I appreciate this opportunity to speak at the Anh4nual Symposium. I have been a member of the Naval Submarine League for sixteen years and your Vice President for Reserve Affairs for the last three years. I strongly support the vital role fulfilled by the League.
I will discuss an aspect of today’s Submarine Force which is not known to all of you-the Submarine Reserve. Now that we have achieved One Submarine Force, the full integration of the Submarine Reserve into the Submarine Force, it is a good news story that will likely have implications for other Navy and Naval Reserve programs as they review our successes and lessons learned. It also offers new areas for reserve participation and support in the work of the Submarine League, just as we did a lot to work with you to support and carry out the work of the Centennial events for the Submarine Force.
The Submarine Reserve is unique among Naval Reserve programs. Over the past three years, we have fully integrated ourselves into the active duty component. We are now organized, equipped and funded to work together with the active duty commands we directly support as a single integrated force. Now, there is only one mission and, indeed, only one integrated Submarine Force to accomplish it.
I would like to use this opportunity to discuss where we are today in our integrated Submarine Force and some of our ambitious plans for the future. But to set the stage, a bit of history ….
The Evolution of the Post-War Reserve Force
Like the rest of the Naval Reserve Force, the Submarine Reserve was conceived as a source of trained manpower in the event of a rapid military mobilization. After World War II ended, some fleet submarines were decommissioned and assigned to the Reserve. Weekend submarine training aboard the boats continued for a few years until wartime experience levels dropped and it was no longer believed to be safe to take the reserve submarines to sea. Most of the reserve submarines became museum ships, just as the USS PAMPANITO (SS 383) at San Francisco’s Pier 45 is today, and the Submarine Reserve transitioned to the Reserve Centers spread throughout America. During the 1950s and 1960s our reserve training was conducted primarily in Reserve Centers and reservists had little interaction with their active duty counterparts except, perhaps, during their individual two weeks per year on Active Duty for Training or other special cases. In the 1970s the Naval Reserve was reorganized to link individual reserve units to specific Navy commands and the concept of a gaining command was born. Evolutionary change began to occur in the 1980s and 1990s, as individual reserve units took a more proactive approach to supporting the gaining commands with which they now had a more direct relationship. Reserve units began to take on some project work on behalf of their gaining commands, but still remained inwardly focused with respect to their administration and training and their responsibilities to their gaining commands. Reserve support still tended to be ad hoc and dependent upon the quality of the personal relationships between reserve unit leaders and their gaining commands. The interface between the reserve and active systems still more resembled a wall than a bridge. and long lead times and uncertain funding made reserve support hard to obtain and subject to last minute change or cancellation due to lack of funding.
The Vision for Change
As we all know. the active Submarine Force underwent dramatic change following the end of the Cold War. We now have less than one-half the force structure, manning and funding that we had in 1988-yet the mission requirements and demand for submarines remain high, and in many key areas, have increased. In response to the struggle of the active force to do more with less. and in full recognition that the existing reserve systems and structure required a dramatic change before the needed level of reserve support could become possible, the Submarine Reserve leadership developed a ground-breaking proposal to fully integrate the Submarine Reserve into the active Submarine Force and to shift responsibility for the training and readiness from the reserve force to the submarine force. Even the terminology was to change, with gaining commands becoming parent commands in recognition that a fully integrated force would already be a part of the active command at all times. The timess reports for submarine reserve commanding officers would be written by their parent commanders, and control of the reserve funding to provide needed reserve drill support at parent commands on a timely basis would also shift to the active force, and would be managed for them by the reserve Flag Officers and by an increased number of TAR officers on the staffs of the TYCOMs. Administrative support for the Submarine Reserve would remain with the Reserve Force system.
This proposal reached fruition when an historic Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU) was signed in May 1998 between the Flag leaderships of the Submarine Force and the Naval Reserve to implement these new policies. The result was to erase the operational division between active duty and reserve units and to fully integrate reservists into the day-to-day operations of their parent commands. A mutual dependence between active and reserve components of the Submarine Force quickly developed and resulted in the more efficient allocation of manpower and resources, and a better trained and more ready reserve component.
