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The SUBMARINE REVIEW is dedicated to submarine subjects as is should be. In recent years the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) has become an integral part of the Submarine Force. As a result, this publication is the ideal medium to continue to educate the Navy on IUSS. The organizational changes that have taken place in the Navy have embraced the IUSS community. The incorporation of Integrated Undersea Surveillance into the OPNA V Submarine Directorate was the beginning of an organizational change that has had far reaching impact. In 1997 the Theater ASW Commander (CTF-84) was shifted from Commander Patrol Wings Atlantic (COMPATWINGSLANT) to Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT). In 1999 Commander Undersea Surveillance (CUS) went from an echelon 3 command administratively subordinate to CINCLANTFLT to an echelon 4 command administratively subordinate to COMSUBLANT. In addition, the same shift took place in the Pacific as COMSUBPAC assumed the role as CTF-12 from COMPACWINGSPAC with Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF) Whidbey Island, Washington subordinate to CTF-12.

Even as this is being written the evolution and revolution of IUSS continues under the able leadership of a new Commodore, Captain Greg Vaughn. His submarine ASW background combined with extensive experience with the intelligence community and international relationships has prepared him for the task ahead. The post 9-11 events are changing the world and some perspectives in it and this will cause IUSS to again reevaluate priorities and how it’s capabilities match the needs of the nation. As always, IUSS will have to determine how to contribute to national defense in the new order of national issues.

Several years ago the question was asked: “Doesn’t IUSS compete with the Submarine Force in the ASW mission role?” That question prompted then N87 Director, Rear Admiral Giambastiani, to direct the IUSS Branch (N874) to begin an education process for the OPNA V staffs and the fleets. That education effort continues today and in all likelihood should be continuous for the future. The fact of the matter is that the IUSS requirements do compete with submarine programs for dollars because the Submarine Directorate (N77) supports IUSS cueing available to all fleet tactical and intelligence entities from within the N77 budget.

As for the mission, the Submarine Force and the IUSS team are inextricably linked in the pursuit of mastery of the Undersea Warfare mission. The concept of separate teams or competing entities from within the U.S. Navy must be eliminated. The ASW /USW mission is a team concept, always has been and always will be. The problem is difficult, the assets limited and thus by necessity the only reasonable solution is to use everything in the inventory to solve the problem. Even then, as it has been proven in recent operations, it is a close-run race.

In past decades, the SOSUS message was the tipper for the SSN to intercept…; the SSBN to disappear … ; the P-3 to launch; and the ASW Task Force to alter course. In many ways, that concept is still working today. The assets are fewer and the targets more difficult. On the other hand, today’s ASW team is truly integrated and huge benefits are being realized.

Some background will be provided here, but Dr. Gary Weir, an official naval historian, is penning the detailed history of IUSS. The Commander Undersea Surveillance (CUS) staff is the combination of the old CUSL (Lant Flt) and CUSP (Pac Flt) IUSS elements. When the staffs were combined, the headquarters was relocated from NH-95 in the CINCLANTFLT compound to Dam Neck, Virginia. The staff assumed responsibility for IUSS maintenance, training, and operation of IUSS facilities and SURTASS ships worldwide. The make up of the staff was primarily IUSS trained and qualified officers. There was a sprinkling of P-3 and submarine qualified officer and enlisted, but they were rare indeed. Quite frankly they were sometimes viewed as intruders into the domain of the OT Ocean System Technician rating.

In the ‘mid 90s due to the downsizing of the IUSS community, it was decided to merge the OTs into the Sonar Technicians (Surface) STG rates. At the outset there were those who stubbornly resisted to the point of opting not to go to sea knowing that without at-sea warfare qualification their career advancement was in jeopardy. This further exacerbated the situation because the IUSS facilities continued to be manned by those wanting to stay in the business. The assignment priorities for IUSS were high enough that the detailers were willing to retour the volunteers to IUSS sites overseas. They were then eligible for stateside shore duty and would return to Naval Ocean Processing Facilities (NOPF) Dam Neck or Whidbey Island to continue their resistance to change. This is certainly not to criticize the leadership and decision makers of the time. They did a magnificent job of maintaining morale while reorganizing a community, which was being reshaped by number driven reductions with little regard for retention of capability.

