Before the mid-1970s, the three principal combat missions of the US Navy were strike operations against enemy forces ashore, antisubmarine warfare (ASW), and amphibious assault. Generally, however, Navy amphibious ships and craft in conjunction with naval infantry – the Marine Corps – performed the amphibious assault function outside the carrier battle group concept.1 To carry out these missions, from the late 1950s on, the US Navy deployed separate specialized carrier task forces for strike operations against the shore and for ASW. The centerpiece of strike operations was specialized attack carriers and their specialized attack aircraft.2 The centerpiece of ASW operations was specialized ASW carriers and their specialized ASW aircraft.3 A secondary mission for both types of carriers was defending against enemy aircraft and surface ships, and each carrier was specially armed to perform this function.