Aloha. Thank you for the kind introduction. It’s great to be among such a distinguished group of submariners and friends of the Submarine Force. I never thought I would be standing in front of such a group as the Commander of the Submarine Force US. Pacific Fleet-so it is truly an honor that I’ve been asked to speak here today.
To put that honor in perspective, I was raised the son of a submariner and learned at an early age who ADM Rickover was and what he stood for- in fact in my house, we learned early that when you made a mistake, the best way ahead was to confess quickly that you were wrong, cite the root causes for your deficiency, and then lay out your own corrective action. And true to form, when Dad got home, he always asked what he should do about the problem. Woe to the son that had not thought through his corrective action beforehand! I am certainly a product of that submarine upbringing and proud of it. There are some in this room who also played a role in my early impressions of the Submarine Force including Ron Thunman and Jerry Holland.
ADM Mies, RADM Padgett, thank you for hosting today’s event- and thank you for what you do to tell the story of our Submarine Force and its importance to the nation. Also thanks to the members of the NSL and our corporate benefactors.
I took command of the Pacific Submarine Force on 10 Dec last year having relieved Doug McAneny. I inherited a Force that was in great shape-and I want to say publicly “Thanks” to Doug for all that he did to take care of our Force.
Like prior SUBPAC commanders, I immediately thought of the history of SUBPAC and those who had gone before me. As you know, there is a rich history in the Pacific that you’re confronted with immediately. As I thought about my new job, I thought of the submarines and submariners sitting at piers around the Pacific on the night before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Their world would change overnight. Without their choosing, they were thrust into a World War with the training they had received, the ships they were assigned, and the weapons and sensors that the Navy had bought. As history has judged, they were ready in some aspects, and yet not ready in some very critical areas. Clearly, they were a resilient force that adapted and overcame the challenges confronting them- and of this we are extremely proud to this day!
I wondered what world events would influence my tour and I questioned whether we were truly ready. I could not escape the truth that at some point in the future, at a time that we may not be able to decide, perhaps in a place that we may not have thought much about; there will come a time when one of our submarines will be in a position to execute a mission directed by a COCOM or perhaps the President. That ship will be as prepared as we can make it, equipped with the best equipment we can buy while balancing conflicting demands in a fiscally challenged environment. At the core of that ship’s ability to achieve success will be a single Commanding Officer- the product of years of training and experience- and his crew- alone and unafraid to make the right decisions and to do what the nation needs them to do! No matter how much we would like to, and even with the advent of increased communications bandwidth, we ashore will not be in a position to determine the success of that ship at that point. It will be solely a function of what we delivered and what the Commanding Officer and his team are ready to do!
Are we developing our leaders to be ready to handle the challenges we will face? How well have we thought about our warfighting role in addition to the peacetime intelligence role that tends to dominate much of our focus? How can we innovatively tackle the warfighting challenges facing the COCOMs and for that matter, how well do we understand the warfighting gaps and shortfalls facing the COCOMs?
These questions and others like them led V ADM Richardson, RADM Connor, RDML Breckenridge and me to develop the Design for Undersea Warfare- a framework for action to sharpen our focus on warfighting today and into the future. We defined our focus on three lines of effort:
– Ready Forces
– Effective Employment
– Future Warfighting Capabilities
As V ADM Richardson has already discussed, these lines of effort are remarkably consistent with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Sailing Directions published just a few weeks ago. I can tell you that the Design for Undersea Warfare has us well positioned to deliver on the tenants called out by the CNO, specifically: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready. You heard Vice Admiral Richardson lay out the Design and discuss the first line of effort, Ready Forces. I will focus on the second line of effort, our main line of effort, Effective Operations and Warfighting Today.
As I’ve discussed in previous forums, there are three goals under this line of effort:
- Optimally to employ our undersea forces independently or as part of a team in support of operational or warfighting responsibilities.
- Reliably and professionally to accomplish the missions tasked by the operational commanders while managing risk and stealth.
- To be ready to go to war and immediately execute the combatant commander’s direction.
