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“Although we pride ourselves on the mission versatility and capability of our submarines, the truly impressive strength of our submarine
force resides in the resiliency of our Sailors. ”

 

 

VADM Jay Donnelly, USN, Commander, Submarine Forces

This April marks the 110th anniversary of the submarine force. Today, we enjoy a rich legacy of submarining that has spanned the globe and continues to carry out six of the core capabilities of our national maritime strategy: forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, and maritime security.

USS Los Angeles (SSN-688) played a vital role in the sustained contributions to national defense by the submarine force. In January, Los Angeles was decommissioned after 33 years of service. During her remarkable life she completed 18 deployments, earned eight Meritorious Unit Commend-ations, a Navy Unit Commendation, and the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Award given to the Pacific Fleet’s top warship. Having outlived, outrun, and outlasted her competitors, Los Angeles set the mark for submarine design, construction excellence, maintenance, and operations that will surely remain for decades to come.

In March, the Navy commissioned the newest submarine into the fleet, USS New Mexico (SSN-779). Thanks to the unique partnership of the shipbuilding industry, the two shipyards of Northrop Grumman Newport News and Electric Boat, and the diligent work of the precommissioning crew, New Mexico was delivered four months ahead of schedule. Los Angeles set high standards. New Mexico and her sister ships are poised to reach those same great heights.

Although we pride ourselves on the mission versatility and capability of our submarines, the truly impressive strength of our submarine force resides in the resiliency of our Sailors. In this issue, UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine focuses on the outstanding performance of our submarine force in increasingly challenging conditions. One of these articles features Force Master Chief David Lynch, who offers enduring wisdom from the Chief’s Quarters on mentoring and developing the next generation of submarine Sailors. Master Chief Lynch shares his insight from 23 years of submarine service about seven principles of good leadership that have been gleaned from successful submarine crews throughout the fleet.

Leading our Sailors with effectiveness results in great achievements such as the recent work of the crew of the USS Miami (SSN-755), who completed an eight-month deployment for European Command in December. Despite her high operational tempo, the crew remained highly motivated and excelled, as told in another article in this edition. When you read the article about Miami you will find that despite the long separation from family and friends, the crew reliably kept its focus on its mission. Miami’s accomplishments have been briefed to the Chief of Naval Operations and continue to generate excitement about her recent work.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Rear Adm. Cecil Haney for a highly successful tour as the Director of the Submarine Warfare Division on the CNO’s Staff. For the past two years he has been a tremendous steward of submarine programs and has been an essential advocate for the missions of the submarine force to our nation’s leadership. The CNO has recognized Rear Adm. Haney’s great vision for the Navy and has placed him as the Director of Warfare Integration for his next assignment. I also extend a hearty welcome to Rear Adm. Mike Connor as the new N87 and look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead of us in the coming months.

Every day presents a new challenge and excitement for our submarine force. I ask that you keep the good ideas coming and continue to lead with the combined effort to make lasting contributions to our undersea warfighting enterprise.

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