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Our effectiveness as a Submarine League depends to a great degree on the support and interest of its members and whether the members strongly identify with the League’s objectives. As we enter into the GLASNOST era with a public euphoria that the cause of peace may be soon in hand, it may be difficult to fervently espouse the need for a strong, capable and modem submarine force. However, many of us remember several euphoric periods over the last forty-five years which were overtaken by the stark realism of political and/or economic realities. And so it goes …..

During periods of relative social calm, we have been blessed with patriots who could see the need to maintain and modernize our submarine force. This was not an easy calling at any level, be it R&D, technology application, or in architecture and construction. A far easier course would have been to submit to the budgetary and naysayer excuses for “holding the line” or “squarely face the austere budget realities.” In spite of a morass of odds, a steady, firm and inspirational course was, and will again be, set and followed. I sincerely believe the Naval Submarine League helps, in a positive way, to set this difficult but necessary course and to shed some light along the way. But we must be prepared to do more. The struggle has only started.

Currently the NSL has five very active chapters which are continuously fine tuning their efforts to find their proper role in support of the League’s more global objectives. Each of these chapters were the product of a few dedicated “spark plugs” at each location. Many helped with the chapter formation, but the spark plugs were members such as Bill Purdum, Jack Williams, Dan Heflin, Bob Gautier, Dick Tauber and Henry Palmer. These individuals took the chapter support package furnished by Headquarters, knocked on doors, scheduled meetings and just got things “rolling.” Today we have NSL member concentrations at Charleston, Hawaii, Kings Bay, and Northern California which could adequately support NSL chapters. All that is needed for these new chapters to become realities is for a “spark plug” to step forward in each area and be willing to donate some of his/her time. The effort and tax on an individual’s time is not that great and the reward of self-satisfaction in helping the submarine force is long lasting. Our headquarters team will supply resources, material and advice. We just need you to step forward and take charge. Please consider this as your contribution to ensuring our submarine force is prepared to respond to the next and inevitable challenge. As a goal, we need to develop two new chapters each year.

Finally, I wish you aU good health and fortune in this New Year. We arc very blessed to live in this wonderful country with our constitutional freedoms. We each need to be dedicated to making a continuing contribution in keeping our nation free, strong and vigilant. The challenge of the 1990s is upon us.

AI Kelln

Naval Submarine League

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