As a way ahead, we defined three Focus areas to help us achieve these goals
I. The development of theater specific Undersea Warfare Campaign Plans.
2. The deliberate and planned demonstration of warfighting capabilities, and
3. Improving operational availability of our undersea forces – or as I like to say, “Sustaining our advantage!”
In very simple terms, what this all means is this: That we start in each theater with a detailed understanding of the OPLAN and our warfighting responsibilities. We clearly articulate, by theater, the requirements for undersea forces in terms of expertise, experience, system and weapons capabilities. And then we clearly identify any gaps. This is called the USW Campaign Plan (specific by theater and updated each year). From this we develop the employment plans for every submarine that comes into theater we call this deploying with a purpose demonstrating capabilities in theater where possible, crystallizing our Commanding Officer’s focus on warfighting, learning as we go, gaining experience and confidence in our abilities, and proving our readiness to the Fleet and Combatant Commander. And, along the way, we stimulate innovative thought in our wardrooms and on our ships about how to close warfighting gaps. Finally, to be successful, we must solve the problems that challenge our ability to remain on station- this is the third focus area of Sustaining our Advantage.
My message for you today is that we are absolutely committed to these goals and focus areas- they are steering the dialogue every day at the Type Commander and at our ISICs. We are stepping out on the focus areas… and success in achieving these goals lies in the hands of our most effective weapon- our people our single most competitive advantage! In the short time since we rolled out the Design, our people have brought the tenants of the Design to life.
As a way of portraying this, I’m going to tell you about our leaders around the Force, and in doing so, I’m going to tell you what they are doing every day to operationalize the Design for Undersea Warfare, to continue the proud traditions that those of you in this room invested in, and to ensure our Submarine Force remains the preeminent undersea force in the world today. It’s an all-star team- focused first and foremost on warfighting and operational excellence!
Every day of every year, there is one team that lives and breathes their OPLAN- they are experts in their war craft, they practice it frequently, and stand ready at a moment’s notice to execute tasking directly from the President. No other force in the U.S military has this direct relationship with the Commander in Chief. This is our SSBN Force-the officers and crews who sail from Bangor, Washington and Kings Bay, Georgia in relative silence, unheralded, carrying the proverbial big stick President Theodore Roosevelt professed. These men know that it is not enough to say you have a deterrent force- instead, that Force must be practiced and must repeatedly demonstrate their readiness. They must live and breathe their mission in order to be a credible force! I mention this team first, because as RADM Barry Bruner may discuss, the OHIO replacement program is the Submarine Force’s number one investment priority- a critical capability for the nation, as we look ahead to the next decades.
At the helm in Bangor is Rear Admiral Bob Hennegan leading Submarine Group Nine, and in Kings Bay RDML Joe Tofalo at Submarine Group I 0-we could not ask for two finer leaders overseeing the daily readiness of the nation’s survivable deterrent force.
Both of these leaders are laser-focused on strategic deterrence, and as we implement the elements of the Design we are sharpening the tip of this spear. I cannot discuss the specifics in this forum, but we are looking hard at everything from our postures, our patterns of operation, our communications, and our continuity of operations plans. We are moving out and have already instituted efforts to expand our play in USSTRA TCOM’s Tier one exercise, GLOBAL THUNDER.
The hardest working man in the Submarine Force is Commodore Paul Skarpness at Submarine Squadron 17- he leads our largest Squadron with more crews that any other in the U.S. Navy. Paul keeps the undersea leg of the nuclear triad strong. As you know, today’s strategic environment is a dynamic one with the New START treaty and the Nuclear Posture Review, our ballistic missile submarines will be increasingly more important into the future with the responsibility of an increased share of our Nation’s warheads. Paul’s track record includes:
– Since November 2010, 16 SSBN patrols have been conducted in the Pacific- for a total of 1164 underway days.
– One of those patrols was a 105-day patrol by USS MAINE (Blue).
– And importantly, Paul oversaw the return of USS NEV ADA to strategic service following an Engineered Refueling Overhaul; and a successful Demonstration and Shakedown operation. We’re fortunate to have one of the NEV ADA Commanding Officers on the agenda tomorrow, CDR Alan Shrader, to give us his perspective of the SSBN Force.
Combined with the efforts of Submarine Squadron 20 and Commodore Eric Halloway in Kings Bay, I’m proud to report that our SSBN force is ready today- but be assured we are not resting- every day we are critically assessing that readiness to ensure we are delivering on the nation’s most important element of national defense!
