Kings Bay May Get An Admiral
A Department of Defense report spurred by the Air Force's recent problems with nuclear weapons security found that, while the Navy is doing a good job, we should split the "Trident Command" established in 2006 and have a separate Admiral and staff in both Bangor and Kings Bay for the Tridents on each coast. Excerpts from this article:
"That will have big implications for Camden County," McNeill said. "That means 15 or more people on the admiral's staff, and splitting the squadrons will bring more staff. We'll see the community more enmeshed with the Navy.A wise old CO once told me that every decision of this type is based one how the Submarine Force uses the Flag positions they have, and whether or not they can possibly take a Flag position away from some other part of the Navy. The original decision was obviously based on opening up another Admiral slot at the Pentagon; the question now is whether the Sub Force will have to give up the D.C. spot they got, or if they'll take a spot from the skimmers or airdales. The worst possible option, of course, would be for Big Navy to create another Admiral slot -- Lord knows we have enough Flag Officers around.
The report also notes that the Trident Training Facility is at 50 percent of its manning level, reduced from 340 instructors and staff to 150. The report recommends reversing the personnel decision because the cuts limited submarine crews' ability to build high-performance teams in skills including navigation, sonar and communications.
"Submarine commanders were uniformly concerned that the Trident Training Facility was near a tipping point in this regard," the report states.
Investigators also objected to the "manpower drain" resulting from Individual Augmentation assignments in which Navy personnel are used to supplement armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism. It has taken away instructors, the report said, but does not affect nuclear weapons security forces.
Additionally, investigators pointed to a lack of intelligence personnel at Kings Bay and noted "commanding officers at Kings Bay said they had to resort to open-source information as substitute for classified intelligence information of mission importance."