YNCM(SS) Hank Buenneyer, USN(Ret.) is a freelance journalist and a member of the Nautilus Chapter of the Naval Submarine League.
Rear-Admiral Roger C. Lane-Nott, Royal Navy, Flag Officer Submarines and Commander Submarines Eastern Atlantic, was the guest speaker at a luncheon by the Nautilus Chapter of the Naval Submarine League on Thursday, June 22.
The luncheon took place at the Tavern by the Green and was attended by over 100 members and guests.
Admiral Lane-Nott, speaking extemporaneously, told how he saw things in terms of changes in the submarine community, in his words, “on the other side of the pond”.
“Change is all around us,” he said. “We know how painful it is to deal with some of these things. We’ve already been through some of the things that you’re going through now, so we know how painful it is. But change we must.”
According to Admiral Lane-Nott, the UK used to build a new submarine every nine months to a year. But with the end of the Warsaw Pact, there has been a demand within the UK for a peace dividend. “The submarine community found themselves to be the victims of their own success,” he said. One result of the peace dividend was that the UK lost all of their diesel submarines, including four of their brand new Upholder class submarines.
The current submarine fleet in the UK consists of five SSBNs (three Polaris and 2 Trident), and 12 SSNs.
“On the operational side, we are worldwide, like you, “he said. “We are stretched like you. Everybody wants SSNs-they to want them all over the place. We’re busier than we’ve ever been. As a snapshot today, I’ve got one SSN in the Pacific, one in the Adriatic, one in the South Atlantic, one in the North Atlantic, and one in the Norwegian Sea. That’s pretty diverse.”
Admiral Lane-Nott spoke briefly about the forthcoming Batch 2 Trafalgar class submarine program. “This is our way of saying that we’re not building a new submarine-it’s an upgrade of the last one,” he said.
Concerning the Russians, Admiral Lane-Nott explained that they were putting most of their effort into the submarine force, not into surface ships or aircraft. He thought that the decision to give greater emphasis to submarine construction was based more on a naval than a political decision. He stressed to those in attendance that. The Russians have not gone away.”
With respect to the question of “How do we make our case” for submarine construction, Admiral Lane-Nott suggested that the UK should consider establishing a .. UK branch” of the Naval Submarine League. ..The Naval Submarine League, and what you represent in fighting the battle for the future is fundamental. They can’t do without us-they know it, but they don’t want to believe it. I know we’re expensive but highly competent, professional people are expensive.”
The July SUBMARINE REVIEW had an announcement for McGrogran’s Military Patches. Unfortunately, we published the wrong address. The correct address is as follows:
Don McGrogan, BMCS(SW), USN(Ret.O
McGrogan’s Military Patches
P.O. Box 502
Orofino, ID 83544-0502