Good morning. I’m very pleased and grateful to the Naval Submarine League for hosting this event, so thanks so much. This really is a good time to get together and talk. I believe strongly in the team approach between government and industry, and those of you that know what my last job was know that I learned that the hard way-I’m not going to say any more about that except, that it was a very good experience for me.
Admiral Cassias sends his respects. We have changed the TY COM structure into one Naval Submarine Force, both Jeff and I oversee all the Force. We each operate our respective submarine. Jeff as the operations officer worries about tactical and operational performance. I coordinate our strategic vision and direction. It’s a great relationship between the two of us. We’re trying to act for each other where we go, so you’ll probably see less of us together at places as we’re trying to spread out and cover more territory.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff to cover today. The bottom line is: the Submarine Force is doing great. The foundational theme of what I want to talk about today is the day-in and day-out performance of our Submarine Force, because I think that’s where our value is. While I talk about our product I want to make the point that we go where others can’t go. I think that’s the unique value we bring to this nation with submarines, and it’s really point number one. You’ve already heard point number two, which is VIRGINIA production at two per year with the right capabilities That is crucial to where we’re trying to get in the near future.
VIRGINIA is a great ship and it’s exactly the ship that we need for our future. VIRGINIA has already finished her first deployment. Not only was she built roughly on cost and certainly on time, but she also deployed several years earlier than any other new construction ship has to date.
What We Do
- Why Submarines
– 105 Years
– Measure of National Prestige/Power
– Deter Major Attack
– Win Battles I Wars
– Achieve National Interests
Let’s start with Why Submarines. This is the biggest part of my message. There’s enough discussion around that shows most others don’t understand why we have the Submarine Force. So that’s an important place to start. We’ve been here for a hundred and five years, it’s a part of our legacy that has gotten us here to where we are today. We should not forget that history. I’m not going to recite it all here because I think you all know it.
Second, I’ 11 say a few words later about our connection to the rest of the world and their Submarine Forces. Submarine Forces are a measure of national prestige and power to other countries.
We have obviously deterred major attacks in this world. We have SSBNs out there today alert and undetected, protecting this nation. We have 10 SSNs out there today in waters along other countries’ coasts. We’re there to win battles and wars as they come, which we have done throughout our history.
Last and probably most important, we’re a tool to achieve national interests. I’ll say much more about that because that’s the day in and day out product of what we do. It’s more than just being ready to fight a war. It’s what we do every day to forestall that war and to learn about the world in which we live.
The next three slides address how we fit into this structure and I would ask that you help us tell this story to those that have not been inside and don’t understand the real value of submarines.
This is my rendition of the Navy presented in a somewhat unique way. What I’ve shown here is the Navy plotted across axes for a couple of parameters that I’d like to talk about.
Certainly the Navy is aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs) and expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs). We are also SSNs, SSGNs and SSBNs. You’ve heard the newest talk about the brown water Navy in the future. My point here in this slide is that the Navy is more diverse and more complex than we often talk about. I would argue that we often talk about the Navy as a strike group; it certainly is that, but my point here is that it is much more. Let me compare across these three parameters and draw distinctions. The first parameter is the spectrum of war, with major combat ops on the left hand side and maritime security on the right, with the global war on terror between them off center to the right. You’ll notice that the Submarine Force participates along the entire aspect of that parameter. Strike Groups today also create maritime security, but that’s an area where we’ve always had a significant strategic value.
Submarines are certainly single units and dispersed, but also connected in the network where we can act independently, which is quite different from how the Navy often talks.
And Submarines are rotational as opposed to surge platforms. You’ve heard the Navy talk a lot about surge over the last four or five years. We can surge. We’ve always been able to surge. I remember my earliest time on SEA DRAGON sitting in the officer’s club in Hawaii when a phone call would come in on a Friday night. Once a month some boat would end up going out the next day, surging on a Saturday for something we had to go do in the cold war. But in the main we’re rotational because we can only supply about 60% of the Combatant Commander’s (COCOM) demand. We are most efficient at providing our service to the COCOMs with a rotational employment model. The bottom line here is the Navy is not just strike groups, it’s the other forces that bring rich, diverse, and complimentary capabilities. SSNs are a big part of that.
This next slide says a little bit of the same thing. I don’t intend to elaborate on it much, but I do want to talk about our five products.
