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“I have had the privilege of watching submariners at work over the past two years during my tour in Yokosuka, Japan. The accomplishments of the deployed Submarine Force are fresh in my mind, and I look forward to continuing the faithful effort of VADM Cecil Haney as the director of submarine warfare requirements.”

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Rear Adm. Michael Connor, USN, Director, Submarine Warfare

I am greatly honored to address you for the first time in UNDERSEA WARFARE. I have had the privilege of watching submariners at work over the past two years during my tour in Yokosuka, Japan. The accomplishments of the deployed Submarine Force are fresh in my mind, and I look forward to continuing the faithful effort of VADM Cecil Haney as the director of submarine warfare requirements.

As the resource sponsor for the Submarine Force, my priorities are:

1.Launch the Ohio Replacement Program. Nuclear deterrence remains one of our nation’s most vital and essential missions. This program is a commitment of the nation’s resources that we make only every 45 years. This deterrence mission, which we once accomplished with the “41 for Freedom” submarines and currently fulfill with 14 Ohio-class SSBNs, will only require 12 next-generation SSBNs (Ohio Replacement) in the future.

2. Maintain the SSN Force Structure. U.S. attack submarines (SSNs) provide the nation with stealth and firepower that can operate anywhere in the world at any time. As other countries invest in technologies to restrict access and the freedom to operate in international waters and airspace, SSNs continue to provide persistent, non-provocative presence. Should tensions escalate, SSNs operating far forward will be key enablers, creating gaps in an adversary’s area denial web for surface and air forces.

3. Refocus the Submarine Payload Strategy. Submarines require the right weapons and sensors, with the right capabilities, in the right quantities for a rapidly changing world. Our inventory is currently limited to three weapons, and we are only beginning to explore unmanned systems. In the dynamic world we will live in, we will provide operational commanders with payloads that support missions across the spectrum of operations. We will work closely with the fleet to ensure we reach the right answer.

4. Undersea Warfare: Submariners Are the Experts. Various organizations are developing new undersea technologies that will enhance the Navy’s future capabilities. We need to ensure that these systems are built with the right command and control system to complement, and not compete with, what our submarines are already doing. Undersea commanders must have the ability to control and redirect these technologies in a timely manner so that all assets are working toward a common goal.

Congratulations to VADM Jay Donnelly for his outstanding leadership as our Submarine Force commander. He has left behind an unmatched legacy of service to the submarine community and our nation. We also welcome Vice Adm. John Richardson as our new Force commander and look forward to taking on exciting challenges and opportunities under his leadership.


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