This ambitious goal has also resulted in a change of culture for both components. For the reservists, it meant a new outward focus upon the needs of the Submarine Force and full accountability to provide reliable and valuable service across the full spectrum of real Submarine Force missions and tasking. For our active duty shipmates, it meant ownership of, and accountability for, their reserve units and their training and readiness and the ability to define and monitor their reserve tasking. To reinforce this vision, parent commanders began to write the times reports for their reserve unit commanders and became much more involved in reducing barriers to the full integration of the reserve support and resources they needed.
When we got underway with our new policy in 1998, we were confident that we could do it, but we also knew it would not be easy. Complete integration of operational force active and reserve units in peacetime had never been done before. There were ingrained cultures on both sides that had to be overcome. For starters, we didn’t even have a single comprehensive database to identify and locate qualified submarine officers and enlisted personnel throughout the Naval Reserve. There was no easy way for us to know where our reserve submariners were, to what units they were assigned, and what their skills and qualifications were. We had to create new approaches which have largely solved these problems. And while we still have improvements and refinements to make, we have achieved the first active/reserve integration of operational forces. We are now realizing the return on our intense effort and investment in the One Submarine Force policy as we can point to a steadily increasing number of direct and meaningful contributions made by the Submarine Reserve to the operational community, with new opportunities being generated almost daily.
The Submarine Reserve Today
So where are we today? Currently composed of almost 2,400 reservists in 89 reserve units located across 27 states, the Submarine Reserve program now supports 34 Submarine Force parent commands and continues to grow. The percentage of our available reserve time utilized to directly support the Submarine Force reflects the benefits of this new approach, and has already risen from 46 percent in 1998 to 66 percent in 2000.
FY 2000 saw tremendous improvements in performance within the Submarine Reserve in our integrated role within the One Submarine Force and several new initiatives to increase our involvement.
We played a central role in planning for and conducting many of the events of last year’s highly successful Centennial celebration. It was a reservist who filled the full time public affairs position established at N77 to deal specifically with Centennial issues, supposed by other reserve personnel. We provided technical and installation support, along with volunteers from the Naval Submarine League to prepare and assemble the popular Smithsonian submarine exhibit, and developed and maintained the submarine Centennial website. As Admiral Chiles mentioned yesterday, many submarine reservists, acting in our dual civilian capacities, successfully lobbied their Congressional Representatives and obtained scores of new co-sponsors for the stamp legislation which ultimately resulted in approval of the Centennial stamp set.
As Rear Admiral Padgett mentioned, reserve support to Battle Group Staffs (BGS) provides another highly visible example of our support. There are four large BGS reserve units on the east coast and fifteen smaller BGS and Undersea Warfare Commander staffs on the west coast which directly manage and coordinate the battle group’s submarine assets. Also, reservists from these units will provide key staff support for the new concept of senior active duty submariners as the Battle Group Undersea Warfare Commander.
In another important area, maintenance and repair, many of our submarine reserve units provide much-needed, direct support to the Submarine Force through new programs. We now have waterfront maintenance teams in Norfolk, Kings Bay, Bangor, San Diego and Pearl Harbor which work directly to assist submarine crews. These teams have also relieved or augmented much of the weekend submarine workload from active repair commands. In Groton, the Naval Submarine support Facility’s weekend repair center is operated primarily by the submarine reserve and saves the force about $2 million per year in avoided direct costs for military or civilian manpower on weekends while providing skil1ed, responsive support to waterfront crews, and valuable training and the satisfaction of valued effort for the submarine reservists.