Shifting gears, this spring, the world saw the firepower an SSGN can provide when USS FLORIDA participated in coalition strike operations. This marked the first time an Ohio-class guided missile submarine launched a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile in conflict. I won’t steal CAPT Tom Calbrese’s thunder from his pitch tomorrow, but it’s remarkable that FLORIDA was deployed nearly 15 months away from CONUS when she executed her tasking- this is the hallmark of being ready for our warfighting responsibilities- it’s exactly aligned with the principles in the Design and, this event highlighted how rapidly we may be required to transition from Phase 0 to Phase 2 operations.
Our SSGN force is prepared for their responsibilities by two fantastic leaders, in the Pacific, CAPT Dennis Carpenter (CSS-19) and in the Atlantic, CAPT Steve Gillespie (CSS -16).
The pace of preparations for SSGN crews is astounding, because these teams must be certified for their operations in the trainers, and then rapidly transition to operations at sea within a few days of arriving in theater to take the ship. There’s a reason we have elected to put second tour COs on these ships- it’s because of this pace and the scope of some of the most demanding missions in the Force today.
You might be interested in how we’re preparing our GN crews under the Ready Forces line of effort- Commodore Carpenter’s certifies his crews using a Command Training Exercises- we call it CTE- this is a 4 day, around-the clock event, in the attack center for all of the ship’s control room teams. During this certification event we require watch turnovers, operations briefs, and reconstruction briefs exactly like when the boat is at sea engaged in a mission. The scenarios are decision rich; we push the envelope with higher contact densities and CPAs than would be possible in at-sea training; and importantly, we get to see how the crew really operates under stress, especially when they’re tired and when the CO might not be around. The Bangor SSGN Commanding Officers will tell you that they do not look forward to these CTEs because it is a demanding event, but they will also tell you that the experience is vital to their success at sea.
These SSGNs provide the Combatant Commander with SOF delivery and firepower combined with a submarine’s stealth that provides an incredible conventional deterrent and makes potential adversaries take note. It’s no wonder these ships are in high demand. Each one of these submarines deploys for over a year. In Fiscal Year 2011, our Pacific SSGNs were deployed for about 430 days- an amazing operational tempo for two hulls. The same story is true for the Atlantic where the SSGNs deployed for a total of 350 days, with one ship, FLORIDA participating in combat operations.
In our thinking about the Design and what the SSGNs bring to the fight, Commodore Carpenter is focused on streamlining the timeline of delivering effects on target in a call for fire scenario specifically, to deliver a strike on short notice, for example a strike called in by a SOF team on a fleeting target or perhaps in support of troops in contact, or to target a mobile launcher in response to time sensitive intelligence. We are working hard on this CONOPS and have already conducted some exercises at sea, including a live fire event. In the next year you can expect some additional events to help us hone this capability for the Submarine Force and further demonstrate this capability at sea.
As you know there are two Development Squadrons in the Submarine Force- both play integral roles in advancing focus areas in the Design for Undersea Warfare.
Captain Bill Merz at DEVRON 12 is doing a fantastic job! Bill is absolutely committed to understanding the demands of both Submarine TYCOMs. In an effort to improve the man-machine interfaces of our tactical systems, Bill is hosting a conference in San Diego next month entitled, Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation or TANG. The central idea behind the conference is to leverage the creative energy of a select group of Junior Officers to suggest improvements for future generations of submarine combat systems-these young officers know how to operate an IPAD intuitively, why not the submarine fire control system?
Across the country, Commodore Brian Howes is at the helm of Submarine Development Squadron 5- home to our Navy’s Seawolf-class submarines, including USS JIMMY CARTER and the Deep Submergence Unit. Brian’s leadership was critical in the Submarine Force’s demonstration of access in the harsh Arctic environment earlier this year when USS CONNECTICUT deployed to the Arctic for combined operations with USS NEW HAMPSHIRE. As you know, these operations allowed us to assess our readiness, increase our operational experience in the region, and advance our understanding of the Arctic environment.