Along the bottom is a plot of time versus the intensity of conflict. Major Combat Ops (MCO) is what the military was designed for and has prepared for. This is the type of conflict with lots of intensity over a short period of time. That’s kinetic strike and we can do it. We have Tomahawks, torpedoes, and ballistic missiles. We have informational Operations including Electronic Attack that can work there.
But if I had to pick just one point of value creation I’d say it’s under the circumstances on the left side of the time line.
We’re out there day in and day out gathering knowledge for our nation and bringing back product which fits into the five categories shown here. We bring back product that informs national decisions. I would argue that the Cold War is the case where the product we brought back, understanding the Soviets, helped the National Security Council and the President to decide with confidence from a position of knowledge and strength in the Cold War-and we won it.
At very strategic levels of engagement we bring back information that informs Warfighting. We’re certainly doing that today. The knowledge we bring back informs war plans, improves national actions and creates better operational tactics. Tactics like ballistic missile, cruise missile, or torpedo defense.
When we learn what world actors are doing and how they are doing it, our nation is able to tailor equipment to address the threat.
What may be most important is that we are just out and about, going places that others can’t go, walking the field, understanding that coastline and what goes on there, so we know that place better than the adversary might know it. We can operate and, if necessary strike from there with confidence. What we are really about is being the scout for the Force, and our primary product is the day in, day out flow of information we bring back as that scout.
The next slide goes back to the submarine as a measure of national prestige. You’ll hear ADM Mullen talk about the 1000 ship Navy and that got us to thinking. We are part of 224 submarines in the free world.
This is a recognition that there is something special about Submarine Forces that brings us together. Countries talk to each other or don’t talk to each other in certain instances, but Navies pretty much talk to each other all the time. There is an avenue there for communications because they operate in the same environment. I would argue that Submarine Forces talk to each other all the time. Even when countries aren’t talking to each other, we’re talking to each other at a working level. We’re a fraternity that extends beyond our national boundaries, and we can take advantage of that. Those other countries look to us to be the leader of the fraternity. It’s a pretty important place to be.
Let me down shift to operations a little bit. If Jeff Cassias were here, this is the part he would pick up. Let me walk around the world for him and for me, to give you a sense of where we’re operating,
what we’re doing, and a bit of the value we add. I’m going to focus on SSN current operations here. Recognize that in addition to this is SSBN and in the future, SSGN operations.
From a global overview, our concentration of operations has been in the Pacific. Last year, three Atlantic submarines deployed by the various paths to the Pacific and came back to their homeports in the Atlantic. We’re actively looking at changing some ships’ homeports to better balance the focus on the Pacific.
The predominance of the effort out there is aimed at major competitors that might exist in that region, but we are also commit-ted to theater ASW and terrorism activity in all theaters of deployment. There were 17 deployments to the Pacific Theater last year and they addressed a wide range of activities.
In CENTCOM on any given day there are three submarines that are aimed mostly at the global war on terror. We were involved in the initial campaign for the war in Iraq, launching a lot of tomahawks in an example of a surge effort We now return to rotational deployments. While that war goes on we’re looking at fighting the rest of the global war on terror. For much of what we do, the specifics can’t be discussed in an UNCLAS forum.
In the Atlantic and in EUCOM we had 11 deployments, but some of those subs were transiting through to actually operate in CENTCOM. On any given day two submarines are present in the EU COM Area of Responsibility (AOR).
In SOUTH COM, whether its drug or terrorism related, or focused on engagement of partners, we have one submarine there for about half the year.
I’ll discuss a few more details about each of those theaters, but of course I have to start with USS VIRGINIA. I already made the point that we deployed her early. We utilized some time before her first maintenance period after construction. The ship had trained in the Command and Control System, Modular Off-hull Assembly and Test Site (COATS), the off hull facility where the attack center is put together, connected, and tested before it is installed on the ship. That process of testing allowed the crew to work with the equipment for a year while the ship wasn’t even in the water. We made use of that expertise and put them on a two-month deployment after a shortened workup. They went down to SOUTHCOM and conducted a very successful joint mission.
In SOUTH COM we had great success in the war on drugs that we can talk about at a lower classification than the others. One of the ships that was down there last year participated in a number of events. Again, they were the sensor. They were the scout to see drug activity leave the coast, and then call in the rest of the joint team. In 2004, one submarine contributed to seizures of 40 tons of drugs in a little over two weeks, which was a significant portion of the total drugs seized that year. That’s a success story of an operation using the submarine as a sensor and part of a network.
