Next year DEVRON 12 begins its 60th year of delivering tactics for the Submarine Force. Aligned with the strategic concepts of Commander, Submarine Force and with the tactical priorities of submarine Type Commanders and operational commanders, DEVRON 12 today is delivering relevant and timely tactical doctrine for modern submarine missions.
For over one hundred years U.S. submariners have tackled tactical challenges, and today those challenges span the full spectrum of operations. Combatant Commanders demand submariners be experts at tracking quiet diesel and nuclear submarines in deep and shallow water, providing persistent covert reconnaissance, striking critical land targets with speed and surprise, and expertly handling their boats in regions of unforgiving contact density and constrained water. SSGNs are deployed now and project the power of large payloads, Special Forces, and robust
communications to areas of national interest. And SSBNs continue to anchor the nation’s defense with the world’s most capable strategic deterrent.
From maritime interdiction to maritime security, from the Western Pacific to West Africa, from the Southern Command to the North Pole, today’s submarines are engaged in diverse operations against dynamic threats in challenging areas around the world. To meet these challenges DEVRON 12 continues to build upon the foundation of science, technology, and analysis that has served the Submarine Force’s Center of Excellence for tactical development since 1949.
Meeting the Challenge of new Technologies, Threats, and Missions: An Enduring Role
In the years following World War II, forward-looking Submarine Force leaders recognized that an accelerating wave of post·war
technological development could fundamentally transform undersea warfare. Improvements in sensor and weapons technology foreshadowed the potential for a submarine vs. submarine ASW mission. New tactics were vital to harnessing this new technology and executing this new mission. To address this need, DEVGRU 2 was formed in 1949, followed in 1963 by the establishment of the Tactical Analysis Group and the concept of a submarine tactical development organization with the synergy of squadron command authority and tactical development responsibility.
Today, DEVRON 12 is a force leader in coordinating operational commands, acquisition sponsors, and system developers in prioritizing the tactical needs of the Submarine Force and delivering doctrine and system capabilities to meet those needs. In the past two years this vibrant partnership has supported the fleet with:
Innovative and relevant tactics: DEVRON delivered the Submarine Force ‘s first modem Maritime Interdiction tactics for a priority warfighting scenario, overhauled the legacy Submarine Tracking Manual for modem ASW missions, modernized Tomahawk Strike guidance and produced a new library of employment manuals for advanced sonar and combat systems. New. relevant capabilities: Working with the Submarine Force (SUBFOR), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAW AR), and neet commands, DEVRON spearheaded fleet deployment of a new two-way Communications-at-Speed-andDepth system to exploit the nuclear submarine’s inherent strengths of stealth and mobility. DEVRON partnered with industry partners lo design, develop and introduce the first tactical display to fuse real·time sonar data with high-confidence target solutions for improved tactical awareness.
Real·world mission analysis: DEVRON analyzed over 75 realworld missions to advance SUBFOR and Navy understanding of potential adversaries; contribute to submarine mission safety and security; and provide actionable feedback for improved tactical performance on station.
Dialogue with the waterfront: DEVRON rejuvenated the periodic SUBFOR tactical newsletter. Six editions have been produced within the last two years.
Prioritized tactical requirements: As Chair of the Submarine Tactical Requirements Group, DEVRON 12 led prioritization of SUBFOR tactical requirements and engaged with fleet, Systems Commands (SYSCOMs), training commands, and industry partners to align tactical warfare system development and testing with fleet needs.
Effective exercises and analysis: Created the Submarine Tactical Objectives Road Map to prioritize tactical development, conducted over 24 Tactical Development exercises in key submarine mission areas and tactical security, and improved the rigor, timeliness, and relevance of analytical reports.
Ensuring Operational Safety and Security
U.S. submarines are deployed in every operational theater. The missions arc challenging and diverse. All involve risk. To ensure the continued safety and security of operations, the Submarine Force continuously evaluates its mission requirements and the effectiveness of tactics, technology, and training. DEVRON is fully engaged with operational commanders and other key partners on the waterfront to ensure that the needs of the fleet remain the
primary driver in developing new tactics and technology. DEV RON analysts, with a healthy combination of operational and analytical experience, review every mission conducted by deployed submarines. Teams of professional analysts and current and former submariners review ship and sensor employment, tactical decision-making, system technical performance, and the tactical and natural environment to determine the key safety and security issues of the missions. This deep dive into the actual performance of real-world missions yields valuable insight into the
effectiveness of existing tactics and technology. In past reviews, DEVRON has identified procedures and doctrine which required improvement to address new tactical challenges being faced by submarine crews. With the help of fleet operators and system developers throughout the Undersea Enterprise, DEVRON developed improved tactical doctrine and system employment guidance to address real-world fleet needs culminating in a comprehensive revision to the manual for reconnaissance operations, new war fighting doctrine for a major combat scenario, and
revised measures to improve the tactical security of attack submarine operations and strategic patrols.
