Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Submarine Force No Longer Shrinking?

Based on a calendar of events put out by the Navy in NAVADMIN 367/09, it looks like we'll have two submarine commissionings this year (USS New Mexico in Feb/Mar and USS Missouri on July 24th) and only one decommissioning (USS Los Angeles on January 23rd). That's a reason to celebrate!

(Actually, there will be one additional submarine being inactivated this fiscal year, according to NAVADMIN 210/09 -- USS Philadelphia on June 10th. Still, we're not getting smaller -- and still getting newer.)

Update 0826 31 Dec: PCU New Mexico (SSN 779) was just delivered to the Navy, four months early.

40 Comments:

Anonymous ExMSPNavET said...

Let us all remember our two fallen shipmates ETCS(SS)Thomas K. Higgins and STS2(SS) Michael J. Holtz of the USS MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL (SSN-708) who were lost on 29 DECEMBER 2006 off of Plymouth, U.K. Rest Your Oars Shipmates, Rest Your Oars.

12/29/2009 12:30 AM

 
Blogger midwatchcowboy said...

Joel,

This is a temporary uptick. We will actually bottom out at 41/42 SSNs in 2019. The big problem will be trying to stay relevant to the COCOM/POTUS without sacrificing the health of the force.

12/29/2009 1:16 AM

 
Anonymous retCOB said...

The LA was commissioned when I was in sub school. Uh-oh.

And also remembering the MSP COB and STS2(SS) Holtz. Thanks for reminding us, ExMSPNavET.

12/29/2009 7:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The big problem will be trying to stay relevant to the COCOM/POTUS without sacrificing the health of the force."

Yeah...money is going to be tight. Our only hope is that the Congressmen from Tidewater and New London/Groton keep lobbying for money for boats. Maybe the submarine force can guarantee it's healthcare as part of all this healthcare reform.

Then again, I am reminded of a CO from back in the day. "Wishful thinking gets you nowhere fast...let me bring you back to reality."

Yeah...it's going to get tight...very tight.

12/29/2009 8:49 AM

 
Blogger King said...

Well, SSBN's are easy to justify, though I expect we will continue to reduce the overall # of warheads in our nuclear forces.

Sadly, our SSN force hasn't really carved out a mission in the post cold war world. They do stuff, but very little that can't be done just as well or as easily by another platform (except for maybe whatever it is the Carter does).

Of course, SSN's are kings of ASW/ASUW throughout the Navy. Unfortunately, our current and recent conflicts don't allow much opportunity to use that capability.

12/29/2009 9:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relevance is #1 on the list for 2010. Finally Big SUBFOR is getting the picture and playing catch up.

Until this happens, standby for "zero mistakes or get fired" as the order of the day.

Good luck!!

12/29/2009 10:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Putin talking about the need for an offensive nuclear arsenal?

Tac nukes on soviet subs could give US subs a renewed mission/relevance.

12/29/2009 2:01 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

Sadly, our SSN force hasn't really carved out a mission in the post cold war world.

I'd possibly agree with that for operations in the Atlantic, but PACFLT has mission package(s) that won't be going away for a very long time - and the # of required ops will just be getting bigger over the next decade.

If you think otherwise, browse the high side. The Cold War sequel has already begun, with a new adversary.

12/29/2009 3:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King,

Once again you have no idea what you aretalking about. As a previous member of OPNAV N23, I can say that SSNs have a completely relevant purpose and we are one of the most justifiable programs around. It seems like you get all of your imformation from open source.

12/29/2009 4:21 PM

 
Blogger King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/29/2009 6:19 PM

 
Blogger King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/29/2009 6:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King,

I doubt you have access to "all" the information that there is out there, otherwise you wouldn't be making the statement. The demand signal for SSN is > than what the force can supply right now. SSNs are king of ASW, if you think someone else can do it better you are mistaken.

12/29/2009 6:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sadly, our SSN force hasn't really carved out a mission in the post cold war world."

I would have to disagree as well. Eternal vigilance...I would call that our mission as of now. I just wished more would keep in mind that at any given moment our nation could call upon us as they did in WWII. Unlikely, maybe. Impossible...hell no.