In EUCOM, we had nine missions, including a scientific one. There were several submarine nations connected here through EU COM, including NA TO nations, which make up a significant part of the submarine brotherhood I mentioned earlier. In addition to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), there were a number of exercises in EUCOM that I didn’t mention before which focused on escape and rescue or theater/NA TO engagement. One of these, Sharkhunt, was a theater ASW exercise with seven different nations participating. We wrung out our processes, plans, and procedures for ASW with our coalition forces. In this case the exercise ranged from the East coast of the United States, across the Atlantic to the North Sea, and halfway through the Mediterranean Sea. What we learn here can be taken and used to make decisions in other areas of the world as well.
An issue we are dealing with right now is the Emory S. Land, our submarine tender stationed in LaMaddalena. You may have read in the papers that the government ofltaly asked us about six weeks ago to make preparations to leave LaMaddalena. They would like us not to be there any longer, so we’re working through her relocation plan. We’ve been there over 30 years. These tenders are important to us. Right now we still have the Emory S. Land in LaMaddalena and the Frank Cable in Guam. Those two tenders conduct our forward deployed maintenance predominantly for our SSNs. They are also used for surface ship maintenance and in the future they will be used for SSGNs that will deploy there.
conducted some engagement exercises in addition to the twelve national missions. This would be a good spot to make a point about the SSGN. USS OHIO has completed her conversion from an SSBN to an SSGN and was recommissioned in Bangor on 7 Feb. She is out in the water conducting sea trials right now. FLORIDA will follow in May of this year down in Kings Bay.
We will have four SSGNs eventually. They will be dual crewed. Once ready, OHIO will conduct consecutive patrols, changing out the crew for a total of about I 5 months forward, then come back for maintenance and start the cycle again. While forward they’ll carry a lot of tomahawk missiles and be ready for SOF operations, Information Ops, strike missions, or whatever the COCOMs want. It’s an exciting and transformational platform.
PACOM has been the focus for us. We completed 17 deployments that included national missions and several exercises aimed at theater engagement. Part of the effort out there is theater security cooperation.
One of the activities that Joe Walsh will talk about later today is the rescue of the Russian Submersible, Priz. This is a great story. I know you probably saw it in the papers .
It was a Friday afternoon in Norfolk. I got a call that there was a Russian submersible in trouble with seven Russians on board. The first word was that it was trapped in a fishing net. That launched the whole world. We have in Norfolk an international cell of eight men with a web site linked to 37 submarine rescue countries of the world. All the data for rescue is there. When the call came in, all the countries came up on the web and we ran the coordination from there. Obviously, PA COM, with ADM Roug head as the commander, but we supported him. In less than 72 hours we had the Brits, the Japanese, the Russians, the Australians, us, and all the equipment flowing to the rescue site. We had the French and the Norwegians ready to send equipment and knowledge. You know the rest of the story; we got there with about 6 hours of oxygen left. We used robotics to untangle the submersible. It popped to the surface. The sailors came out. They were all very happy. Russians presented awards to the British, to us, and all who were involved.
Let me revert back away from operations for a few more slides and talk a bit about how we are operating our force and where our key focuses are. The way we do that is with these Measures of Performance (MOPs). We manage the force through these five MOPs. They are our focus points, so I’ll very briefly go through them.
First is Operational Availability, which is getting Submarines forward so they can do their day in and day out mission and go where others can’t go. COCOMs have asked for 18 Submarines next year. We can only supply about IO. So we’re working to make our activity as efficient and effective as we can. Maintenance obviously is a key part of this. The two things that keep us from sending more forward are OPTEMPO of people and getting the ships in and out of the shipyards. A lot of effort both in and out of shipyards is being exerted to keep the submarines going.
Second is commanding officers’ decision-making. Our contention is the decision the commanding officer makes is what determines the success of that mission. It’s obviously more complicated than that because there’s a whole crew and lots of people need to feed into that decision. The crew has to take action as a result of that decision, but our focus point is the decision. There is much that we have done to improve that decision including the training pipeline, some of the equipment, and changing some of our tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP).
Third is the recognition that we provide submarine expertise to the Navy and across the Joint Forces. Admiral DeMar’s words on binding energy apply here. There is an energy that keeps us knit together as a fraternity and a community. So we are now actively watching where those people go when they go outside the Force. We are mentoring that person. We are making sure that he is best educated and equipped to represent the force in that job, and feeds back to us what is going on in that job so we can best serve the COCOM needs.