Developing New Tactical Insights with Limited Resources
When the DEVRON tactical analysis concept began back in 1949 the drivers were operational challenges, new technologies, and evolving threats. These same forces shape the squadron’s tactical development priorities today. As the scope of missions and global presence has grown, however, the number of submarines available to conduct exercises has decreased. A smaller force structure, continued high COCOM demand for deployed submarines, and a strong pull for submarine support of Carrier Strike Groups and other fleet certifications means there arc fewer submarines available to participate in tactical development exercises. To continue the necessary work of tactical development, DEVRON 12 is working harder- and smarter- to develop and validate tactical doctrine with limited at-sea exercise opportunities.
These efforts include:
Submarine Tactical Objectives Roadmap (STORM): Each year DEVRON 12 prioritizes Submarine Force tactical development objectives to address the critical issues revealed by rcal·world mission analysis, threat assessments, and exercise results. These priorities, coordinated throughout the Undersea Enterprise, provide the framework for the annual tactical exercise plan and allocation of high demand submarine assets and analysis resources.
Analysis Strategy: Delivering rigorous and relevant findings for modern missions requires modem analytical methods, balanced staffing, and fleet focus. The analysis process at DEVRON is viewed as a system where the team identifies operational challenges or technology innovations that have potential to affect current or future submarine operations (an input), and initiates a plan of action to develop new tactics that arc properly examined and validated (the output). This system breaks down operational issues into questions that must be answered or hypotheses that must be tested so that a desired end state (a tactical objective) can be achieved.
Asking and Answering the Right Questions: Developing the right questions is essential to shaping the type of exercise we’ll conduct at sea or the simulation we’ll run ashore. The right questions leads to the right type of exercise or simulation. The right exercise yields the right data, and the right data yields answers that are analytically correct and tactically relevant. To meet the needs of a fast-paced submarine fleet, DEVRON must balance analytical rigor with timely results. To improve that balance DEVRON recently revised its analytical support services to align exercise planning and analysis with the priorities of modem submarine missions. The
squadron is now performing a critical evaluation of its analysis proccss- SUBFOR ‘s first Lean Six rcview–to identify where changes are warranted.
More Modeling and Simulation: Modeling and Simulation (M&S) capabilities have improved tremendously. Submarine MultiMission Team Trainers installed at submarine training centers offer tactical training with unprecedented realism. As M&S has matured, DEVRON has increased the use of M&S in the development and validation of tactical guidance. With M&S, analysts can use validated models of the environment, targets, and weapons to
examine large numbers of trial engagements. The results can be used to determine a tactic’s effectiveness with statistical confidence and at less cost and in shorter timcframes than actual in-water exercises. Additionally M&S results can focus the direction of future exercises and identify new leads for promising tactics. A recent success in this area is the examination of torpedo evasion tactics. Earlier this year, DEVRON ran over 50,000 simulated
torpedo evasion scenarios within a two month timcframc and with a minimal investment of manpower. The resulting data provided new insights for torpedo evasion tactics. The speed of the trial, the statistical validity of the results, and the tactical relevance of the findings arc promising signs of the power of M&S in tactical development.
Balance: Despite the advances in simulation technology, M&S techniques won’t eliminate the need for at-sea exercises. The complexity of the ocean environment and submarine warfare demand that real at-sea performance be factored into critical tactical development. Rather than replacing at-sea testing, M &S will complement in-water exercises by providing insights that help shape the construction and execution of at-sea exercises. This will
generate more focused and more productive at-sea exercises,
allowing DEVRON and key partners to conduct advanced tactical
development with limited submarine resources. When one considers the cost-to-benefit ratio of incorporating M&S into the overall tactical development process, it is easy to understand why highfidclity modeling will grow to be a major clement in DEVRON’s future contributions in addressing the tactical issues faced by the Submarine Force.