Fortunately, by the late 90s the CUS staff I CTF-84 / CTF-12 relationships were becoming effective and the mood in IUSS was shifting from survival to visionary. The E-5/6 who had opted for sea tours on fleet assets was returning ESWS qualified to IUSS facilities for shore duty and it was clear from the advancements results their efforts were recognized. The new at sea experienced (ESWS) qualified STGs were making a leadership impact.

In addition, there were some innovative leadership changes occurring. Captain Randy Wagner, a submariner, was relieved as Commander, Undersea Surveillance by Captain Jerry Faber who was an ASW Helo pilot. Randy had done a magnificent job in leading the IUSS community during some of the most difficult days of its 45-year history. The new CSO at CUS was Commander J .J. Jeffery; one of the few IUSS/P-3 qualified officers in the Navy who although a commander, was specifically recruited to fill the 0-6 job from an overseas billet. The XO of Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF) Whidbey Island was a submariner. The fresh air of change was blowing briskly across the IUSS landscape.

By 1999 the CUS operations officer was actually dual hatted (TAD) from the CTF-84 staff and had served an XO tour as a surface warfare officer gaining valuable fleet ASW experience. The N-1 was a non-IUSS officer who had extensive personnel management experience. The Staff/System Command Master Chief was a submariner who further incorporated IUSS sailors into the Submarine Force programs. The Commanding Officer of the premier overseas ASW facility, Joint Maritime Facility, St. Mawgans in Cornwall, England, was Captain Paul Pops Hallowell. His extensive P-3 experience was the needed ingredient to reshape IUSS support to ASW in the North Atlantic.

These men and women began a revolution in manning, training and qualification of the staffs and watch stations ofIUSS. The first major step was taken at JMF St. Mawgan. This facility is co-manned by the U.S. Navy, Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy {RN) officer and enlisted rates. The personnel shortage at JMF St. Mawgan required drastic action. BUPERS decided to send 40 A-school graduates to Cornwall, England.

The resulting training and qualification burden was staggering. It forced a re-molding of the thinking from wholesale (end to end) qualification without intermediate steps into a qualification philosophy of stages to more rapidly utilize new manpower. The sea returnee experience and Captain Hallowell’s operational confidence were starting to show. These bright young sailors quickly proved themselves capable and the qualification process began to reshape itself to look much like a shipboard qualification program done in steps to get the new personnel on the watch bill as soon as possible. Initial qualification allowed utilization of manpower and the process ultimately resulted in a qualified supervisor.

By now submarine sonar technicians (STS), P-3 Air crewmen {A Ws) and surface warfare sonar technicians (STGs) without prior IUSS experience began to be assigned to IUSS facilities. The staff of Whidbey Island under the able leadership of Commander Teresa Barrett, had worked hard to develop a team relationship with the P-3 Air Wing at NAS Whidbey Island. Several successful joint prosecutions and exchange programs had provided insight into IUSS for the AWs. Shore duty at the NOPF would also be a way to stay in Whidbey if so desired. Several AWs were subsequently assigned to the NOPF. There was a learning curve to be experi-enced in that the first few AWs were on twilight tours and planned to retire after completing their tours in IUSS. This was not the goal of IUSS. NOPF Whidbey Island wanted those A Ws back in the P-3 airframes with an appreciation of the capabilities of IUSS.

The CUS and WI staffs descended on Memphis like non-skid on a well-prepped topside. The education of the detailers on the benefits to the community in having well trained AWs returning from shore duty with enhanced acoustic analysis skills was only the beginning. With the help of Captain Steve Burich (CSO at CTF-12 with P-3 background) and Captains Larry Cotton and Hugh Dawson (both COS at CTF-84 with P-3 backgrounds) the cooperation between the Air ASW community and IUSS was beginning to build. Their perspective of cooperation required for successful execution of theater ASW gave great credibility to arguments for incorporating A w•s into the IUSS manning. The support of CTF-12/CTF-84 was vital to convincing personnel management that cross-pollinating AWs and returning them to the air wing with a great appreciation of Theater ASW. cueuing. IUSS, and acoustic analysis was what the operating fleet wanted.