Brian is also our lead for the Deep Submergence Unit, which this year participated in the multinational exercise Bold Monarch off the coast of Spain. During this exercise we demonstrated the ability to conduct submarine rescue with a variety of other countries including a Russian Federation submarine, ALROSA (from the Black Sea Fleet). This was the first time a U.S. system has ever mated with a Russian submarine. I could talk for a while on this topic, but Submarine Rescue, the central topic of SUBPAC’s annual Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference- now eleven years and running strong- is an important engagement opportunity with countries throughout the world. Most recently we held this Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference in Lima, Peru, and included submarine representatives from nearly 20 nations. Our conference next year will be held in South Korea.
Brian is also at the lead of another very important area in operationalizing the Design, specifically to align Submarine Force efforts and to advance our vision and CONOPS for UUV employment, including a large diameter UUV with sufficient payload and endurance to tackle a wide range of peacetime and wartime missions. This is very exciting work, unfortunately classified higher than the discussion allowed in this forum.
I’d like to shift gears again and highlight the operations of our SSN Force:
– In the Pacific, 16 attack submarines have operated forward since last December, and in fiscal year 2011 our Pacific attack submarines deployed more than 2,450 days.
– From the Atlantic Force, we had 9 attack submarine deployed forward in the same amount of time, two of which, USS SCRANTON and USS PROVIDENCE were involved in combat operations off the coast of Libya.
Delivering an SSN Force that is trained, maintained and operating with a full understanding of operations across the spectrum depends on a team of superb Commodores in each of our Submarine homeports and a thoroughly focused Submarine Group 2 team led by RDML Rick Breckenridge. These commanders are at the front lines in developing our Commanding Officers and their crews to excel in demanding forward operations. Let me highlight the contributions of some of our stalwarts:
Commodore Rich Correll at Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego is in the unique position of being located at the home of our Navy’s 3rd Fleet. In addition to training his own ships for deployment, his submarines participate in deployment preparations and Fleet exercises for nearly all Pacific-based Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups. His boats have also maintained a vital relationship with our South American partners, and they are currently hosting CS CARRERA as part of COMSUBFORs Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative-an important program and part of many opportunities that we have to operate and advance our skills versus diesel submarines. Also of note, one of his ships, USS TOPEKA participated in the Peruvian Submarine Centennial earlier this year, and in fact led the parade of ships that was part of the Centennial celebration.
Even farther from our home waters, one of Rich’s boats, USS ALBUQUERQUE is advancing another critical capability under the Design, through her participation in testing the launch and control of a small Unmanned Aerial System (Switchblade) equipped with sensors for over the horizon applications. The ability of the Submarine Force to use this type of technology in the same ways other forces are today- for JSR, Special Operations, Maritime Interdiction, over-the-horizon targeting- is incredibly important. This capability is a potential game-changer that dramatically expands our operational reach. And impressively, it is a capability that went from a Power Point concept to a tactical demo where the crew operated proficiently in just 34 months.
This is exactly what we’re talking about when we discuss the Demonstration of Capabilities under the Design- putting technology in the hands of the warfighter and see what we learn and importantly, we exercise a pull from the Design’s third line of effort to gain operational capability in the Fleet before typical acquisition timelines.
In another great example of moving out on the Design, Commodore Stan Robertson at Submarine Squadron I recently seized an opportunity to take on a significant warfighting challenge Stan worked with my staff to create an exercise in which USS Greeneville tested the ability to operate in an Anti Access, Area Denial environment. Over the course of five days, the exercise included a short notice simulated wartime underway, transit to station via potentially mined waters, and mission tasking that escalated from Indications and Warning to kinetic strike, and anti surface and anti-submarine warfare. All of this was conducted in an environment where GPS, communications, and cyber capabilities were purposefully degraded. This was a very important exercise for the Force. We’ve learned much and identified several action items which unfortunately I cannot discuss in this venue. We also learned some very important lessons at the operational level of war, and future exercises of this sort will include the TYCOM team.
I am convinced that the Submarine Force has the capability to stay ahead of this problem (a comms and GPS degraded or challenged environment), and to do so we will continue to train in this kind of environment, identifying our vulnerabilities, investing wisely for the future, and developing the tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure our access and war fighting readiness. As I tell my team, we cannot wait for someone else to solve this challenge; we need to take it on ourselves.
