Most of the Earth is covered in water and most of the world international commerce is seaborne, as the majority of the wold’s population lives close to the coast. The maritime environment ranges from high seas to the more confined shallow waters within littoral and coastal regions, thus providing access to all parts of the globe, and includes the air and water space above and below them. Maritime power has traditionally been employed to maintain the freedom of navigation essential to the general economic welfare and survival of states. Conversely, it has been regularly used to disrupt the opponents’ sea line of communication as part of a wider Allied, joint and combined operation. Maritime forces are globally mobile and deployable. They are able to exploit freedom of navigation, transiting to and arriving in an area of operation to provide a scalable and sustained military presence. Access, mobility, lift capacity, posture, versatility and availability, sustained reach, resilience and leverage are maritime forces main attributes.
(Allied Joint Doctrine for Maritime Operations, AJP-3.1)