Greetings from Norfolk! This edition of UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine focuses on our Asia-Pacific Submarine Partners. A few years ago, I served as the Commander for Submarine Group SEVEN. During that time, I had the honor and privilege to work with some of the best Submariners in the world. As we are all aware, Asia’s rising powers are investing in submarine capabilities at unprecedented levels, and the nature of this investment is fundamentally changing the region’s subsurface environment. While this trend is certainly part of a broader regional investment in naval power, the subsurface aspects of these investments are particularly significant due to the unique attributes and capabilities of submarines.
It is for these reasons that we must develop partnerships among all undersea stakeholders, to include joint and coalition partners. In many cases their capabilities complement our own, and in some cases our partners will have superior technology.
In the past few years, we have conducted coordinated submarine operations in exercises like RIMPAC in which Australia, Canada, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have participated. These exercises have advanced our ability to safely and effectively operate together in the Pacific. We have been supported by Pacific partners Australia and Canada during our Submarine Command Course. When deployed, our submarines have worked with undersea forces from Australia, India, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. We have trained with allies and encouraged new partners as more nations have entered the business of submarine operations.
Moving forward across warfare communities and with international partners requires effort to build trust, sharing both technology and experience whenever possible. The emergence of new undersea capabilities is necessary for our national security, but future resource constraints dictate that it must be a coordinated effort to ensure that we achieve the maximum combat effectiveness.
I am excited that this edition includes some articles from our Pacific Rim allies such as Admiral Yano, Admiral Sang, Admiral Pramono, and others. I know we still have much to learn from all our partnerships.
We will continue to expect a lot from our people—more perhaps than we have in the past. We are sustaining high OPTEMPO due to worldwide demand. We are diversifying our mission set and, despite our best attempts to plan and predict, we know that the future is unpredictable. Therefore, we will rely on our ultimate strength and the initiative, judgment, and courage of our people. If we are to expect more of them, it is only fair that they should expect more from us. We owe them world-class equipment, a predictable schedule when possible, a maintenance commitment that ensures their safety, and a willingness to listen to the incredibly talented people on whom we depend so much.
I am proud of you all.
M J Connor