I’m happy to be here participating in my third Naval Submarine League Corporate Benefactors Days celebration as COMSUBFOR. Two years ago, this event was my first major speaking engagement after taking this job. These Corporate Benefactors Days have served as book-ends to my tour as Commander Submarine Forces. With my change of command and retirement this Saturday, I have a little bit of a different take on the future. Let me describe that vision:
It’s many years in the future, after our current CO MN AV AIRFOR, V ADM (Jim) Zortman, passed away and enters the Pearly Gates, where God takes him on a tour. The tour takes them up a little cul-de-sac and past several small bungalows. They walked by Terry Etnyre’s bungalow with an old, faded Surface Warfare flag out front, and past Jimmie MacArthur sitting on the front porch of his Coral Pink Key-Wester under a tattered NETWARCOM banner. Then God shows Jim to a little 2-bedroom cottage with faded aviator wings decorating the little, ivy-entwined front porch.
“This is your home, Jim. You can be proud. Most people don’t get their own house up here,” God explains.
Jim looks at the house, then turns around and looks at one sitting atop the hill. It’s a huge three-story mansion with white marble columns and a balcony under each window. Submarine Force flags line both sides of the circular driveway leading up to the portico, where a huge Gold Dolphin banner hangs between the towering columns.
“I appreciate your consideration, God, but I’m a little puzzled. How come I get this little 2-bedroom cottage with faded banners, and Chuck Munns gets a columned mansion with new banners and flags? What’s so special about him????”
God smiles mischievously: “That’s not Chuck Munns’ house, Jim ….. that’s mine.”
After I spoke here last year I got some requests to be a little more specific or technical, so …
here’s how we make Submarines work today. I’ll just let you absorb that for a minute -do you want the test now, or after I explain each effect?
Ok. While all those expressions are actually concepts that apply to us -and I used them at an American Society of Naval Engineers talk a few months back, I’ll relent and agree we don’t have to study them today.
• Global Security
• SUBFOR Relevance
• Year in Review
• 2007 Initiatives
So, if you’d rather, I will actually speak about the role we fill in today’s world and how we accomplish it.
When I’m done this morning, I’d hope we all have a common understanding of the value Submarines deliver in publicly available terms. I’d ask that you help communicate that to people who may not understand what value Submarines bring to our country and the world.
First of all, let me explain the relationship between Maritime Security and Global Security. They are the same thing. Maritime commerce directly employs 2 million people globatly and indirectly makes possible the employment of many times more than that. Taken in total, the world’s Trading Fleet displaces more than 598 Million Tons. More than ever before, this economy is driven over the ocean highways, and as before these routes go through and near troubled waters. Ideologies, countries, companies, peoples meet and compete on these highways.
We all depend on the Global Economy. It provides our liveli-hood; it determines our nation’s policies. And the Global Economy depends on the Oceans Highways.
Maritime Security is central to our very existence … it provides for nothing less than our Prosperity and our National Security.
So we want Maritime Security because we want prosperity and survival. The next point then is we can’t have Maritime Security without Undersea Warfare and Operations.
It’s National Security and Prosperity, from Maritime Security, from Undersea Warfare. Submarines bring some unique capabilities to bear in delivering Maritime Security. Those capabilities are Persistence, Mobility, Stealth, Power, and Payload -and they are critical. Those capabilities allow us to fill many vital roles.
When we go to the other coast, and watch what is happening and fill the role of scout, we do that because of our Persistence and Mobility. We don’t just look for a static snapshot of what is there during a short duration flyover. We also aren’t limited to a stationary location. Submarines can act on the data they gather to maximize the take. The optimum collection location may change over a pretty wide geographic area over a relatively short period of time.
Beyond Persistence and Mobility, Submarines have Stealth, Power and Payload. The common denominator across these roles is the sustained ability to observe without affecting the behavior of the subject -To see what is happening when the bad guys don’t think anyone is looking.
To reliably observe without interference or attribution is a pretty powerful capability.
So the answer to Why Undersea? … Undersea provides Scouts that can act for our national interests and do it with Persistence, Mobility, Stealth, Power, and Payload. Those Scouts provide Maritime Security which ensures national survival and prosperity.
As just one UNCLASSIFIED example, this year a US SSN’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance activities made her the Scout for SOUTHCOM Counter Narco-Terrorism operations in the Caribbean. This Submarine’s participation led to the seizure of over 2.8 tons of narcotics. Narco-Terrorists are affluent criminals with significant monetary resources and a clear incentive to avoid being observed. Defeating them requires Persistence, Mobility and Stealth. Winning against other terrorist networks requires similar capabilities.
