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From The President

The 225 members of the Naval Submarine League who attended our first annual Symposium made this a truly meaningful and useful event. The primary purpose of the day of talks and discussion was to
provide an educational forum on submarine matters — centered mainly around the direction to be
taken in developing a new attack submarine. Not only do the Symposium speakers rate our sincere thanks for their excellent and candid presentations, but Admiral Jack Williams, the Banquet speaker, should also be cited for his sage advice and special brand of humor which made this a great occasion. Later, our Board of Directors set May 1, 1984 for the next such affair.

From the comments received, I feel we were provided a good base for expanding our thinking about today’ s submarine problems and challenges . Additionally, I welcome suggestions from our members which can help me steer the right course to best serve the needs of our expanding membership.

As of 1 June, 1984 the League had 857 members. This is 1127 short of the 1984 goal by 1 January, 1984. So far we’re going great guns toward meeting this goal — which appears to make the Submarine League self sustaining from then on. But it’s going to require your effort and support to get there.

Having received several queries concerning the Naval Submarine League’s goals and objectives, I would list (though they have not yet been formalized):

  • To create an informed membership which can impart its knowledge about submarine matters to the public (including the Congress) so as to strengthen the U.S. Submarine Force in its national security posture,
  • To establish a dialogue on submarine matters amongst the League’s membership, drawing on their past experiences, corporate memory and knowledge of submarine technology and operations, to strengthen our national strategic posture for war,
  • To further the art of submarining,
  • To use the perspectives and wisdom of submariners — which has been developed over a span of more than half a century — to help formulate national policy regarding the future of submarines, and
  • To renew and strengthen the fraternal ties between those who are vitally interested in submarines and submarining.

Our first annual year ending 31 March, $11,296.15 and no financially sound as objectives. Financial Report, for the 1983, shows cash assets of liabilities. So we’re we pursue these basic objectives.

The value of the Submarine Service to the national defense posture grows daily. therefore we must be prepared to relay our knowledge and beliefs to others who should be kept abreast of the expanding capabilities of submarines and their increasing number of missions. All in all, the Naval Submarine League, I feel, is indeed needed by this country of ours.


Editor’s Notes

The objectives of the Submarine League which our President has outlined emphasize the importance of the dialogue created in this Submarine Review. Getting submariners to document their ideas is not a simple matter, however. Yet, if the League is to prove useful, its members must overcome a long-held habit of reticence and take part in this exchange of ideas — for the benefit of all. Again, I would repeat that your expressed concerns regarding submarines and submariners, both past and present, will create a far clearer understanding of submarine matters for all. And it will lead to closer ties between the active duty professionals and those on the outside as well as increase the level of understanding of specific submarine problems.

This edition responds to the heightened interest in Arctic submarine operations expressed by the CNO — submariner, Admiral James Watkins. The probable use of the Arctic sea-ice environment as a bastion for Soviet ballistic missile submarines has become increasingly evident — and alarming. The article herein on the emerging Soviet submarine technologies would indicate that their SSBNs are also likely to be protected by titanium-hulled Alfa submarines — an additional concern for U.S. ASW forces which rely heavily on the new 688-class submarine. With this growing Soviet threat, the need for a better combat system in the next attack submarine becomes evident, and hence the conceptual direction being taken by today’ s submarine force in developing SUBACs becomes a necessary clue to the character of future SSNs. And, the idea that the primary weapon for this next SSN should have a driving effect on its design creates a concept to be considered.

The article on submarine aviation uses historical experience to challenge League thinking about the possibilities of airplane-carrying submarines. Since the Falklands War showed the criticality of far ranging ASW aircraft to missile defense of a fleet, this article leads one to picture a Soviet submarine which could launch a Harrier-type aircraft against our key, early warning system for groups of surface ships. The S-34 submarine saga is another record from the past that tells a good story with a few lessons thrown in.

Quite a few League members have indicated that they would write for the review, but seem to be waiting for things to write about. Hopefully, the material in the first two issues will suggest subjects which would be of great interest to our membership. For example: war patrol experiences with lessons for today’ s operations; why do the Soviets build exclusively double-hulled submarines while the U.S. builds single-hulled ones; is it worthwhile building a small, very fast nuclear sub for today’ s kind of sea warfare and how might it be put together? In the previous review, an article suggested “Missile Boat or Torpedo Boat” how would they differ in design or how would a u.s. submarine fight a group of coordinated, mutually-protected enemy submarines? A recent Proceedings article suggests ways to improve the officer personnel situation on board today’s U.S. submarines. What are “our” ideas on this? Many of our members are experts in some of these areas and can write knowledgeably and creatively about them. So, reread the objectives of our League and help develop a submarine dialogue through the review which will be useful to all its members!

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