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U.S. Navy Photo

by Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Ramsey, RN

The majority of the world’s population lives within two hundred kilometers of the coastline. A great deal of commerce relies on sea transport to function, and there are some nations that support a terrorist course of action with capabilities that can be employed in the maritime arena. As a result, much of the world’s population is subject to the unpredictable threat of sea- and coastal-based terrorism and inter-nation rivalry.

Presently, 42 nations have submarine capabilities, and have ranging national interests. Many have the capability to land terrorist forces from the sea and to engage in acts of piracy and at-sea terrorism. This makes submarine forces key assets in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Their strike capability alone is significant, and this is augmented by their ability to deploy anywhere in the world’s oceans in stealth as strong force multipliers.

Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE (DEVRON 12) continues to be at the forefront of submarine warfare, predicting its future direction while providing tactics to ensure dominance using both this generation of equipment and the next.

Since 1955, there has been a U.K. exchange officer stationed with the squadron, whose major purpose is to to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information across the two nations’ forces.

Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE

Capt. Ken Perry is the commodore of the Squadron. It is one of the United States east coast squadrons working for Commander Submarine Group TWO (Rear Adm. Cecil Haney). The motto “Science, Technology, and Tactics” incorporates the essence of the past, present, and future. The ability to use science to provide effective technology is important; the development of tactics to effectively use the equipment and the supporting training is vital. Perry’s squadron is unique in the world. Not only are the six submarines under his command engaged in a wide variety of submarine and support operations, but he also has a world-leading submarine tactical development (TD) organization.

The advantage of this squadron organization is that ideas for combating any potential threat can quickly be brainstormed, tested in simulators, and then taken to sea onboard the squadrons’ submarines. In addition, the direct feedback from the units enables the process of idea to doctrine to be realized rapidly.

The Tactical Analysis Group (TAG) is roughly fifty percent military and fifty percent civilian contract personnel. The employees are generally recruited from the submarine world, with many being previous U.S. commanding officers. They provide not only the backbone of administration and staff work required to run many major TD exercises a year, but also a wealth of submarine knowledge.

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Maritime Warfare Center (United Kingdom)

The Maritime Warfare Center (MWC) has a different organization that encompasses not only submarine warfare, but also the other spectrums of surface and air warfare. They are tasked directly by commander-in-chief fleet (CINCFLEET) to analyze issues and develop tactics to optimize the capability of the fleet. The submarine section is considerably smaller than DEVRON 12, but continues to provide the advance in U.K. submarine operations required to maintain the edge against potential adversaries.

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