Also in SUBPAC, we’re about to deploy our 3rd Virginia-class submarine to the Western Pacific. In the past year, USS HAWAII completed her deployment, and USS TEXAS is currently deployed. Commodore James Childs at Submarine Squadron 3 will soon certify USS NORTH CAROLINA for deployment these VA class platforms have proven their ability to operate forward, especially in the challenging littoral regions. Each deployment brings new lessons that we are clearly leveraging for future success. If I am not mistaken, we have never operated a new class of submarine so far from the construction yard so early in her life, and this comes with unique logistics challenges! The forward logistics to support the deployments of these new ships is no small endeavor, fortunately Commodores Robertson and Childs were the right leaders to make this happen.
Finally in Hawaii, I would be remiss if I did not mention Commodore Jimmy Pitts at Submarine Squadron 7. Jimmy has four deployments to WESTPAC under his belt, two while he was in command of USS TUCSON. He understands and knows the WESTPAC environment better than most, and as my number one war fighter, he epitomizes the Design’s focus on operations and warfighting first! The proof is in four of his boats that have had extremely successful deployments in the time I’ve been at SUBPAC.
In the Atlantic CAPT Mike Bernacchi, Submarine Squadron 4 has pushed the tenants of the Design, especially in sustaining our operational availability. Mike has asked the maintenance organizations to rethink the possible. His well thought-out ideas and questioning of conventional wisdom has led to significant time-savings in system certifications- a benefit to operational availability across the Force.
At the tip of the spear is our only forward-deployed submarine squadron- Commodore John Russ at Submarine Squadron 15 in Guam. John oversees three boats in a demanding operational cycle that delivers presence in WESTPAC. John is also overseeing a changing of the guard, so to speak, in Guam as we’ve recently stationed the first of three VLS boats there with the recent arrival of USS OKLAHOMA CITY. The changing face of Guam also includes construction currently underway on a new Submarine Learning Center and squadron headquarters on Polaris Point. John has stepped up his team’s knowledge and critical thought of their war plans with a series of events designed to focus on the OPLANS. John’s experience will serve him well as he heads off to be the CTF -74 Chief of Staff next year.
Our SSNs and SSGNs are carrying out their critical work for our nation in the forward-deployed areas in the Pacific, the Arabian Gulf, off the Horn of Africa, in the Northern Atlantic, and occasionally in SOUTHCOM. When we send them forward, our operational commanders RDML Phil Sawyer and his team at CTF54174, and RDML Jamie Foggo and the team at CTF-69 have the responsibility of orchestrating the plays for our deployed ships. Both of these leaders directly support our numbered fleet commanders in building and maintaining a network of strong alliances in the region and deepening relationships with emerging powers. They do this through an impressive array of exercises, port visits and bilateral or multilateral interactions.
RDML Sawyer and RDML Foggo have ensured that our submariners have walked the battlefield and are warfighting ready. Notably during the recent events in Libya RDML Foggo was intimately involved in calling the shots, and in WESTPAC Phil Sawyer has honed the operations of the finest Theater ASW team in the Navy. Both of these guys are playing pivotal roles in development and authorship of the Theater Specific Campaign Plans I spoke about earlier.
Being a ready Force also means we must maintain our submarines in optimal fighting condition. This is a less heralded part of our business, but a very important one. So I want to say a few words about our crews in deep maintenance. Those who have been through it know that deep maintenance is hard business. Today we use the words of Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability, Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability, Engineered Refueling Overhaul, and Engineered Overhaul. Mention these words around any submariner and you will see a look of terror! But it is this business that keeps our national treasures- our submarines ready for operations. I’d like to acknowledge a few of those COs by name and crews that are slugging it out in the shipyards.
- I’m going to start with CDR Curtis Duncan and USS KEY WEST- nobody is doing it better than Curtis’ team. He’s brought tremendous energy, enthusiasm and focus to his crew- they are excelling in the shipyard because they have approached it with the same level of effort as preparing for a mission, and they are setting the bar for the rest of the Force.
- CDR Dan Packer and USS SEA WOLF crew are working their way through a particularly demanding period in the yards.
- CDR Gustavo Gutierrez and the USS PENNSYLVANNIA crew on the West coast have completed refueling and are working their way back towards strategic service, all that lies between them and that goal is a significant amount of testing including shift work and some very long days!
- And on the East coast, CDR Adam Palmer and the crew of the WEST VIRGINIA are working their way through a tough refueling overhaul.
