This will be my final address as Director, Submarine Warfare (N87). During my time here, I have had the privilege to work with an excellent staff of men and women dedicated to ensuring tomorrow's Submarine Force will provide the nation the requisite military capabilities to deter aggression and, when necessary, bring the fight to the enemy. I have full confidence that they will provide Admiral Bruner the same consistently high quality analysis and work as I have enjoyed for the past year.
To this end, the N87 staff has worked hard to develop what we call the "Integrated Undersea Strategy." This strategy is designed to inform undersea warfare planning and investment decisions to ensure that the future Navy:
1. Provides the joint forces the right types and numbers of submarine platforms to respond to a changing world. Nuclear-powered submarines can rapidly deploy to the
far-flung regions of the world in a non-provocative, covert posture. Combatant commanders recognize that the
inherent stealth of a well designed, built and maintained submarine is highly desired both in peace and war.
2. Maintains the necessary undersea payload volume to
deliver and service the mission payloads needed by the combatant commanders. Platforms without the correct
air and ocean interfaces, storage volume, and adaptability will constrain the Submarine Force's ability to host future weapons, sensors, and unmanned air or underwater
3. Develops the range of payloads (sensors and weapons) to fully utilize our Submarine Force's asymmetric advantage — stealth. As countries develop advanced systems
to deny U.S. forces unimpeded use of international waters and airspace, U.S. submarines retain the ability to
penetrate anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) at the time and place of our choosing. This capability is wasted without
the right mix of weapons and sensors to employ once the submarine is on station.
4. Provides the right people with the right skills that
can prepare for and execute radically new missions in
a reasonable timeframe. While technology alone cannot master the breadth and complexity of how and why we use submarines, we must continue to advance the state of the force to provide our Submariners, our most valuable and flexible asset, the best possible training and tools for completing ever more challenging missions safely and effectively.
It is imperative that we accomplish the goals above within the Navy's expected fiscal environment. To do so will require applying targeted investments to properly matured technology. We will need to look for evolutionary ideas that can provide revolutionary effects.
Even with proper investments, the Submarine Force, and the Navy, will not be able to accomplish all missions at all times by itself. Combatant commanders already rely on close cooperation with foreign submarine forces for relationship-building and operational support. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Cooperation takes many forms. With some countries, we engage in technical collaboration such as our combat control system and torpedo partnerships with the Royal Australian Navy, described on page 12. For other countries, our cooperation manifests in exercise participation such as the international submarine rescue collaboration described on page 6 or the anti-submarine warfare training with the Italian Submarine (ITS) Scirè (S 527) described on page 4. Sometimes cooperation is accomplished on a more personal level through personal exchange programs such as the experiences
Lt. Cmdr. Kristof describes on page 8.
Regardless of the manner of cooperation, one common thread can be found again and again—the development of mutual respect and trust through the exchange of cultures and the professionalism demonstrated by all parties involved. It is up to those of us wearing the uniform to continue this thread through every interaction with our foreign counterparts, be it an exchange program or deployed port visit.
Again, I thank the men and women of N87 for their dedication and hard work. Although my current duties and focus shift as I become Director, Naval Warfare Integration Group (N00X), I hope to cross paths with you all again in the fleet!