Through innovative thinking and technology, we have established new Reserve Intermediate Maintenance Activity (RIMA) capability for our units located in mid-America. These inland units use available resources and skilled reservists, many of whom possess directly applicable civilian skills and training, to cost-effectively manufacture and/or repair items needed by the Submarine Force. Currently, our RIMAs have 18 projects in various stages of planning or production, including manufacture of clamshell handles, man-movable brows, guard shacks, anti-terrorism hatch covers, bunk and berthing curtains, and special lockers for specific ships and the list continues to grow as we learn more how to match active requirements and these expanding reserve capabilities and resources.
Both Submarine Force tenders (CABLE and LAND) are supposed by seven of our reserve repair units. We have also developed and tested a very successful surge concept for clustered maintenance support to the Cable and Land. Last year, as Rear Admiral Padgett told you, USS CABLE conducted a successful reserve mobilization to the ship in Yokosuka. With 160 reserve personnel augmenting the tender crew over a three week period, the tender reached C-1 readiness status and enhanced levels of productivity within one week. A similar exercise with the same results occurred in 1999 when USS LAND deployed to La Madellena with embarked reserve manpower aboard to bring her to C-1 for the first time during the deployment, while providing excellent added reserve manpower for the tender’s workload during that time.
There are also two decommissioned submarine tenders (ex-LAKE and ex-MCKEE) which are in a reduced operational Category B status, meaning cold standby, capable of reactivation in 180 days. With the current planning assumptions, if it really took 180 days to get one of these tenders reactivated, they would not be included in the warplans, so they were ignored as having marginal utility. Realizing the potential if these two tenders could be reactivated differently and more rapidly, the Submarine Reserve partnered with other reserve and NA VSEA expertise to study the issue, and discovered how to accomplish smart reactivation on an accelerated basis in only 50-70 days, providing the Navy with two more $350 million ship assets it had not previously known it could use.
The Submarine Reserve is also fully integrated into the Navy’s underwater surveillance systems. We have completely reorganized our prior support and now train to complement active duty acoustic experts to analyze acoustic data from fixed and mobile undersea acoustic sensors during peacetime and will provide at-sea surge team manning for the Advanced Deployable System upon mobilization. The high morale and close working relationships between the active and reserve components of this important command make the benefits of full integration clear to all who see them in operation.
In addition to BGS, maintenance/repair activities and IUSS, the Submarine Reserve is integrated into a wide range of other Submarine Force commands as well. For example, the reserves provide new Deployable Environmental Support Teams through COMSUBLANT, comprised of reservists who possess valuable civilian training and experience in environmental areas and can be requested to assist Submarine Force commands anywhere in the world. Submarine School enjoys the training and administrative services of a new supporting reserve unit. Submarine Reserve Force Protection units, manned by reservists who are in civilian law enforcement, are in high demand to provide some of the security services for the Submarine Force and its units that Force Master Chief Kulti mentioned, and we can POM for added billets and more units if the Submarine Force desires. We are working to establish reserve billets to support CTF 12/84 to enable 2417 operations during real world ASW events. Finally, our reservists continue to contribute to watch standing during real world operations when needed, as well as support to many afloat and ashore large scale exercises.
Our Challenges for the Future As We Begin the Second Century of the Submarine Force
I have described what we do in the integrated Submarine Force and how we got to this point. The process is deliberately designed to be continually evolving and we will continue to pursue new opportunities for meaningful contribution. We are motivated by, to use Admiral Bowman’s phrase, “constructive dissatisfaction with the status quo.” Our challenge for the future is to apply our own reserve resources, and those from other parts of the Naval Reserve (such as medical, supply, engineering, etc.), to the specific areas of greatest need of the Submarine Force, when needed, in a seamless and timely manner.
I expect the Submarine Reserve to undertake a number of expanded or modified roles and missions over the next several years of our next century. Among these are:
1. Increased reserve participation in the Submarine Force strategic planning and resourcing process.
2. Developing new roles in areas like: support to a senior USN submariner as battle group Undersea Warfare Commander; an increasing role in submarine maintenance and repair, including the ability to reactivate the Category B lenders; and increased use of reservists in planning and liaison with joint/combined commands.
