This should be a time of great optimism for submariners. T From my viewpoint on the Navy staff, seeing what OSD and the Congress are thinking, I conclude that these are good times for our Navy and Submarine Force. This is a time when we will truly realize some gains, not in terms of numbers of submarines, but in the contribution we will make to our country.
There are three things that have happened in the last ten months that are important to remember. The first is the ” …From the Sea” document that you are all familiar with. As you know, it talks in very real terms about joint forces regionally employed in littoral areas. The challenge this document asks of us is, “How is the Navy going to influence events ashore?” . While I was SIXTH Fleet Commander, I was already forced by world events to start thinking in “,.From the Sea” ways. The challenge is to totally adapt ourselves to this for the future, to determine what technology means for this new strategy, and then try to shift money. toward programs oriented to the new strategy. Literally billions of dollars have already been shifted in the FY ’94 budget for that reason.
The second thing is the OPNAV reorganization. The CNO made a brave decision to disestablish an organization that served the Navy very well over so many years. We had a marvelous Navy that came out of the system of three warfare barons, but he thought the time was right for a change. The reorganization has two primary elements . One was to realign the OPNAV staff, Nl through N8, to correspond with the joint staff, J1 through J8. Now I meet frequently with my J8 counterpart to determine how our resources and requirements fit with the joint staff resources and requirements. Nl to N7 have similar relationships with Jl to J7. The other element of change is within N8 itself, which subsumed the Deputy CNO for Naval Warfare, OP 07, as well as OP 02, 03, and 05. We also added a fourth platform sponsor, Marine Corps Major General Harry Jenkins, who is the Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, N85. He is not a liaison officer, but a full time member of the OPNAV staff; he is responsible for amphibious ships, mine warfare, special forces, riverine forces, and UAVs-this is a very real part of N8 and trying to bring expeditionary warfare to life. As an example, when we ask ourselves about the sufficiency of our mine warfare capability, the Marines used to shake their heads and say, “No, it’s not suffi-cient. ” It js for that very reason that the decisions about mine warfare are now made by the Marine. Finally, there is another new flag billet on the N8 staff, N83, The Director, CINC Liaison Division. Archie Clemins is doing a marvelous job there. His only job, though a substantive one, is to keep us fully plugged in to the three four-star fleet CINCs. Whenever we are making decisions on a new airplane, 9mm pistol, or torpedo, we have an understanding of what these four stars think and need. This gives the CNO an input from his operational commanders so he can make the wisest decisions.
The reorganization has been notable and remarkable, but equally important is the third element I would like you to remember, the new process. We now have a new way of putting the Navy and Marine Corps budget up to the light and asking, “Does this make sense for this new world’?” The central part of this new approach is the assessment process; we say to our resource sponsors and fleet commanders, “There are six mission areas and your program has to be relevant to one or more of these mission areas or you won’t get any of the budget’s money”. The mission areas are joint strike, joint littoral warfare, space and electronic warfare, joint surveillance, strategic deterrence, and strategic sealift and its protection. I’m sure you noticed I didn’t mention the traditional warfare areas, such as ASW, ASUW, mine warfare, etc. These warfare areas are still important, but not in themselves; they get their significance only as part of one of the six mission areas.
This raises some interesting issues. For example, consider littoral warfare in a cross-platform way. How do we support the amphibious landing force? In the future, this is an area where an SSN could be a player. Thirty or more days before the landing is scheduled, the submarine could already be there in the seventy or eighty feet of water. Is that possible? I believe it is. The submarine would already know whether or not mines were laid in the area where the amphibious landing is planned. That submarine may also be linked to other sensors, like an RPV under his control, an EP-3, an Outboard-equipped ship; the submarine may be contributing to a crossed-bearing fix ashore. And so the solution for supporting the war ashore could very well be innova-tive features that include such things as submarines in wholly new missions.
We have spent hundreds of hours-we the twenty-five flag officers in N8 or associated with the process-in a group called the R3B, the Resources and Requirements Review Board, reviewing the assessments and asking ourselves the hard questions. Are we going in the right direction? What is the role of submarines and all the other platforms in these missions? When we think we have the answers, we participate in war games and conferences, review analyses like APL’s on airships, and listen to Defense Science Board Panels and Capitol Hill expertise. From this array of input, we put together a fiscally-disciplined budget. That fiscal discipline bas allowed us to say we know what our requirements are versus bow much money we have, and we know it fits inside a budget that we know is getting smaller. We got a little heads up on the last budget drill, so we knew that starting in FY 94 we were going to see a $608 reduction over the six-year defense plan-the SYDP. We, the N8 flags, were able to· match where we were going with what we had. The measure of our success is that no one has been able to show us a better plan.