Fourth is standards, culture and conduct. It’s a huge area and it recognizes that we own a culture. We have been given a culture that many of you have helped to produce. We are mindful of that culture and we will keep it moving forward. The bumper sticker is that there is a science of submarining and an art of submarining and we want to hold on to both of them. The science of submarining is attributed to Admiral Rickover and all that he gave us: the checklists, procedures, verbatim compliance with procedures, feeling good about someone looking over your shoulder. That applies to Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Propulsion, diving the submarine, etc .. The art of submarining is what we learned from World War II and other places brought to us by Mush Morton. It’s being innovative and being able to out-think the other guy. The Soviets used to always call us cowboys because they couldn’t figure us out. So our challenge is to merge those two quite opposite ends of the spectrum together inside the ship, to run the ship while relishing both, and to know when to use each end of the culture.
Fifth is our future capability, which is probably the one most of interest to this group and I will cover in more detail in a moment.
Those five collectively are our focus.
Coming back to the first to look at some of the metrics we use, one is a snapshot of how we use our operational inspections that show the categories and the capabilities we are looking for. These bars are made up of ships that are above or below standards, and they show us areas where me might not be doing as well as we would like. I call all of those Mariner Skills. It’s Navigation, piloting, contact management, and weapons handling. That’s what the data shows us we’re weakest in, so we will focus on Mariner skills.
I discussed this once already and I don’t want to belabor it, but it’s important. This is the picture I draw to describe how SUBFOR works. If you ask me what we do to make a ship do what it does, this would be my answer. I’m going to make the point that we are focusing on the three circled factors, but it’s not just those three in yellow that make it work, it’s the entire process. The submarine has to be on deployment, the CO has to make a decision, and the crew has to act on that decision. I’ve already mentioned we’re concentrating this year on CO decision-making.
The CO’s decision needs to be supported with the knowledge base, warfighting skills, mariner skills, engineering skills, and culture. The one we ‘re working on is mariner skills. With respect to this circle on the right-represents a healthy assessment process. I think the submarine force has always had a healthy assessment process, but it may have weakened a little bit over the last few years. This is a recognition of our focus to plan, measure the outcome of the plan, ask the question of why that was the outcome of the plan that we started with, then feedback the lesson to make the plan better the next time around. That assessment needs to take place inside the ship to support CO decision-making, and it needs to take place across the force so we can make the force successful.
MOP 5 is our future capability. I’ll talk about some of the specifics.
Comms at Speed and depth is our # 1 focus of research and development.
Global Strike, I’ll come back to talk about in a minute. RADM Walsh is going to talk about Littoral Warfare Weapon and UUVs later today. I also show encapsulation, Virginia Advanced Sail, and SCJCC. The last future capability we track is a little different from the rest but may be the most important: VIRGINIA Cost Reduction. This is our focused effort so we can get the cost of VA to 2.0B in FY 05 dollars while building two a year. That is necessary in order to get us to two a year. We have focused activity and we are working with our partners along three different lines to get that cost down.
Lets jump into a couple things:
Comms at Speed and Depth is an effort to develop technology and equipment we can put on the ships in the near term to allow us to communicate with the submarine while it is underwater and at speed, that is, not at periscope depth. So you see some of the technologies here and some great experiments already taking place in the Pacific. We have a program now wrapped up behind this trying to bring these developments to us in the near term. And we have them integrated into the Sea Trials process and the experimentation regime.
Lets look at Global Strike. I’d like to talk about Conventional Trident Ballistic Modification, an initiative started by General Cartwright at STRA TCOM, which now has SECDEF and presidential authority to plan. SSP really is technically behind it, and as an aside I’ll tell you I’m very proud. When General Cartwright started asking this question and asked all the services to explain to him what we could do to put a conventional warhead on a ballistic missile and launch it within two years. Charlie Young came in from SSP with real stuff concepts, prototyped equipment, test results and a plan. We could have a few of these conventional tipped missiles on each of our Tridents and they would be available to the President for short notice launch. It would clearly be a silver bullet designed to stop something from proceeding. These would be expensive bullets, but if you think in terms of launching a few of these and it stopping the campaign, then they are very cost effective. We are working the technology. We are working the TTP. The whole nation is working the CONOPS for how and when they might be used. We are clearly going forward and this is an important capability.