3. Meaningful contributions and participation in expanded and new mission areas, such as mine warfare and UUV employment, and added support to the new submarine presence in Guam.
4. Capitalize on reserve expertise in civilian business, manufacturing, environmental and other science, engineering and technical skills to improve and enhance Submarine Force practices. The new web-based Reserve Force civilian skills database (www .usnrskillsonline.com) will facilitate identification and optimal allocation of reservists’ skills to the needs of the One Submarine Force.
The One Submarine Force is a reality made possible by our shared submarine culture and experience, as well as the talent, dedication and flexibility of the officers and enlisted personnel in both the active and reserve components of the Force. Over the last three years we have clearly now begun to contribute in a more meaningful and measurable way than ever before, and this has contributed to the overall efficiency of the Submarine Force. Our continued success serves as a model for other Navy and Naval Reserve programs to consider as they work toward similar goals to fully integrate their reserve components, as the Navy’s active and reserve medical community has just done with our assistance.
I am pleased that I have had this opportunity to tell you more about what we are doing. There are many new opportunities before us all to work together as the wider submarine community. The synergism that comes from combining the talents, energies and resources of the active, reserve and civilian/retired/industrial components of the Submarine Force is formidable. Our shared challenge is to work together in partnership to share these talents, energies and resources to build the best Submarine Force in the world for the 21st century.
UNDERSEA WARFARE-THE NEXT 100 YEARS
Following the Annual Symposium in June, the Naval Submarine League’s leading role in establishing excellent networking events for the undersea defense community continues.
Supported by the Naval Submarine League, UDT Hawaii 2001 will unite policy and decision makers from the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Now in its 14th year, VDT Hawaii 2001 will be the first time the authoritative conference and exhibition series has been hosted by the U.S.
The conference, featuring nearly 150 technical papers from over 14 countries, is supported by the Naval Submarine League, NUWC, NAVSEA, ASTO, ASME, CEROS, DARPA, and ONR and is chaired by NUWC’s Technical Director, Dr. John Sirmalis
Featured U.S. keynote speakers are Admiral Bowman and Admiral Fargo.
UDT Hawaii 2001 will take place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village between 30 October and 1 November. For further information log on to www.udtnet.com/hawaii or call the UDT Secretariat at: +44 1322 660070 .
THE SUBMARINE REVIEW
THE SUBMARINE REVIEW is a quarterly publication of the Naval Submarine League. It is a forum for discussion of submarine matters. Not only are the ideas of its members to be reflected in the REVIEW, but those of others as well, who are interested in submarines and submariner.
Articles for this publication will be accepted on any subject closely related to submarine matters. Their length should be a maximum of about 2500 words. The League prepares REVIEW copy for publication using Word Perfect. If possible to do so, accompanying a submission with a 3.5″ diskette is of significant assistance in that process. The content of articles is of first importance in their selection for the REVIEW. Editing of articles for clarity may be necessary, since important ideas should be readily understood by the readers of the REVIEW.
A stipend of up to $200.00 will be paid for each major article published. Annually, three articles are selected for special recognition and an honorarium of up to $400.00 will be awarded to the authors. Articles accepted for publication in the REVIEW become the property of the Naval Submarine League. The views expressed by the authors are their own and are not to be construed to be those of the Naval Submarine League. In those instances where the NSL has taken and published an official position or view, specific reference to that fact will accompany the article.
Comments on articles and brief discussion items are welcomed to make THE SUBMARINE REVIEW a dynamic reflection of the League’s interest in submarines. The success of this magazine is up to those persons who have such a dedicated interest in submarines that they want to keep alive the submarine past, help with present submarine problems and be influential in guiding the future of submarines in the U.S. Navy.
Articles should be submitted to the Editor, SUBMARINE REVIEW, P.O. Box 1146, Annandale, VA 22003.