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What's the USE? The UnderSeaEnterprise Sets the Course of the Submarine Force


Today and the future

  • Working with the other Type Commanders to develop the Common Readiness Model/common metrics
    • Material/Maintenance, Personnel, Training, and Logistics Figures of Merit (FOM) to help describe readiness and cost
  • Evolving Enterprise Metrics – MOPs
    • Effects based
    • Linked metrics – keyed to major processes
  • Success in Action
    • The first two SSGNs will be introduced to the fleet this year
    • USS Virginia (SSN-774) completes a great first deployment
    • Advances in the training process are providing better-trained submariners to the fleet faster
    • Initiatives in maintenance processes are working to bring the same capability to the fleet faster and at less cost. SSN-22 Extended Docking Selected Restricted Availability was 60 percent shorter than SSN-21 – saved 224 days!

What is the UnderSea Enterprise (USE)?

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.


CSF’s effects based management structure consists of a USE Board of Directors BOD, and supporting Cross Functional Teams (CFT). CSF leverages the USE structure to increase the productivity of delivering warfare capacity to meet operational demand. The USE BOD, by setting strategy and approving and monitoring metrics linked to personal accountability, uses CFTs to provide the integration of enterprise activities to meet USE objectives.

Overview of process structure:

  • Oversight – USE Executive Committee (EXCOM): CSF, DCSF, OPNAV N77,
  • Governance – USE Board of Directors (see box on page 5)
  • Cross Functional Teams – Integration:
    • Maintenance / Sustainment
    • Total Force Readiness
    • Resources / Cost Management
    • Operations
  • Sub Process Teams – Execution: (some examples)
    • 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

Why was the USE established?

The Commander, Naval Submarine Forces, established an enterprise-wide governance structure to achieve the effective and efficient generation of combat power as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commander, Fleet Forces Command (CFFC). The priorities of the USE are focused on key Measures of Performance (MOPs).

Examples of USE Cost-Wise Readiness initiatives…

  • Total Force CFT: Total Force Readiness CFT: The group worked to refine submarine manning factors, which permitted a 9 percent reduction in officer accessions in FY04 and a 13 percent reduction in FY05 (a Military Personnel, Navy cost avoidance of $31.3M in FY04 and $72.3M in FY05).
  • Maintenance / Sustainment: CFT Working to design out production cost, the team has initiatives in Production, Contracts, and Design to reduce Virginia-class submarine cost to $2 billion per ship (FY05 dollars).
  • Maintenance / Sustainment CFT: Performance initiatives to eliminate
    1,100 ship days lost to maintenance schedule overruns in FY05.

UnderSea Enterprise Measures of Performance (MOPs)

  • Operational Availability (Ao) – “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 war fighting, 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

For more information, visit the SUBLANT web site at

USE Board of Directors (BOD)



Flag Panel created

  • Major changes in OPNAV structure indicated a need to more closely link the efforts of a small group to improve production and maintenance efficiency for submarines
  • Flag Panel created - COMSUBLANT, COMSUBPAC, OPNAV N77, NAVSEA 08


New organizations report to the Flag Panel

  • Submarine training organized under the Submarine Learning Center (SLC)
  • Sub Team One (CFT) created to look at depot maintenance
  • SUBWORKS CFT created to look at efficiencies in the class maintenance plan
    • Basic structure in place
    • Drumbeat of Quarterly meeting
    • No fleet metric


Commander Naval Submarine Forces – COMNAVSUBFOR created

  • Staff organization overhauled
    and functionally aligned
  • SUBFOR created to oversee
    the enterprise


Enterprise Flag Panel created

  • NAVSEA 00, OPNAV Fleet Readiness and Logistics, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, PEO SUBS added to Flag Panel to address broader UnderSea Enterprise processes
    • Structure expanded
    • Drumbeat of monthly meetings
    • Fleet metric: Operational Availability

UnderSea Enterprise – Maximizing Operational Availability in support of GWOT, Phase Zero, and Major Combat Operations”