"Until this happens, standby for "zero mistakes or get fired" as the order of the day."

Last time I checked, no one in the force walks on water...I hope the top brass don't go to this. If they play this game, they are certainly welcome to take back command and teach us how to do so. You know, set that example...right?

Yeah...I thought so. Only one man walked on water, and he didn't serve on a submarine.

12/29/2009 7:12 PM

 
Blogger DDM said...

But he was able to perform a miracle with fish. Hmmm

12/29/2009 8:30 PM

 
Blogger King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/29/2009 8:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But he was able to perform a miracle with fish. Hmmm"

True...and I am sure Mush Morton and Company would have love his help with those early MK 14s.

12/29/2009 9:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'...SSN's are king of ASW..."


Duh! No kidding! The rest of Navy's ASW forces are in shambles. Same old story...no money.


It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better and everything...everything...is on the table.

12/29/2009 9:35 PM

 
Blogger King said...

some of the next-gen ASW detection stuff looks pretty cool, conceptually from what I've seen. Who knows how well it works, but I'm interested in seeing what comes out of it.

12/29/2009 11:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a previous member of OPNAV N23, I can say that SSNs have a completely relevant purpose and we are one of the most justifiable programs around. It seems like you get all of your imformation from open source.

So a former submarine rep on an opnav division thinks that subs are among the most justifiable programs around. This is really earth-shaking stuff.

Let's keep it simple: out of the four major communities (surface, sub, air, specop/war), which one should take the smallest % cut in the coming round of funding reductions? If you can say subs with a straight face, then you should share some of the kool-aid that you've got your hands on.

12/30/2009 12:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To King:

Advertising your clearance level or access to classified information is a no-no. To do it on a public blog, however anonymous you think you might be, is downright stupid.

12/30/2009 9:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To King:
Based on your non-discreet comments and attitude, I dare say you have never served, and never had to make a decision that affects men's lives. Non-quals should be seen...and not heard.
November Charlie - that means NO CLUE.

12/30/2009 10:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But wasn't NMEX due to be commisioned last OCT? Only in a world run by gov't contractors and those who hope to be employed by them in the future is six months late (and not really finished) considered complete and on time.

12/30/2009 12:09 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

...but to compare the current operating environment in any form to the operating environment of 25 years ago (probably even 15-20 years ago) is willful ignorance.

You aren't looking in the right spots, haven't attended the right briefs, and basically don't know what you are talking about. Probably because you don't have a need to know, regardless of your clearance elgibility.

Job security for the SSN mission is assured & will become in even greater demand throughout the next decade.

12/30/2009 12:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Job security for the SSN mission is assured & will become in even greater demand throughout the next decade.

...but those mission demands, which are always unlimited because it costs a theater commander nothing to ask for more, will probably be served by robots.

Subs are hugely overdesigned for their current and likely future missions. That makes them a waste of resources in many respects. While we'll always need at least a few deep-diving, fast, heavily armed submarines, the exact number needed is probably far less than 42.

For my money (and it is my money) I'd vote for 20 fast boats and 10 SSGNs w/ heavy UUV complements.

12/30/2009 1:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON @ 12/30 12:09 - normally you would be close to correct - NMEX was originally projected to deliver in August and Commission in November. However, that was 8 months early to contract delivery date (April 2010). So she wasn't delivered as early as hoped, but she still delivered 4 months early to contract delivery date.

12/30/2009 2:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by the way - NMEX delivered yesterday (12/29) and will be commissioned 27 Mar 2010 in Norfolk.

12/30/2009 3:00 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

UUV's can't perform the Cold War era missions we're talking about.

They don't have the reliability, speed, or endurance. It would be like trying to follow a semi truck (loud & big) on a cross country trip using an RC car - it just doesn't work. UUV's CAN do other things though.

12/30/2009 3:04 PM

 
OpenID beebsblog said...

Into the lion's mouth....

The US is not the world's policeman.

