image of VADM jay donnelly “As I complete my first year as COMSUBFOR, I want to thank each of you for your efforts and successes in 2007. We continue to support our nation’s Combatant Commanders (COCOMS) with ready forces that provide effective undersea capability to support the war on terror and the maritime strategy.”
VADM Jay Donnelly, USN, Commander, Submarine Force

Two notable milestones occurred this year—our first SSGN, USS Ohio (SSGN-726), left on her maiden Pacific deployment and our third Virginia-class submarine, USS Hawaii (SSN-776), completed sea trials and was commissioned. Because of the overall success of the design and shipbuilding team effort, Virginia-class is well on the way to reaching our two per year build rate goal.

As articulated in the maritime strategy, our challenge as a nation is to apply seapower in a manner that protects U.S. vital interests even as it promotes greater international security, stability and trust. We have a head start in fostering these important international relationships through the Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) and the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO). Currently, we are working with the submarine forces of 27 different nations and have eight Sailors serving on Royal Australian Navy submarines.

An important tenet of the maritime strategy is Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). MDA requires enhanced maritime information sharing and an unprecedented level of communication and integration among U.S. maritime forces and our international partners. The Submarine Force continues to develop and test systems to support communications at speed and depth. USS Montpelier (SSN-764) deployed in 2007 with the Truman Strike Group and a new communications system called high frequency internet protocol (HFIP). HFIP enables email and chat with the strike group while submerged below periscope depth using the floating wire antenna.

At the undersea enterprise level, my three priorities—ensuring operational excellence, developing our people, and maintaining and modernizing our future force—are focused on aligning our efforts with CNO and USFF for 2008. Specifically, we will;

We continue to hone our operational performance to meet the changing demands of a changing world. Our personnel are performing well, and we are building a strong force for the future. While the demands on the Submarine Force are great, we will continue to answer the call. We are incorporating the latest technologies to make our ships more affordable and more capable at the same time. More importantly, we continue to invest in our people, who make our Submarine Force the finest in the world.

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