The Submarine Force has come a long way in developing these five capabilities. Sixty years ago the Pacific was a big ocean for us to cover. Shown here are the spheres of influence -sensor and weapon ranges -of five of our World War II submarines.
Their sensor range was essentially visual and it exceeded the acoustic range of their equipment. Even with functioning radar, targets would frequently be picked up first visually if the weather was good. Weapons were effective to less than 2 miles. Our mechanical fire control system could track one target, but some of our heroes could maintain a mental firing solution in their heads for up to 3 or 4 targets.
If we plot today’s sphere of influence over those same positions from 60 years ago we see quite a different picture. Not only are our sensors much better, but the range of our weapons makes the Pacific Ocean a much smaller place. Acoustic Sensors can reach over 1OOnm (with processing that allows us to sort the wheat from the chaft), and EM sensors can go even farther depending on the signals and conditions. Conventional weapons can reach out to 1,200 nm.
If we plot today’s sphere of influence over those same positions from 60 years ago we see quite a different picture. Not only are our sensors much better, but the range of our weapons makes the Pacific Ocean a much smaller place. Acoustic Sensors can reach over 1OOnm (with processing that allows us to sort the wheat from the chaft), and EM sensors can go even farther depending on the signals and conditions. Conventional weapons can reach out to 1,200 nm. operate much longer and more reliably because of engineering advances like the engineered simplicity of the Virginia Propulsion Plant and initiatives such as replacing steam evaporators with reverse osmosis units.
Our sonar and fire control systems can now track 50 or more contacts, and with advanced sensing systems like Patriot periscope Radar, Night Owl, Integrated Submarine Imaging System (ISIS), and Automatic Identification System coupled with advanced photonics and non-penetrating scopes, we are improving our situational awareness tools that reduce the risks associated with operations in densely congested maritime environments.
Ournewest ADC AP version extends the deep water effectiveness of previous versions into very shallow water and allows us the option to engage targets in a much wider set of environmental conditions.
Our strike capability continues to evolve more flexibility with shorter planning times required and in-flight communications. Our newest version of Tomahawk can be re-targeted in-flight. It can loiter in the vicinity of a target area and await tasking, which can drastically reduce the time to get ordnance on target in response to a changing situation.
The same improvements have occurred with communications connectivity. While one of our key leverages over Japan in World War II Submarining was the evening Fox long range submarine broadcast, the communications throughput of WWII wouldn’t even be visible on this chart (next page). Today’s submarines are IP connected; their crew can chat, browse, email, view and send pictures.
We are leading a relentless march toward improving capability in Undersea Warfare. In the last year, we deployed twenty two Submarines across the globe, which conducted fifty missions for COCOMS and National Authority. On any given day last year we averaged about 10 SSNs forward deployed.
Last year we added USS TEXAS, and Returned to Service USS OHIO and USS FLORIDA as Guided Missile Submarines. USS HAW All is very close to being ready, with Sea Trials complete and just entering PSA now. This is the first year that our shipbuilders have delivered two SSNs of the same class since 1996.
Part of maintaining and improving our relevance is to get the most capability we can out of every dollar we have to spend. ln the last year we removed USS HONOLULU, USS RICKOVER, and USS DOLPHIN from service. But Force Structure is not where we are looking to save money. Last year, with a wide range of critical reviews of the way we spend our money and how we are maintaining our ships, we were able to reduce our spending requirements by $215 Million. We didn’t just focus on dollars though. That Effects Based approach led us to changes that created over 1000 SSN Days of Operational Availability with the same force size. What we have been and continue to be after is improved operations and optimum availability of our submarines for tasking.
Undersea Enterprise Effects
Ships at Work,
with Submarine Expertise,
a Healthy Culture,
and Future Capability.
Shown here is the approach we use not to improve what we are Doi11g, but to improve what we Get. This is the construct I will use to tell you about what we are still working on for the coming year.
Ships at Work is about Operational Availability. It’s about producing days where ships are deployed or ready to deploy. In 2007, the preeminent challenge is to get our maintenance done in a fiscally austere environment. The maintenance community has been challenged to execute all of the maintenance that had been planned and is required for this year with only 95% of the funding. We are going to be keeping a close eye on how we do that in order to be sure that it doesn’t hurt our Operational Availability.
Operational Availability also extends to SSBNs and Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems (IUSS), both fixed and mobile. We are undergoing a transition this year and IUSS Administrative Control will shift to Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. This shift will allow increased flexibility and availability of surveillance assets by combining the capabilities of TAGOS and SURTASS assets.