We have spent hundreds of hours working by this process. Just to let you know that bureaucracy does still exist, we did an assessment of the assessment process, which showed we are devoting 600 percent more flag time in building a budget than ever before. Is that the right way to spend our time? I think so. We are determining how to spend a $75B Navy budget, and it’s important that we are prepared with a product we can sell our civilian leadership and on the Hill. I am optimistic about how well this works. We were successful at selling our ’94 budget and our ’95 to ’99 plan to OSD with no changes. There was not a single PBD that was lost on the way. There were five written; normally there are about one hundred.
The three highlights or the last ten months, II . . . From the Sea,” the reorganization, and the new process forecast a new way or doing business. We call our end product Force 2001. It is the Navy programmatics for the next six years that says how many ships, how many planes, how many submarines and torpedoes; it is our input to the Bottom-Up Review and it has been widely listened to.
I want to mention two issues that are crucial as we look to the future. The two issues are recapitalization and affordability. These are big words for us. It means you cannot keep a force structure around if you cannot support it in the best way possible, so you better get rid of it if you can’t afford it. There are lots of elements of the Navy, not the Submarine Force, that have not lived by that rule in the past. As a result we have wound up with some difficulty in our APN accounts, our aircraft programs, for example. We have bought a lot of airplanes, but we have not been able to maintain them, so we end up with a big backlog of repairs. Another result is we have not been able to afford the right kind of electronics for these aircraft, so they are not as updated as the Air Force aircraft. For those of you who have been around the Navy budget for years, this does not surprise you.
We need to recapitalize in all areas. We need to look at what size Submarine Force we can have for the future, and then we need to build to that level to maintain the force. This means we need to maintain the industrial base. The Bottom-Up Review is still addressing whether to maintain the submarine industrial base or shut it down for a later start up. There is no final decision yet, but my sense is that we have been listened to. Many of you contributed to that discussion. In the final analysis, I think the answer is going to be a positive one. There is wide acceptance at the level of Dr. Deutsch and Dr. Perry of the impact of shutting down the industrial base, so I feel confident that the outcome will be something we can accept. For now, pending outcome of the Bottom-Up Review, the Navy is committed to building submarines at a sufficient rate to maintain the integrity of the industrial base. But to do that, and with the rest of the Navy, we need to get rid of some of our force structure, some of our manpower, and some of our infrastructure.
We are heading for a Navy in 1999 of about 400,000 people; that is down about 140,000 from where it is now. We will go down in the number of escorts from about 150 to about 115. The Submarine Force in 1999 will be down to about 55 or 56. That’s tough; that really hurts. We wish we could keep more, but we can’t afford more and we can’t recapitalize more. Since we can’t afford it, Jet’s jess up to it. Let’s also make the political leader-ship jess up to the fact that the requirement may be there, but we can’t meet it in a professional way unless we are at a force level we can’t afford. That’s the direction we’ve been undertaking in recapitalizing the Navy.
Affordability is a critical part of that. We looked at the Navy in terms of the minus $60B DoD budget, taking our share of it in the ’94 to ’99 plan. Now it looks like there may be another decrement on the way, so it’s not over yet. We will enter into the investment balance review, which is the closure of this assessment process, in the next three or four weeks. We have the fleet commanders, we have our group of admirals and generals together, and we try to do the best thing for the Navy in the context of the six mission areas. We are looking to a smaller Navy and a smaller Submarine Force, but it will be a very fine one, oriented to a whole new future.
