Undersea Warfare The Official Magazine of the U.S. Submarine Force

Summer 2004 Cover of Undersea Warfare Magazine

On the Cover


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Summer 2004/Archives

U.S. Submarine... Beacause Stealth Matters


Washington Watch


Operational Depth

Ships At Sea

Letters to the Editor


6th Annual Undersea Warfare Photo Contest Winners

Former Commander-in-Chief Christens PCU Jimmy Carter

Hard-charging and Persistent: The Crew of PCU Virginia Looks Ahead

Pacific Reach 2004
U.S. Foreign Navies Practice Submarine Rescue, Foster Cooperation and Improve Interoperability

SSGN Conversions: Embodying the Sea Power 21 Vision

Heading North!
Traveling the Artic Region, U.S. Submarines Find Adventure, New Challenges, and New Friends

Saviors and Suppliers: World War II Submarine Speacial Operations in the Phillippines

Enhances Stability and Increases Interoperability in the Pacific Rim

Those in Peril - the S-5 Incident

Bringing Science to Life
Teaching Science Using Submarine Technology and the ex-USS Narwhal (SSN-671)

2004 Force Organization Map

Submarine Force Links

Director, Submarine Warfare

Commander, Naval Submarine Forces

Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet

Navy News Stand

Undersea Warfare Photo Contest



Undersea Warfare 2003 CHINFO Merit Award

Washington Watch



Photo RDML Joseph A. Walsh

…submarines are
inherently crucial to the defense of freedom now and in the future.

In early May, I relieved RADM(Sel) Tracy as the Director of Submarine Warfare (N77) and wish him fair winds and following seas in his new job as Commander, USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group.

During this time of dynamic change in our Submarine Force, I am privileged to be serving as our community’s resource sponsor. I am pleased to report to you that things are going very well for the Submarine Force as we work within the Pentagon to ensure we remain a valuable asset in America’s warfighting arsenal for years to come.

As I begin my tenure in this position, I envision my job here with these tasks in mind:

  • Drive execution of the current year’s fiscal budget.
  • Coordinate with the type commanders to develop the Submarine Force’s inputs to the POM process.
  • Actively participate in the Pentagon analytical processes, such as campaign analysis and the development of integrated capabilities.

During this, the Year of the Submarine, we have had the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of integration with other fleet assets and the unique flexibility submarines provide. You can be proud of the fact that we provided a considerable share of the Navy’s combat force during SUMMER PULSE ’04. Ten submarines demonstrated surge capability as they were deployed in four AORs supporting Carrier Strike Groups and other operations and exercises in the first application of the Fleet Response Plan.

In addition to demonstrating to senior leadership the impressive surge capability of our current Submarine Force, 2004 will be remembered as a seminal one in the progression of our future force.

The most important development will be the commissioning in October of the first submarine designed from the start for the post-Cold War environment, when we face asymmetrical threats from the Global War on Terrorism and beyond. Virginia, underway on sea trials as this issue goes to press, represents a dramatic shift in operational capabilities and an unprecedented ability to operate in the littorals. I had the privilege of briefing Vice-President Cheney in person on the potential this new class brings to the fleet prior to his tour of New London and Virginia. The use of mission modules in Virginia has the potential to improve the capabilities of future submarines. Several studies have explored design options to provide modular payload volume in future ships. These options have ranged from relatively minor modifications to the current Virginia configuration to an evolution toward submarines outfitted with completely modular payload capacity.

In addition to the upcoming commissioning of Virginia, we already have witnessed this year the stand-up of CSS-19, the start of conversion on three of four ballistic missile submarines scheduled to become SSGNs, the christening of Jimmy Carter and Texas, and the keel laying of North Carolina and Hawaii. We also will commemorate in September the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of Nautilus and the dawn of the undersea nuclear age.

As we bring these new tools online, I want to express my appreciation for the outstanding support our force continues to receive from our maintenance facilities and our partners in industry in bringing these technological advancements to the fleet and making them a reality. However, as the battlespace shifts to the littorals and we face the ambiguous but dangerous threats of the 21st Century, we need more than just new technology. Meeting the surge capability requirements of the present and building a foundation of undersea dominance in the littorals requires all of us to rededicate our efforts to remain the highly trained and motivated force we have always been. It takes the efforts of those on watch under the sea to make the compelling case that inherently, submarines are crucial to the defense of freedom now and in the future.

Joseph A. Walsh Signature
RDML Joseph A. Walsh, USN
Director, Submarine Warfare