The Year 2007 will feature our first Ice Camp since 2003 and will re-initiate a biannual drumbeat of Ice Camps to maintain and expand our ability to operate across all maritime areas of the globe. It will feature an instrumented tracking range and facilitate our continued engagement with allies in the development of arctic tactics as well as international scientific research.
In the area of Synthetic Training, we will follow up our successful pilot of expanded use of simulators and trainers during our Tactical Readiness Evaluations of SSBNs. The surfaced Contact Management evaluation can be conducted in the Attack Center simulator and the Piloting evaluation will be conducted in the SPAN 2000 simulator. These simulators provide the Evaluation Team a method to assess areas that are hard to simulate at sea, especially with the surfaced SSBN security escort vessel requirement.
When I say Properly Aimed I mean that the Submarine Mission and activity is guided by effective CO Decision-making. Those CO Decisions are supported by critical skills held by his Officers and Crew, and we have several initiatives that aim to maintain those critical skills and the accession and retention of those who hold them. Those initiatives supplement the ongoing efforts to improve the mariner and critical risk assessment/risk management skills of our Commanding Officers throughout their development pipeline.
Submarine Expertise is about embedding our unique professional knowledge throughout the Joint, Interagency, and Coalition spectrum to ensure that we have educated customers that understand and make the best use of our product. Individual Augmentees are one aspect of this. As of last month, we had 52 Officer and I 07 enlisted personnel on assigned missions in numerous specialties in support of operations on the ground in the CENTCOM AOR.
One of the most valuable assets for achieving the effect of Submarine Expertise is the experience base that our Senior 0-6s represent. In an effort to improve the retention of that group, we have raised the Nuclear Officer Annual Incentive Pay bonus for serving or post Major Commanders to $22,000, which they can collect all the way through 30 years of service.
We have several Coalition engagement initiatives that also support this effect. The Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative facilitates deployment of foreign Diesel Electric Submarines to operate with U.S. Fleets. This year we are committed to providing over 260 SSK days of support to 2nd and 3rd fleet. We are working to develop several new international PMI agreements.
We continue to participate and develop the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office, which has grown to 37 nations with over 600 users. ESCAPEX 2006 at SEAFAC off Ketchican in Alaska was our first live escape from a US Sub in over 40 years and first ever from a US Nuclear Submarine. 2007 will bring us Exercise Pacific Reach, which will include a Jive rescue exercise and participation of India, Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China for the first time.
In our effort to promote a healthy Submarine Culture, FORCM (Force Master Chiet) Irwin is championing several initiatives. He is working to get the CPOs priorities focused back on the deckplates. To make this point he tells me that “we need them to man battlestations, vice manning laptops”. We are planning to send all Senior Chief and above CPOs to Senior Enlisted Academy, instead of just COBs. We place a strong emphasis on Leadership Training Continuum attendance and focus on supervisory qualifications like DOOW, DCPO, and COW to place emphasis on credibility and accountability for the command teams. FORCM Irwin is also stressing to the CPO community the importance of developing Junior Officers.
Our 2007 goals include a reduction of Alcohol Related Incidents and DUis by 15%, and a 20% reduction in drug attrition. That goal goes hand-in-hand with implementation of a comprehensive workforce strategy to attract, retain, and incentivize a diverse workforce of active duty, reserve, civilian, and contractor personnel.
Finally, we as the current Force are the nurturers and stewards of our Future Capability that will ensure that Submarines remain relevant. The primary initiative towards this effect is the VIRGINIA Class Cost Reduction. It won’t matter if we have the most capable ships in the history of the world if we can’t afford to build enough of them to maintain adequate presence where it counts. In order to afford a two per year build rate we must get the cost down to $2B in FY-05 dollars.
In support of the right future capabilities, we are looking extensively at shipboard workload and placing emphasis on technology that helps to reduce that.
All the while, we are continuing to Modernize to sustain Undersea Dominance and expand our degree of influence and freedom to operate within those expanded spheres I showed you earlier.
In summary, Global Security means Global Prosperity. All nations of the world are ultimately interested in secure trade facilitated by the rule of law. I hope you will explain to your wives, kids, the guy next to you on the Washington Metro, or Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates that Submarines bring Persistence, Mobility, Stealth, Power, and Payload to the equation in quantities that no other platform can provide. Those capabilities give us the ability to see the bad actors operate the way they do when they think no one is looking, and they give us the ability to do something about it.
The range of initiatives we are working will enhance those capabilities and our ability to employ them in the near and far term future.