When Eugene Ely flew his Curtiss biplane from a wooden platform mounted above the bow of USS Birmingham in November 1910, and when 1st Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham, Marine Aviator Number One, climbed into the cockpit of his leaking Wright hydroplane two years later, no one could imagine that in another 87 years Naval Aviation would stand at the dawn of a new century with power and expeditionary capabilities unmatched by any other force.

The first decades of the 20th century were times of significant change and innovation for the Navy and Marine Corps, as aviation began to make its presence felt in naval and expeditionary operations. The first decades of the 21st century will continue to see change and innovation brought on by an evolving strategic environment, new operational concepts, and advances in aircraft, weapons, and information technologies. Naval Aviation is adapting to new circumstances, even in this period of constrained defense spending. This is an imperative that cannot be avoided, because the importance of naval power to U.S. strategy and the importance of Naval Aviation to U.S. naval operations are as great as ever. In a world in which the United States has vital interests overseas, Navy and Marine Corps forces provide key forward-presence, crisis-response, and warfighting capabilities to our nation's leaders and joint commanders. Naval Aviation plays a central role in every naval mission, from establishing battlespace dominance to projecting power ashore.

As Naval Aviation modernizes itself for operations in the next century, it requires an integrated roadmap that charts where it is going and how it intends to get there. Created with continuous inputs from all the communities that comprise Naval Aviation, this Strategic Vision and Plan will serve as that roadmap. It is a "living" document that will be updated and adjusted over time to reflect operational, technological, and programmatic changes. It will also continue to be a focal point around which Naval Aviation develops a consensus on its future direction.

Naval Aviation Vision Statement  Chief of Naval Operations Foreword  Commandant of the Marine Corps Foreword
  Introduction  New Challenges...Enduring Realities  Naval Aviation:  Capabilities for Today... and Tomorrow
Sharpening the Vision:  The Process  Section 1:  Element Definitions and Goals
Section 2:  Program Plans, Descriptions and Roadmaps  Acronyms  Director Air Warfare Closing Remarks