Fifteen attack submarines, five on each coast, five in refit. Maybe three SSGNs and three SSBNs. That sums up to twenty one. Chop the staffs to Comsubpac and -lant.

We need to get back to homeland defense, not world wide defense.

beebs

12/30/2009 4:23 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Anon 10:25 AM (Novem'-Charlie)- not so fast -
'King' may have been an enlisted nuc, in which case his service knowledge, though still very privileged, was kept removed from juicier operational highlights like most other ratings. Alternatively, 'King' could, as you suspect, be a clueless poseur -either a seeker of hidden truths for personal satisfaction, or one of many foreign agents surfing fertile blogs like TSSBP for fruit.

Beware of all bloggers who adopt identities they elect not to share publicly (like 'King').

12/30/2009 4:27 PM

 
Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

I see that Beebs and I share a common ground now.

However, we should position our deterrence force against nations who wish to bring harm to us.

Especially Iran.

12/31/2009 6:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that we should be shrinking our Navy to focus on defense of the US, but I'm not really sure that 3 SSBN's does much for you, once you start taking into account refits, overhauls, and unforeseen material/personnel issues. You could easily run into a situation where you can't field an SSBN or only field one in the wrong spot due to a relatively small combination of problems

I think somewhere between 5 and 8 is probably a more workable number.

12/31/2009 7:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now now now...lets remember the real missions of SSNs/SSGNs and SSBNs.

You might think it is to protect the United States of America and tha tis only a sub-mission (no pun intended either).

The purpose of the nuclear submarine force is to give nuclear Officers and Enlisted a job. The subs are designed for them to run a power plant. Just think..if we went back to diesels, all those poor nukes would be out of a job and could be replaced by simple mechanics and engineers. Think of all the ORSE board members losing their jobs. WOW we would lose a few admirals and captains!

Ever since the 637 class (and before) went away the subs were designed for specific ASW missions. Now they are nothing more than a platform for nukes to operate and bang their chests!

No nuke boats, you can take a shit without a procedure! Submarining might be fun again!

What are they going to do?
Fire a SS Commanding Officer for running out of diesel fuel????

Ü

12/31/2009 8:56 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think that bringing back some diesels would be a good idea. They're pretty damn good for coastal defense.

12/31/2009 10:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fire a SS Commanding Officer for running out of diesel fuel????"

Way things have been going...wouldn't be surprised if they did.

12/31/2009 10:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it was Ronald Reagan who said, "Of the 4 wars in my lifetime none were started because the US was too strong." Benjamin Franklin said "those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither!" Keep all the boats you can, build even more. Cut some of those carriers.
2 ears

12/31/2009 7:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Keep all the boats you can, build even more. Cut some of those carriers."

I hate to say it, but in the big picture, carriers are probably more important than a submarine in today's world.

We as a force, need to keep smart about this and that means maintaining the big picture and doing what's right for our country.

1/01/2010 1:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UUV's can't perform the Cold War era missions we're talking about.

There is no way in hell that we need 40 fast boats to cover the submarine ports of interest around the world.

UUVs would do just fine at sitting around and waiting for stuff to happen. On the rare occasions that require greater endurance/speed, standby fast boats could be alerted by our new robotic overlords.

Serious lack of imagination here...this is again a situation where the sub force needs to find a way to make it work before Congress finds a (worse) way on its own.

1/01/2010 5:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those not in the know, you would be shocked at the R&D dollars being spent on UUV's. Speed, endurance and capability have all been improved and constant upgrades are being made almost monthly it seems.

Like it or not, UUV's are coming!

1/01/2010 7:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For those not in the know, you would be shocked at the R&D dollars being spent on UUV's. Speed, endurance and capability have all been improved and constant upgrades are being made almost monthly it seems.

Like it or not, UUV's are coming!"

They may be on the way, but just like the SNAFU SDV, they are a looooonnnnnngggggggg way from taking over any role of a manned SSN.

1/02/2010 5:26 PM

 
Anonymous www.muebles-en-alcala-de-henares.com said...

To my mind everyone may read it.

10/18/2011 2:49 AM

 

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