I would like to mention a few items that have come out of our assessments as we look at the meaning of our Submarine Force. I thought these may be worthy of passing on to you for your comment. First of all, I think we need to reduce our emphasis on ASW. It is important now and it will continue to be, but there are other things that are also important. I’ll mention just three of them. Support of the battlefield. What does a submarine do in support of the battlefield? And yet it is absolutely essential as we look for integrated capabilities to support our Marines and soldiers in a littoral battlefield. If you look at the world today, it is obvious that it is a very littoral place, meaning that almost all of the areas of military value are within striking distance of the Navy and Marine Corps. If you look at it in the context of what the submarine can bring to the picture, there is a lot of value. The submarine brings the ability to do effective indications and warnings (I&W) surveillance; in mine warfare, that can be critical . The submarine can link with unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), EP-3s, and Outboard ships to provide a lot of intelligence data for our ground commander so he knows the condition of his battlefield in advance. Maybe the submarine shouldn’t work for the battle group or maritime action group (MAG) commander; maybe the submarine should work for the Marine general who will be going ashore. Can we think of that? Can we allow ourselves that mode of operation as we look at the future of the Submarine Force? How about the Advanced Tactical Missile System (ATACMS)? Has anyone thought about AT ACMS and submarines for the future? The AT ACMS developed by the Anny, a ballistic missile that goes sixty to one hundred miles in about two minutes, may fit inside a submarine VLS tube. In the future, it may have a warhead of multiple anti-armor projectiles. Imagine being able to knock out twenty or twenty-five vehicles from seventy miles away from a VLS submarine with a single ATACMS. The source of targeting data could be based on information the submarine collated from high-data-rate sources like MILSTAR. Is it out of our thought process to think about submarines in support of the battlefield? I think it should not be.
The second area is stealth strike. We have spent billions of dollars in our country to provide aircraft that are able to launch a few missiles in a stealthy configuration. Maybe they’re stealthy. Are we totally sure in the future that these aircraft will be totally secure against advanced infra-red, low frequency search rate radars, etc. ‘1 Will they ever be as stealthy as we are in the Submarine Force? Shouldn’t we get even more serious about this business of stealth strike? Are twelve VLS tubes enough? Does it matter to the fleet commander that you have twelve VLS tubes, maybe twenty TOMAHAWKs total aboard your submarine? Yes, it matters. Does it matter to the unified commander? It matters, but not quite as much. Would it matter to him if you had one hundred TOMAHAWKs? Now it would really matter. What does stealth strike really mean? If you are out there doing other missions Jike mine field surveillance or ASW against a diesel submarine, or ASUW, and you also have one hundred TOMA-HAWKS, stealth strike becomes a very exciting concept. Why aren’t we more serious about it? Why isn’t that as important as ASW in this new multi-mission world?
And thirdly, for special forces, is there a submarine mission area there? This topic has generated a lot of discussion inside the Pentagon and the Submarine Force lately. I don’t think it is a matter of just a few SEALs anymore. We are dealing with a crisis-conflict world that is much different than in the past. It is amazing bow much we are doing with special forces. When I was the SIXTH Fleet Commander, we were either in Northern Iraq supporting the Kurdish people in the mountains, or we were exercising in the Adriatic Sea before the crisis arose in Yugosla-via, or we were in the southern rim of the Mediterranean. We were limited by the small number of special forces we had at hand. I came to know and admire this elite community, not just the SEALs, but the whole bunch of them, Army and Air Force as well. They can make an even bigger difference if we can get one hundred or more ashore in a coordinated way. Using the stealth platform we have, should we be looking seriously at facilitation of special forces as an essential element of our Submarine Force’s future? Can this capability be made to fit in the submarine we are designing for the future?
There are a lot of capabilities we should be looking at. I’ve mentioned just three of them. To sum up, I think there are some things we should never lose sight of in the Submarine Force:
For the future, I think stealth is our most important commodi-ty, though we don’t sell it well enough. The Air Force talks about B-2s and the Navy about AIFXs or joint attack fighters (JAFs) as stealthy, but we are the ones who really have it, don’t we?
In the years ahead, power projection will be very important, in whatever form, whether it’s support of those Marines, TOMA-HAWK or ATACMs, or sending special forces ashore.
Integrated is a word we should never forget. We should remain capable in the traditional missions, such as ASW and ASUW, but we may not need to be optimized for those missions. The white water character of the future is driving us to a true multi-mission capability.
A data explosion is about to hit us, and I wonder how many of us are thinking about what it will mean to have 1000 times more data flow through a periscope in 1999 than we have today?
We have some great submarines coming and we need to keep them coming, but sensors, weapons, and data links are more important than platforms.
Finally, we need to realize that it has to be an affordable, recapitalizable force for the future so we can maintain a strong industrial base and a credible Submarine Force.
So those are a few thoughts from inside the Pentagon. I have immensely enjoyed talking to you today. I look forward to some questions, if you have time.
