Undersea Warriors,

Greetings from Norfolk! In the last edition of UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine, I talked about instilling a warfighting culture in everything we do. We have made great progress and I want to take a few minutes to get everyone up to speed with where we are now and ensure that we are all aligned on where we are headed.

One of the best ways to enhance crew warfighting readiness and drive innovation is through competition. So we have moved out to ensure a driving objective of our training is to compete to win. Submarine Learning Center is leading the effort and school house COs are serving as local umpires. We will have individual and team competitions ranging from visual recognition and sonar classification to fire control tracking parties going head-to-head against one another at sea or in linked trainers. We will publish winners and losers in message traffic and we will track which crews are the best and which ones are the worst. Other ideas are under consideration, such as custom tabs for the left-hand pocket on NWU-type IIIs. Will your boat make the Final Four?

To increase lethality across the Force, we have identified the initial Aggressor Squadron CO, and Aggressor Squadron is on track for an April 2019 initial operational capability. Its goal is to employ an effective cadre of experts (red team) versed in opposition warfighting philosophy, strategy, and tactics to stress submarine crews in warfighting scenarios. Red team expertise will be available locally or virtually to support training and certification. Additionally, we are working on connectivity between attack center locations to allow remote red team engagement, and we are exploring the possibility of employing select SSN(s) as a standing red opposition force for live at-sea play. This will take some time to reach full operational capability, but we’re moving out! To quote an old movie “The clock is running…and we’re keeping score.”

There are a number of other classified warfighting initiatives happening right now that Rear Adm. Converse and I are very excited about. We will push those out to the Fleet soon via the “Fight Club” brief, which we will update monthly.

Our Force is made up of the most innovative and talented people in the country, and Rear Adm. Converse and I would like to tap into your ideas. If you’ve got an idea on how we can do business better across the Submarine Force, we want to hear from you. Whether it’s a technological breakthrough that you think would revolutionize undersea warfare or a process improvement that you think every ship should use, let us know. Send your ideas to HeySUBFOR@navy.miland help us to help you. and help us to help you.

This month the theme for UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine is Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs). There is no question that dominance in the undersea domain will require a family of unmanned systems capable of conducting a variety of missions. Most of us are familiar with “dull, dirty, and dangerous” missions that we usually associate with UUVs, but I’d like to expand that mission set to “dull, dirty, dangerous, or otherwise impossible,” and let’s start with the otherwise impossible part. In this edition, you will get a look at UUVs in action today, get an overview of our medium- to long-term UUV strategy, and get an update on the UUVRON 1 one-year anniversary. UUVRON 2 will follow shortly.

It’s truly an awesome time to be an undersea warrior!

Prepare for battle.

Our nation needs you.


C.A. Richard