At NOPF Dam Neck the infusion of submarine (STS) and surface (STG) began to reflect broader thinking and new qualifica-tion concepts. Under the visionary leadership of Commander Jim Donovan a parallel revolution was taking place. The sea returnee’s knowledge, leadership and experience were somewhat frustrated by a slow burdensome qualification system. The qualification system was based on IUSS experience because that is what had usually been assigned to the NOPFs. The overhaul of the administration of qualification for sea returnee (non-IUSS qualified) persoMel resulted in a more rapid infusion of their experience onto the watch floor and brought the qualification of Reserves from an unrealistic 15-year plan to 6-9 months. The newly qualified Reserves were tested during an Operational Readiness Examination (ORE) with successful results. The training revolution took hold and continues today.

The IUSS team perspective was truly beginning to mature. The operational briefs covering the entire theater at sea picture given to COMSUBLANT (Vice Admiral Giambastiani and Vice Admiral Grossenbacher) were given by AW /STG/STS teams standing shoulder to shoulder. The watch teams were being lead by surface warfare qualified Limited Duty Officers or in some cases by initial assignment 1635 (Intelligence officers) to the NOPFs.

The true value of the synergism became apparent from the at-sea perspective of the team. The cue of the tactical platform is still the essential element of IUSS. The watch team based on the at-sea experience of the members more readily understands the needs of the at-sea tactical platform. The AW knows exactly what the airborne crew is doing, experiencing and more importantly what is required to be successful. That insight is invaluable.

The surface STG (ESWS) has a great perspective of the ASW mission in the combined arms arena of the surface combatant. The presence of Officer of the Deck (OOD) qualified LDOs on the watch floor gives an at-sea commander’s perspective to the watch teams and staff. The LDOs who come from communications (N-6) and Combat Information Center (CIC) jobs provide insight into information management and other challenges that are facing the fleet units during multi-mission tasking.

The STS knows how the submarine watch team is preparing or executing the search or any other assigned mission. This allows the watch team to communicate with the Task Force, Command Staff, or individual units in the most effective marmer possible. This is when the IUSS watch team really is able to make an impact like never before. There is no longer educated guessing-they really know what is needed for the tactical user. This was never more apparent than when CTF-12 established a chat room on the SIPR-NET WeCAN system to allow operator to operator data exchange in a near real time to support a real world operation. The watch floor to on board operator exchange became so close that one could almost believe chey were co-located when reading the dialogue.

The combined effort of the watch team is only an immediate result. The long-term benefit will come when chese individuals begin to return to sea. The staff and tactical units they are assigned to will have on board the best trained Theater ASW experts the Navy has to offer. Their knowledge of the capabilities of all applicable ASW units is being merged with the tactical thinking and operator’s perspectives as they work side by side. It could easily be said that the IUSS facilities may well be the best Theater ASW/-USW training grounds in the U.S. Navy.

The final aspect of the new IUSS team is the addition of Limited Duty Officers in key CUS staff and NOPF positions. The value of the LOO assigned as watch officer has already been alluded to. In addition, their presence as training officers, communications/C41 officers, Current Operations Officers, and Operations Officers has served to modernize these organizations compatible with fleet needs. Since the fleet is the customer and the customer is always right they must be on the right track. An added benefit is the leadership opportunities provided by assignment to SURTASS ship Military Detachments as Officer In Charge (OIC). The infusion of the larger Fleet perspective has had a great positive impact on the concept that IUSS does not exist to serve it’s own end but primarily to cue the tactical units at sea, which will always be limited in numbers.

This infusion of new talent and aggressive, innovative thinking will have great impact on the future. The IUSS system works well now because there still exists a level of knowledge and experience in IUSS operators. As that dwindles with transfers and retirements the Navy, Submarine Force, and IUSS will have to look ahead at how to preserve this capability for the future. The analytical and operational skill in IUSS is a national asset and must be preserved for that conflict at sea all hands hope will not come. Hoping does not make facts or prepare for the future. The capability in IUSS will ensure that potentially hostile forces do not come to believe that they can freely roam the seas and conduct operations of which the world will have no knowledge. The United States Navy must continue to monitor, observe, and gain knowledge of activity at sea. That knowledge will be the beginning of wisdom and understand-ing. That wisdom and understanding will be key to shaping our future naval needs and priorities.

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