These leaders are readying their ships for years of future service and ensuring that we can get the full life out of these hulls to meet the force structure plans described in the third line of effort of the Design.
While we are necessarily focused on the deep maintenance that keeps our ships fit to fight, out on the pointy end, we must sustain our ships for optimal employment. My key leaders in deployed submarine maintenance are Captains Pete Hildreth and Tom Stanley in command of USS FRANK CABLE and USS EMORY S. LAND respectively. Forward-deployed to Guam and Diego Garcia these ships sustain the operational availability of our deployed submarines which is typically well above 80 percent. This past year, as USS HAW All deployed, the FRANK CABLE team developed procedures to tend a Virginia-class submarine and provided outstanding support to that historic deployment. These ships also go where the Fleet commander needs them, maintaining ships and submarines and showing the flag:
- USS EMORY S. LAND spends a significant amount of time underway. In the last year, she supported our submarines in UAE, Bahrain, India, and Malaysia.
- USS FRANK CABLE not only services the forward deployed squadron in Guam, but has also provided services to units alongside in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
You also might be interested in the tender’s expeditionary manning model which involves the FRANK CABLE continuously deploying sailors year round to supplement the repair maintenance team on EMORY S. LAND, thus allowing LAND to execute deployed SSGN, SSN and surface ship maintenance. You also might be interested in the tender’s expeditionary manning model which involves the FRANK CABLE continuously deploying sailors year round to supplement the repair maintenance team on EMORY S. LAND, thus allowing LAND to execute deployed SSGN, SSN and surface ship maintenance.
Finally, I need to mention a critical player in the undersea battle space. This team includes another Commodore, Captain Scott Rauch, the Commander, Undersea Surveillance. As Undersea Warriors, our IUSS personnel must be trained and manned to ensure critical information is available to the Combatant Commanders and national decision-makers. And as the TYCOM for the IUSS Community, I am committed to the advancement of this valuable capability.
Commodore Rauch has done a superb job. Since November of 2010, our Integrated Underwater Surveillance commands deployed 15 military crews aboard five Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System ships for a total of 1,365 days. These crews, along with the Sailors who have the watch at our Naval Ocean Processing Facilities, are critical to our day-to-day undersea domain. Under Scott’s leadership, we’ve implemented a number of significant and positive changes to improve how we conduct undersea operations today. The list is long, but to give you some idea:
- To optimize SURTASS military crew manning, Blue and Gold units were created to sustain forward presence and place priority on these critical, at-sea billets.
- We also created an IUSS Continuing Training Manual model based on the Submarine Force training philosophy.
- We’ve opened a detachment of the Submarine Learning Center at one of the NOPFs, and commissioned new shore-based trainers.
- We have even built in Tactical Readiness Evaluations for the NOPFs and have conducted our first inspections at each site.
All of these initiatives are centered on the requirement to deliver full capability to our national leaders and combatant commanders.
I’ve covered a lot of ground this afternoon. I’ve talked about the principal line of effort in the Design for Undersea Warfare, and the great work being done to optimally employ our undersea forces, professionally accomplish our missions, and ensure our ships and crews are ready for war. All of these efforts are being driven by the strong leadership of our Group Commanders, Commodores, Major Commanders, and very dedicated TYCOM staffs. I’m proud of this team and even more proud of the submarine crews they lead. You can and should be proud of them as well- they are among the finest warfighting teams in our military today.
I started this presentation by questioning the readiness of our team- and I’ll end by stating that we are indeed ready, but the threat is dynamic- and we are committed to staying ahead of that threat. The Design for Undersea Warfare provides the framework for the Submarine Force to stay ahead of future threats. As for resiliency of the Force, I think we’ve demonstrated that recently with the events that unfolded in Libya, and I also see it daily in our approach to deployed operations.
I’ll close by going back to our Chief of Naval Operations’ Sailing Directions:
– From the Operational level to the Tactical level, we are advancing our art and putting Warfighting First, ready today and looking toward the future .
– In every ocean and with every asset, we are Operating Forward, providing the options our leaders demand;
– And know this, that the Submarine Force clearly understands the imperative to Be Ready.
I can say with full certainty that we are sailing on course, full speed ahead.
Thank you for your time this afternoon.