Q. What is the likelihood of converting some TRIDENT hulls to launch TOMAHAWKs?
A. We looked seriously at a TRIDENT conversion program. APL and others have given a lot of thought to putting many TOMAHAWKs in each of the missile tubes. This would give us a really meaningful number of missiles, like the number I was talking about earlier. This option is attractive, particularly if we are determined to keep eighteen TRIDENT submarines, but if we didn’t need them to be full-up SSBNs. We were studying a temporary conversion to TOMAHAWK, such that we could easily restore the missile tube to TRIDENT configuration. What shocked us was the budget constraints. The first $60B budget cut took all the fat out, and now we’re searching for tens of billions more to cut. To do the TOMAHAWK conversion, attractive as it is, meant foregoing many other important procurements. We would like to do it, but it is expensive. For now, it is an afford-ability issue, so I continue to keep it in the back of my mind.
Q. How will the Bottom-Up Review impact the plan the Navy is already implementing for the future?
A. We have some important issues in the bottom-up review. In theater ballistic missile defense the AEGIS cruiser and DDG 51 will be essential, so I think that will come out favorably. The most difficult issue is the future ofTACAIR. Our first priority is F/A-18 ElF. Because that is our top TACAIR priority, we keep hearing that we are trying to give up our long-range strike capability. F I A-18 ElF equipped with stand-off weapons preserves that important capability. The next airplane is also under study. Whatever it is, we will buy it with the Air Force, meaning they will actually contribute funding. We want the next airplane to look as much like the A/FX as we can, but if the Air Force does not participate, it may not come at all. On the submarine industrial base, my sense is that we will be very satisfied with the judgement of Dr. Perry and Dr. Deutsch.
On the issue of the size of our carrier force, our position is that we need and can afford to keep twelve. We have nine nuclear carriers now with CVN 76 coming in 1995. CVN 76 is important for our force size and structure, as well as to maintain our nuclear industrial base. One of the conventional carriers, JOHN F. KENNEDY, will go through Service Life Extension Program at Philadelphia starting in September of this year. We have and can afford twelve, so we, the Navy, are not talking about nine or ten. In a littoral, regional conflict, it is important to have the carriers out there, particularly since the Air Force will have withdrawn a significant number of its airwings to CONUS. I am not sure how this will come out, but I think we are being listened to. Today we have thirteen carriers, but we are already having to consider either extending deployments or gaping a presence, such as the Persian Gulf. None of us want to break the personnel tempo or operation-al tempo criteria, certainly not the CNO. So our argument is, if we are held to the commitments we have now. then we can’t be taken below twelve carriers. It is a very interesting discussion, and I am impressed at how Secretary Aspin and his entire team have been listening to what we have to say. It also helps our argument that we have demonstrated discipline in our budget submissions; it helps our argument when we say we can afford the twelve.
Q. After so many years of difficulty in the acquisition process, do you foresee Dr. Perry and Dr. Deutsch reforming this system?
A. We are very fortunate to have those two gentlemen working that issue. No one knows more about it than the two of them, I thinJc. Nobody I have met has more interest in focusing on fixing the system and has more know-how than the two of them. They have been very moderate in their approach, but they are devoted to making some changes so we don’t have to spend ten years and a lot of the nation’s wealth before we can get something out to the fleet commanders. There has been a lot of discussion about acquiring JAF using a new acquisition process. It would be a Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps airplane, sharing concepts with both A/FX and MRF. They are looking forward to taking on a big project like JAF with a new approach to acquisition.
Q. As the Navy finds ways to save money, such as through the base realignment and closure (BRAC) process, does the Navy get to use some of the savings in some of its own programs?
A. That is not determined yet. We would like some of it to build carriers and submarines and other things, but that is a very difficult question. The immediate cost of closing a base has not been fully answered yet, like the cost of environmental restoration. We have some ideas about the cost; we’re trying to be conserva-tive, but if we are too conservative, we won’ t have any money left for ships and aircraft.
There are other problems that confuse this financial business, like the problems that arose from the Defense Business Operating Fund, or DBOF. We were concerned that we were going to get about half of our O&M,N for this year because DBOF was not paying out. I won’t pretend to understand it all, but I am optimistic. We have some real expertise in our comptrollers and in our program office that I have come to appreciate. They have been responsible for ensuring our share of the budget dollars .