Improving Communication with the Fleet:
DEVRON’s core strength has always been the synergy of squadron operations and tactical development. And the key to the synergy is having the pulse of the fleet. The Submarine Force has one set of core missions and uniform standards of excellence, but there arc fleet differences in tactical priorities. The gco-stratcgic environment of the Pacific may drive a tactical focus on ASW, for example, while EUCOM may place a theater priority on maritime
security and regional engagement. Similarly, the diverse hulllespaces of the submarine Type Commanders and Task Force Commanders influence respective priorities for manning, training, and equipping the force and employing boats on deployment. In every case, it is important that DEVRON 12 stay in close communication with COM SUB FOR to understand the tactical doctrine needs of the force and develop relevant solutions.
To do this, DEVRON maintains a constant dialogue with the fleet on tactical issues. Frequent communications with TYCOM staffs, waterfront briefings, technical and tactical exchanges with key partners, urgent message changes to tactical guidance, collaboration on naval warfare publications, exercise summaries, and real world analysis reports arc some examples of this essential communication. In recent years, we’ve also updated our classified website with “Ask the Expert” and “Ask the Librarian” forums that respond quickly to questions from submariners throughout the fleet, and reintroduced the Submarine Tactics N ewslctter with topics of current tactical interest.
In addition to improving the mechanisms of communicating with the fleet, DEV RON is also working to improve the content and usability of tactical guidance and publications. Eighteen months ago, on behalf of the Force Commander, DEVRON developed a new Force Doctrine Strategy for developing and issuing doctrine and combat systems employment guidelines. Underlying this strategy was DEV RON ‘s principle that the real value of sonar and fire control is not how much capability we build into new systems, but how much capability the crew gets out of their systems. The
doctrine strategy is aimed at ensuring that when new tactical systems arc fielded on our submarines, the crews have the right employment guidance at the right time to get the full measure of capability out of their new systems.
Shaping Future Capabilities – Fleet Involvement Pays Off
Shaping future tactical capabilities is an important element of Squadron TWELVE ‘s mission. As chair of the Submarine Tactical Requirements Group, DEVRON 12 is chartered by COMSUBFOR, COMSUBPAC, and Director, Submarine Warfare Division (CNO N87) to provide the singular fleet input for tactical modernization requirements. DEVRON leads the force effort to prioritize capabilities and provide the fleet input for modernization recommendations
to COMSUBFOR and COMSUBPAC. Following endorsement by Submarine Force leadership, these recommendations are resourced by CNO N87 as part of the Advanced Processor Build (APB) process.
To help keep new systems aligned with fleet needs, DEVRON 12 stays plugged in to the development and testing process. DEVRON 12 leads the Tactical Control Support Group which serves as the fleet’s voice for liaison and oversight of APB upgrade functionality, and provides guidance to the Concept of Operation Support Groups which define the Operator Machine Interfaces (displays, etc.) and the utility of algorithms. This participation provides a customer look on the real usability of the product and keeps the DEVRON staff “APB multi-lingual”, able to assist the fleet in the nuances of system operation and optimization as questions arise.
A success story in-the-making for the fleet and the APB process is the Integrated Battlespace Awareness Layout, or I-BAL (“Eyeball”). I-BAL is the direct result of a DEVRON 12 initiative to improve tactical awareness, decision-making, and risk management in a high contact density environment. I-BAL began in September 2006 with a DEV RON 12 concept for presenting the contact picture in a more intuitive, coherent, and actionable way. The design effort that followed included use of the Submarine Multi-Mission Team Trainers to conduct multiple Watch Section Task Analyses of DEVRON 12 led submarine command teams in high-contact density scenarios. The result- scheduled for at-sea testing this summer and fielding aboard submarines beginning in early 2009- is a radar-type PPI display that combines real-time sonar waterfall data with contact solutions similar to a maneuvering board. I-BAL has been field tested by shipdrivers in the Pacific and Atlantic and is a real success story of the productivity that results when the fleet and the development community work closely together.
Pressing Forward into the Future
The Science, Technology, Tactics in DEVRON’s command logo have each changed tremendously in DEVRON’s history, as have the missions of the force and the threats we face. The constant among the change is the essential synergy of waterfront operations and tactical development that is unique within the Navy, and which forms the core strength of the organization. As DEVRON enters its 60th year of support to the Submarine Force it docs so with awareness of the value of science and technology in tactical development, but also with keen understanding that the Fleet comes First and even the most advanced science and technology exists only to deliver capability to the crew.