Greetings to the Undersea Enterprise. Since I last addressed you, we returned USS Florida (SSGN-728) to service in May following her SSGN conversion process. USS Hawaii (SSN-776) has been christened; and the U.S. Navy has taken delivery of USS Texas (SSN-775) – the second Virginia-class. She will be commissioned on September 9th. All together significant capability for the new and increased challenges our nation faces and delivered in a timely and cost effective manner.
I would like to give my most sincere congratulations to RADM Jeff Cassias, who retires after 30 years of loyal dedicated service to our Navy and our nation. He has been an inspired leader of our Submarine Force. RADM Joe Walsh has followed him as Commander of our Pacific Fleet Submarine Force. Joe’s superb leadership at the helm as Director, Submarine Warfare has greatly contributed to the success of our Undersea Enterprise.
This has been a good year for Undersea Warfare. Our brand is “On Scene, but Unseen.” Our strategic themes that deliver value to our nation include:
• Presence with a product – bringing back “knowledge” from phase zero operations that
can shape decisions and prevent escalation to Major Combat Operations
• Day in day out – Walking the field to allow Navy, Joint, and National command levels to act from a position of understanding, a position of strength
• Persistent, Clandestine, Agile, Mobile Scout
• And if needed in place, on call as shooter
These components make our brand; they are worth
repeating to the point where when you think Undersea Warfare you instinctively visualize these characteristics of our Submarine Force.
The Submarine Force is doing well, and we’ve got our message right. All those requirements that make up our brand name are well aligned with the attributes that will be needed throughout the Long War, a long peace, or future Major Combat Operations.
Key parts of our Forces’ success are the achievements of specific ships and individuals. In June, ADM John Nathman, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, announced the winner of the Battenberg Cup Award for best all-around ship based on accumulation of crew achievements. This year’s award went to USS Memphis (SSN-691), commanded by CDR Bill Merz. Well Done!
The Submarine Force produced both Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year for Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. They are Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Rosadorosario from USS Seawolf (SSN-21), and Petty Officer 1st Class Earl Watson III from Naval Submarine Support Center, Kings Bay, Ga. On July 20th Vice Chief of Naval Operations ADM Robert Willard meritoriously advanced Rosadorosario along with the other 2006 Sailors of the Year (SOY) to Chief Petty Officer. They expertly represent all 18,000 of us – again well done!
One of the roles for the Navy that continues to grow is the use of Navy personnel to relieve stress on the joint warfighters. The specialized skills of our submariners have application and are in demand outside of Undersea Warfare. A success story I think we should be proud of is our outstanding success rate at deploying individual augmentees. We have provided 186 active duty individuals to date that are now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and JTF-Horn of Africa. In addition to the active component, there are 123 SUBFOR Reserve personnel currently serving in CENTCOM, 240 have completed and returned from CENTCOM mobilizations since September 11, 2001, and 102 more deployed in July. When our nation calls we respond.
The SUBFOR Enterprise Management Team has begun to provide training on effects based thinking for operators. These training events will highlight five objectives that the Undersea Enterprise is working today, they include Operational Availability, CO Decision Making, Submarine Expertise, Submarine Culture, and Future Capability.
Understanding the big picture of how we are organized as an enterprise and your role in its success is important. It is also important that you act as an undersea expert when you are in billets outside the Submarine Force. The dolphins you wear represent not only your professionalism but also that of the entire Submarine Force – past, present and future.
Keep up the good work in your respective part of the Enterprise! Smooth sailing, and good hunting.