Lets jump to acoustics, then I’ 11 move on. Acoustics continues to be very important to us and several initiatives are ongoing. You hear sometimes that Passive is dead. I don’t believe that. I believe there is a role for active so we ‘re pursuing that too, but clearly for us there is a role for passive, so much of what you see here is furthering the capability of passive. If you go back to the context that I laid out up front, you recognize that we are working day in and day out in parts of the world where others can’t go. We do that work with passive acoustics because you can’t go active in those places of the world. So if that job is important, and it’s proven that it has been, then passive needs to continue to advance and we need to continue to support it.
These are capabilities we focus on; we have the entire enterprise working on these things. Admiral Walsh will talk about some of these programmatically, and I can come back and answer your questions about the rest.
We’re going to shift gears with a few more slides then take some questions. I will talk about education and I will talk about accession and retention. I believe we are in great shape in both accession and retention. This is the retention chart showing years against percent-age retention. You can see we’re now up in the 40% range, above where we’ve been in more than several decades. I don’t know fully the cause of that. I wish I did. I’m worried about what might be out in the future. We ought to all worry about that. But right now we’re in a great place. We ‘re in a place where we’ve had to cut back on our accessions because we have too many Junior Officers. Some of our submarines have thirteen or fourteen Junior Officers on board today. It’s a nice problem to have, but we’re dealing with that. We’re in a very good place. But let me talk about the other side, and that’s education. On this chart you see the percentage of technical and non-technical majors from 1980 through today. ROTC is not too much different. You can see what’s happened. It’s something we need to all be worried about as a nation and something about which we’re concerned within the Submarine Force. We operate very complex equipment and we have some very talented sailors and officers who just have to have the technical competence to do this business, so it’s of concern.
This is still fun. There is no other place I would rather be than where I currently am, overseeing and leading forward the great sailors that we have. They need to be enjoying what they are doing in this business. CHARLOTTE was at the North Pole after surfacing through five feet of ice. Santa Claus was up there while they had a ball game. ALABAMA did some work with Special Ops people, so even our SSBN sailors get out and get to see some of the fun. USS MIAMI was at Port Everglades with a cruise ship. So we’re trying to get quality liberty ports wherever we can. USS SAN JUAN was in Souda Bay, Crete with a visiting SSK. There have been a number of SS Ks we work with from South American countries on both the east and west coasts. They provide services to our Carrier Strike Groups. A Colombian SSK spent three months with us, and came to Mayport. Peruvians were also up, Chileans were up, and of course those from NA TO and our friends from Europe come over.
Finally, let me pause and describe the Undersea Enterprise. I’m doing this because you will hear the Navy talk about these enterprises. I want you all to know that we have an enterprise, and I will argue that we have had one for a long time. The enterprise is more than SUBLANT or SUBPAC or a combination of the two. The Undersea Enterprise is all of the activities working on submarines. The core of the enterprise is as it always was. It’s the operators, SUBPAC and SUBLANT. It’s the banker, N77 now, I think Joe Walsh will tell you it’s actually been changed this week to name it N87 and used to be OP 02. It’s Naval Reactors and it’s Pers-42. We’ve had that as the cell of our enterprise for decades, others have not. What we are now doing is taking that cell and expanding it to make it more inclusive and get more out of it. V ADM Paul Sullivan, NA VSEA, wilt be sitting with me on the Board of Directors watching over maintenance activity. We’ re working with ONR, who is a member on paper and when we get into research and development he will actually sit in his chair. It’s a good activity for us going forward.
In summary, it has been a great year. We produce a real product every day while our submarines are out there on mission. Our product is of value to the combatant commanders. We’re in demand, they asked for 18 submarines every day and as I said we can only supply 10. We’re of value to the national agencies.
We need to get two per year VIRGINIAs. VIRGINIA is the ship for our future. It’s a great ship and has great capability well beyond 688, and we just need to build more of them. The key is getting to two per year in this budget cycle.
Comms at Speed and depth is our major focus for R&D and future capability.
Other focus points I am working on at SUBFOR are Cost of Maintenance, CO decision-making, and mariner skills.
On behalfofthe Submarine Force, all 25,000 ofus, thanks for the opportunity to talk to you all. Thanks to the Submarine League for putting this activity together today, and for the Corporate Benefactors. We truly are one team and we’ve got a great cause.