In his talk to the League’s Symposium in June, Vice Admiral Roger Bacon, the Assistant CNO for Undersea Warfare, stressed two points. The first was the multi-mission nature of our submarines, both in the past for which he cited a number of specific employments from the ’73 Yom Kippur War to the recent Desert Shield/Storm, and in the future for which he put concise substance to a description of the roles that submarines will play. His second point was about the substance with which the submarine community is looking to that future. For that he cited action by a convocation of 40 Submarine Flag Officers to draft a Vision Statement laying out the Force’s purpose and objectives so that all concerned with national security can see how submariners relate themselves to the future. Admiral Bacon also stated that over 100 initiatives have been identified for action “to ensure the Submarine Force remains a pre-eminent force in the dramatically changed world of today.”
Those same two points characterize the contents of this issue of THE SUBMARINE REVIEW: there is a lot that we can do so we have to be very clear in stating capabilities; and we are taking action to address our problems.
Admiral Bruce DeMars, in his symposium address printed as this issue’s lead, cited the remarkable evolution of the subma-rine as the precursor for the tough job of getting “the public, Congress, scholars, and other military communities” involved in the possibilities of submarines. Vice Admiral Hank Chiles proceeded from that general statement of place and purpose to a description of specific actions being carried out in the Force to implement and illustrate the capabilities needed for the future.
Admiral DeMars also said that we have to stop talking in jargon in order to think clearly ourselves and to get others involved. In coming to grips with the new regional strategy, it seems that not many have a good understanding of the subma-rine’s place in Forward Presence, one of the declared Pillars of that strategy. To the end of explaining the basic jargon, while also stating the submarine case, we present here a general discussion of Maritime Presence by Dr. Doug Johnston and a look by Dr. Jan Breemer at the arguments used to discount submarine utility in that role. We do not claim that we are, as yett jargon-freet but it is our hope to pursue some of these points which obscure submarine employment potential until better understanding is possible and higher awareness is evident.
Another point that seems to cause problems in submarine relations with the rest of the Navy is the one about Command and Control. Captains Ken Cox and Tom Maloney have taken a critical look at the book by the Royal Navyts Admiral Woodward about his conduct of the Falklands Wart and they raise just that question about the submarine involvement in that action. In his specific treatment of Command and Controlt Rear Admiral Jerry Holland touches on that problem in the South Atlantic and draws some conclusions for the future.
Another book about the past of submarines which raises interesting points about their future has been written by Dr. Gary Weirt who does the On Patrol Fifty Years Ago feature for the REVIEW. Captain John Will has taken a lessons-learned approach to the period be~een World Wars I and llt and relates them to the problems being faced by the submarine community today.
As an editorial notet the promise of a submarine bibliogra-phy is being postponed to the January issue due to the already well-packed sea-bag of material for this issue. For the same reason of available space, In the News does not appear but will resurface in January.
A feature of most issues of THE SUBMARINE REVIEW is the Discussion section. The goal of that section is to both present further discussion of articles which have appeared in the REVIEWt and to provide a new aspect of a current issue or introduce a new topic which ought to prompt reply. For the formert Commander John Alden comments on the points discussed in the July issue. For the new topict Stan Zimmerman offers his views of press relationst a subject about which all of us have expressed our opinions at one time or another. The comments of readers are invited about both viewpointst or indeed about any of our material. Ala informed exchange is what a public forum is all about.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
At this writing, we are counting down the final weeks of a national election, the outcome of which will surely influ-ence the course for defense for the remainder of this century! Meanwhile, the budget for Fiscal Year 1993 (beginning October 1992) remains unsettled, with little hope of resolution prior to the election, creating the potential for life under a Continuing Resolution for part or all of the year.
Projecting slightly ahead, the Fiscal Year 1994 budget may go forward as a product of the incumbents, or may be with-drawn, restructured, and resubmitted as a child of a new administration. In either case, that defense spending plan will likely face a largely repopulated Legislative Branch with a new agenda, and the prospect for reductions much larger than those presently programmed in the planned drawdown.
Anyone willing to predict a future for submarine programs under those circumstances? Clearly, our submarine leadership, those in the newly reorganized Washington headquarters staff, and those out in the re-empowered Type Commander staffs, have their work cut out for them. There will be an urgent need to educate/re-educate a new (or almost new) government on the importance of undersea warfare and the key role that subma-rines will play in the post-Cold War regional conflict world. (See my letter to the membership dated 4 August 1992 about how you can help in this important work.)
The news from the front is not all bad. In late August, the New Attack Submarine (NAS), or more familiar, CENTURION, was approved as a program at a Defense Acquisition Board hearing. This Milestone Zero was an essential first step, the official blessing to go forward. The next phase requires formulation of an operational concept and the initial elements of a design, and the conduct of a Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) which trades off the proposed design against a variety of other options (e.g., SEAWOLF; SEAWOLF variants; diesels; Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) concepts; and others). The process, until Milestone One, spans several years and leads directly to finalization of the design and approval to begin construction of the first ship of the class. There is much to be done before that is a reality.
I am pleased to pass on to you several attaboys. FtrSt, on 5 July 1992, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney was interviewed by Bob Schieffer of CBS News Face the Nation. In response to a question on private organizations that support the military, the Secretary responded:
“There are a number ofprofessional organizations… over the years that have been very usefu~ that have been very professionaL I spoke recently at the Naval Submarine League. It’s a first class organization headed up by Carl Trost, the fonner Chief of Naval Operations, dedicated to supporting submarine activities and doctrine and weapons systems, a collection ofprivate and retired and active duty personneL It’s a very, very useful organization.”
If that were not enough, I call your attenton to the letter which follows from General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to our Editor, Jim Hay. Well done James! We are all proud of your accomplishments with the REVIEW. You and your predecessor, Bill Rube, have created a profes-sional voice of the Submarine Force.
In closing, you might be interested in knowing that applica-tions for membership ~ trickling in, a response to my 4 August letter. The trend is up. Thank you for your support.
Chairman or the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Washington, D.C. 20318-0001
3 August 1992
CAPT James C. Hay, USN(Rel)
11010 Gainsborough Road
Potomac, Maryland 20854
Dear Captain Hay,
Thank you for your letter and the “hot off the press” copy of the July 1992 Submarine Review. I appreciate your thoughtful-ness, and that of the membership of the Naval Submarine League.
With this issue the Submarine Review has again showed itself to be in the forefront of the responsible debate on the future of our Nation’s defense posture.
The articles by Bob Murray, Jim Tritten, and Ron O’Rourke are both thoughtful and thought-provoking — exactly the kinds of contributions we all need to read if we are to make wise decisions about America’s National Security future. I thank you for bringing them to my attention. The Tritten article, using the concepts of our National Security Strategy and the Base Force to discuss the U.S. Navy submarine’s role in the years to come, is especially in tune with the times.
Thank you again for thinking of me.
with best wishes,
COLIN L. POWELL
Joint Chiefs of Staff