 2552.
Francis Freeman-class Aircraft Carrier
The primary aircraft carrier frame of the UNSC. Most commonly found on Earth.
Midway-class Aircraft Carrier
Rarely seen class of UNSC aircraft carrier. Usually built and deployed in the Outer Colonies.
Dragoon-class Patrol Frigate
Cheap patrol cutter used to escort and fill most major roles of surface combatant warships. The Dragoon was more common on Reach and the Outer Colonies instead of Earth. It was used both by the CMA and UNSC. Many former ships now sail with private parties rather than the UEG's military forces.
Opinions from the Halo Fanon Community on the concept of maintaining a seaborne military force in the age of faster-than-light travel and starships have often been accented by confusion and negative assessment as its believed that any "Wet Fleet" would be made obsolete by the greater and the technologically superior UNSC Navy. The author, Distant Tide concurs with this conclusion, however, also does not conform to the belief that the discussion is open-and-shut. The opinions of the community are therefore reflected in this article by asking the question whether amphibious forces are irrelevant or not, and more so, if they are canonical and still exist, how are they staying afloat. A number of new concepts were introduced to give the Wet Fleet some relevance in the 26th Century.
This article was inspired by the picture of ODST Armor-clad Spartans floating around in a dinghy firing a minigun in the middle of the Halo 3 map, Longshore. Provided to Halo Fanon by the user Slower Than Most - Distant has incorporated the image into this article as a standing meme in reference to many topics on the article's creation - including the nickname "Puddle Pirates."
Military terms, while reflecting of doctrine employed by the US Navy are not word-for-word the same. In an effort to distance the work from reality and history, terms and activities employed by modern navies have been renamed.