FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The Naval Submarine League is a growing and vital organization. Our numbers have grown to over 3300 members since our start in July 1982. The NSL Advisory Council which was organized over a year ago has been instrumental in researching the proper path and correct speed to develop and expand. They have provided your Directors with many short and long term initiatives which have been adopted and will provide an agenda for action for several years. However, as always, action requires resources.
I have surveyed our corporate members on their willingness to increase their support to the NSL. Uniformly they felt, based on our mission and track record, that a modest increase of corporate membership dues was supportable. Your Directors have effected this and included a sliding scale to accommodate the smaller companies.
I have always advocated that our membership dues were a show of support and an investment in our submarine force and the security and deterrence it brings to a free country. In this era of budgetary constraints our concern needs to be relayed to the public and responsible officials through our expanding educational programs. Our membership dues were never considered payment for which the individual received a product or service. Hence the rejoinder “What’s in it for me?” is best answered by “having the satisfaction that you help in a small way to keep our submarine deterrence strong and vital.” The fact that the Soviets respect our submarine force as none other is abundantly clear and documented. We need not try to build that case here.
The bottom line is that we have increased individual membership dues by $5.00 per year effective on 1 April, 1987, the start of our new fiscal year. I ask that you rally round the NSL and support this most needed and necessary decision. I ask for your positive support and continued membership. We have a great deal to do — together — as a team.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
I am pleased to report that pursuant to an NSL Advisory Council recommendation to include more corporate and business experience for your Board of Directors, the number of Directors was increased by four. The following individuals were appointed to fill the new vacancies:
|R. I. Arthur,||President of Sippican, Inc.|
|H. Galt, Jr.,||Vice President and General Mgr.
Rockwell Int’l, Autonetics Div.
|W. M. Pugh,||Vice President, Tracor Inc.|
|C. R. Bryan,||Past President, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture|
The Directors in their appointment of “Russ” Bryan also noted that as a submarine qualified Engineering Duty Officer, and past Commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, he was well qualified to advise the Directors on ways to introduce the NSL to the many fine professional NAVSEA employees who are not aware of our organization and mission. In addition, “Russ” will be a valuable source of assistance in fulfilling our educational mission.
In the last issue, I requested that a few of our creative members author articles for the REVIEW. I make that request to the general membership again, but in addition, I would encourage our corporate associated members to consider the value of providing a feature nonparochial article based on some facet of their corporate interest or research. I believe there are many subjects available that can be presented in an unclassified article of great interest to our membership. There are a lot of success stories that need to be told.
The NSL Directors recently approved an award to memorialize RADM Jack Darby who until recently was Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. The award will be given to the commanding officer who has most excelled in bringing his ship and crew to a high operational readiness and superior morale status. Jack Darby had those intangible qualities of leadership so few have, and was an inspiration to countless submariners and others.
A reminder that our NSL Annual Business Meeting and Symposium will be on 8-9 July at the Mark Radisson Hotel in Alexandria, VA. I would encourage any members who desire to organize minireunions at our social hour on the evening of 8 July to bring a ship’s banner (or whatever) and we will provide a small area and table for your use while renewing old friendships and telling sea stories.
FROM THE EDITOR
Today’s submariners may see little usefulness in relating lessons from past submarine experience to present submarine problems. The character and utilization of nuclear-powered submarines seem unrelated to lessons learned from the war operations of diesel-powered submarines. The same might seem true with today’s submarine weapons. Could there be any relation between today1s submarine-launched, anti-submarine weapons and the weapons used by the old diesels against surface ships?
It can be easily rationalized that modern technologies — nuclear power, electronically guided torpedoes, etc. — have so revolutionized the nature of submarining as to make historical submarine experience mainly irrelevant. At the same time, technology changes are so rapid that even a span of a few years might make much of nuclear-powered submarine past experience also irrelevant. Thus, what is dredged up about submarines of the past and printed in the SUBMARINE REVIEW may make entertaining reading, but of little use for today•s professionals. Are these REVIEW articles even worth the few minutes that might be spent to comprehend the possible lessons they represent?
Captain Gillette’s article on the use of passive homing torpedoes in World War II may be relevant to today’s anti-ship torpedoes particularly since the passive capability of antisubmarine torpedoes would be certainly suspect with the quieting of submarine targets. But does this apply to surface targets? G. Karmenok’s review of Soviet command and control experience in WW II — in the employment of diesel submarines -may still have some lessons for today’s submarine operations. The use of World War II conven~ionalsubmarine lessons, according to Phoenix, are likely to be an influencing factor in the present strategic and tactical employment of conventional Soviet submarines.
For at least the latter examples, conventional submarine history does appear relevant. Professionals would thus be well advised to recall the lessons learned about war operations of diesel boats — because the Soviets ~ppear to be using these lessons in their present submarine war planning. On this basis alone, the SUBMARINE REVIEW’s rehashing of history serves a useful contemporary purpose. Technology may have changed U.S. submarine operations radically, but if the Soviets are going to utilize half of their submarine force — the diesel boats — in a fashion reflecting to a great extent WW II operational experience, then relevant REVIEW articles provide a useful service to the present u.s. submarine force.
But more than this appreciation of how a potential submarine-oriented enemy has used history, is the value in refreshing the submarine profession’s memory of past submarine matters.
It is popularly held that the corporate memory of an organization is, at best, only a few years. Beyond that, valuable experience is likely to be forgotten. VADM Jon Boyes’ experience with ship control automation for the ALBACORE may be one such item — useful for its recall. TUE SUBMARINE REVIEW article dealing with the command and control of submarines in WW II, may be in some way valuable to submarine planners if several optional submarine strategies are under consideration for “fast-changing situations.”
The above rationale is not an argument for reading the SUBMARINE REVIEW so much as it is to understand the worth of appreciating the lessons of the past and applying them, where applicable, to the philosophies developed about submarines and their weapons, today. If the u.s. art of submarining is to continue in a preeminent position in the submarine world, a close regard to past submarining lessons seems indicated.