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The Undersea Enterprise is composed of all stakeholders and resources supporting or operating SSNs, SSGNs, SSBNs, fixed surveillance, or mobile surveillance forces. The primary elements of the Enterprise and its Resource Sponsors include dollars and manpower for current and future platform and crew readiness.Commander Naval Submarine Forces (CSF), the head of the Undersea Enterprise, sets the strategy, priorities, requirements, and overarching direction for suppliers, resource sponsors, and producers to ensure a quality product for the enterprise customers.

Why was the Undersea Enterprise (USE) Established?

  • The Commander Naval Submarine Forces (CSF) established an enterprise governance structure in order to more effectively and efficiently provide undersea combat power as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (CFFC).
  • USE focuses on achievement in five key areas, as measured by the key Effects Metrics
    • Operational Availability-“Around the World; Around the Clock” – Submarines and undersea surveillance assets deployed for sustained battle space preparation and deterrence
    • Improved Commanding Officer Decision-Making – CO’s making optimal decisions under the demands and complexity of the undersea environment
    • Submarine Expertise – Experienced people integrated throughout the Joint wartighting, military technology, and defense/government management communities
    • Culture/Standards/Conduct – “Pride Runs Deep”-Assimilating new crew members into the submarine culture, while maintaining high standards and conduct
    • Future Capabilities – Forecasting and meeting tomorrow’s requirements for undersea superiority
  • The Commander, Naval Submarine Forces (CSF), as the CEO of the USE, sets the strategy, priorities, requirements, and overarching direction through the BOD, whose membership includes suppliers, resource sponsors, producers, and customers of the Enterprise.
  • The USE BOD works to improve Enterprise productivity by changing processes and removing productivity barriers, while also providing specific standards of accountability. Oversight is provided by the USE Core BOD, whose members include CSF and the CSF and CSP deputies, OPNAV Nl87 and N13,Director, Strategic Systems Program, and NA VSEA 00.
  • The USE structure includes Cross Functional Teams that are used to integrate enterprise activities and meet USE objectives.
  • Cross Functional Teams manage integration in four areas:
    – Maintenance/Sustainment
    – Total Force Readiness
    – Resource Management
    – Operations
  • Execution is carried out by Sub-Process Teams, including:
    – Maintenance/Material- Warshot Reliability Action Panel,SUB TEAM ONE
    – Personnel – Undersea Warfare Training Council (UWTC)
    – Acquisition – USE Shipbuilding Strategy
    – Operations – Tactical Requirements Group, SSGN Team

Examples of USE initiatives in two Cross Functional Teams

  • Total Force Readiness CFT. The group worked to refine submarine manning factors, permitting a 9% reduction in officer accessions in FY04 and a 13% reduction in FY05 (which saved $3 I .3M in FY04 and $72.3M in FY05 in manpower costs).
  • Maintenance/Sustainment CFT. The team has initiatives in Production, Contracts, and Design to reduce VA-class Submarine cost to $2B per ship.
  • Maintenance/Sustainment CFT. It is implementing a number of performance initiatives to eliminate the loss of l,100 ship days in FYOS caused by maintenance schedule overruns.


Rear Admiral Johnson served as the SEA WOLF Class Program Manager before achieving Flag Rank and be-coming Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center and Director, Undersea Technology. He became Director,Strategic Systems Programs in May 2006.

Over the past two years, the Submarine Force has quietly delivered three new-construction and two converted ships to the Navy. Unknown to most people, the shipbuilders delivered these ships despite a declining industrial base and a green workforce- no small feat. These achievements are integral to maintaining the required number of submarines over the coming decades. Below is a synopsis of our recent successes:

USS CONNECTICUT was commissioned in 1998, early and under budget. CONNECTICUT, second of the three SEA WOLF Class submarines, was part of the industrial bridge to a new class of submarines now known as the Virginia Class. This ship would be the only submarine that the United States would deliver for six years.

General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) delivered USS VIRGINIA (SSN 774) on October 12, 2004 and the Navy commissioned her on 23 October. These dates are within weeks of the ship’s original target dates that were set in the mid-l 990s. Although the ship experienced some cost growth, it was not unusual for a leadship. This submarine hosts revolutionary technologies, such as fly-by-wire ship control and Photonics Masts, and regardless of complexity, Virginia’s initial sea trials went exceedingly well.The superb performance on initial underway is a testament to the ship’s builders, GDEB and Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN). Under VIRGINIA Class teaming arrangement, the shipyards alternate delivery with the delivering yard building two-thirds of the submarine with the other conducting the remaining third of work.

TEXAS (SSN 775) will be commissioned in Galveston, Texas,on September 9, 2006. Although technically the second boat of the Virginia Class, TEXAS is in many ways a first-of-a-class ship as it is the first submarine delivered by NGNN since USS CHEYENNE (SSN 773) in 1996. To fulfill the Congressional mandate to maintain two nuclear submarine shipbuilders, NGNN restarted its submarine production line after a ten-year hiatus. Despite some growing pains,TEXAS delivered in June 2006 and like the lead ship VIRGINIA, achieved a clean sweep of initial sea trials. The cost and schedule issues encountered are mostly attributable to the restarting of the nuclear submarine production line and, based on the six additional hulls now under construction, VIRGINIA program costs and schedules are improving.

USS JIMMY CARTER commissioned on February 19, 2005 and closed out the three-ship SEA WOLF Class that delivered on time and under budget for both the USS JIMMY CARTER and for the SEA WOLF Class. USS JIMMY CARTER is in many ways is its own separate class of submarine due to a 100-foot hull section inserted behind the sail. The additional hull section, called the Multi Mission Platform (MMP), took less than five years to go from concept to underway. Weighing in at approximately 2,500 tons, this hull section represents a complex engineering feat. The MMP enables USS JIMMY CARTER to accommodate the advanced technology required to develop and test new generations of weapons, sensors and undersea vehicles for naval special warfare, tactical surveillance and mine-warfare operations. USS JIMMY CARTER was delivered on time and within the Congressionally mandated cost cap despite the MMP’s added complexity and condensed design and
construction timeline.

The SSGN Program, too, had significant accomplishments over the past two years. USS OHIO (SSGN 726) delivered back to the fleet in December 2005 and had a Return to Service Ceremony on February 7, 2006 while USS FLORIDA (SSGN 728) delivered in April 2006 and had its Return to Service on May 25, 2006.The SSGN conversion program is refueling the four oldest OHIO Class SSBNs and converting them into land attack and Special Forces platforms. Each SSGN has the ability to carry up to 154 TOMA HAWK Cruise Missiles and 66 Special Operations Forces. While GDEB is conducting the conversion work, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Norfolk Naval Shipyard are conducting the refueling.Therefore, workers from GDEB are working at the Naval Shipyards’ facilities and side-by-side with Naval Shipyard personnel in a first of its kind arrangement.The public / private teaming has worked out exceedingly well and this synergy has paid off with the first two SSGNs completing on time and within budget.

These five ships delivered on time and two were under budget.
This is an enviable track record. Since 2004:

  • Three lead ships (JIMMY CARTER, VIRGINIA,TEXAS)
  • Four unique ship designs (SEAWOLF, JIMMYCARTER, VIRGINIA, SSGN)
  • Five submarines on schedule and the successful restart of a nuclear submarine construction yard

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