A professional organization for submarine advocates


Welcome to the NSL

The Naval Submarine League is a non-profit membership organization committed to supporting and advancing the submarine force through awareness, public relations, and building a community of submarine advocates and enthusiasts.
The primary mission of the League is to promote awareness of the importance of submarines to U. S. national security.


Click Here to access the dropbox from the 2015 Annual Symposium.

Q&A with Navy's Submarine Commander in the Pacific

Jeanette Steele, San Diego Union & Tribune, Nov 18

It’s an interesting time to be in the submarine business.
China’s expansion of its submarine fleet poses a credible threat to U.S. warships if tensions over Taiwan or the South China Sea turn hot.
That’s according to a RAND Corp report this year that estimates China’s modern submarine force stands at 41 vessels, up from two in the mid 1990s.
Meanwhile, roughly 60 percent of the United States’ 72 submarines - or about 43 - operate in the Pacific. However, the American Navy is also on a building spree. Sixteen new Virginia-class fast-attack submarines are in the works.
Also, the U.S. submarine force has slowly integrated women since 2010, when the Navy announced it would begin opening the formerly all-male bastion.
The transition has not been perfectly smooth.
Enlisted sailors on the Georgia-based submarine Wyoming secretly recorded shower-room videos of female submarine officers. Ten sailors were punished for involvement earlier this year.
These are some of the issues facing Rear Adm. Fritz Roegge, named commander of the Navy’s Pacific submarine fleet in September.
Roegge visited San Diego’s Submarine Squadron 11 this month and spoke to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In part because of China’s rise, he said, “I think our Navy looks to the submarine force - being able to stay hidden underwater, taking advantage of our stealth. Our Navy expects our submarine force to lead the way.”
Q: A Navy submarine test fired a Trident II D5 missile on Nov. 7 off the Southern California coast. The unannounced evening test was highly visible and spurred widespread public speculation about meteor showers and UFOs. Can you give the larger context of what that was about?
A: It wasn’t unusual. We shoot ballistic missiles for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s testing of improvements to missile systems, or it’s to validate the effectiveness of missiles we have in inventory.
Q: Why was it so visible, and was the Navy surprised by the public reaction?
A: With a nighttime shot, that fiery plume from the booster is highly visible. We had great atmospheric conditions as well that allowed it to be seen for a long way. If it had been cloudy, you might have seen it for five seconds.
I would expect there to be some attention. We don’t publicize in advance what we intend to do operationally. We’ll notify mariners of areas to stay out of. But beyond that, we’re not looking to inform our competitors of what we’re doing ahead of time.
Q: What does the growth of China’s submarine force mean for American subs in the Pacific?
A: It means there’s a lot of very interesting activity going on out there. Part of what combatant commanders might task us to do is to go and understand what’s going on in the undersea environment.
The better prepared we are to fight and win, the less likely we will ever have to. That goes back to the importance of testing, like with the missile launch. We are satisfying ourselves that our systems work, but we are also clearly signaling our capabilities to those who might otherwise want to try to challenge us.
Q: Was the Trident test a show of force?
A: It was a test. But if there are other messages that people want to (see,) I understand they will draw their own conclusions.
Q: Female officers started serving on submarines in late 2011, but the Navy only this summer named the first enlisted women who will train for submarine work. What’s taken this long?
A: I don’t think it’s because of an obstacle or any particular challenge. It’s because we in the submarine force, we are all engineers and nukes (nuclear technicians) at heart. We are very methodical in how we do things. This was a phased approach.
In many cases, it requires modifications to the ships in order to ensure basic privacy. On the officer side, it required no modifications. But on the enlisted side, it required modification to the hull.
On an Ohio-class submarine, the crew is berthed in nine-person bunk rooms. They took a bunk room adjacent to a (bathroom), and they provided direct access.
Q: What about on the majority of U.S. submarines, which are the smaller, fast-attack variety? The Navy has announced enlisted women won’t serve on the older Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines, which are the backbone of the current fleet. (Five Los Angeles-class submarines are assigned to San Diego.)
A: What we determined we could execute quickly but cost effectively is, beginning with the next Virginia-class submarines to be built, to build them from the ground up with male and female spaces.
Q: The Navy won’t retrofit the 12 existing Virginia-class fast-attack submarines?
A: We might. But currently the plan is to try to get this right from the ground up.
Q: Was it a cost-savings decision to not retrofit?
A: Not necessarily. We already have more than enough work to do when we get submarines into (shipyards).
Q: What’s your assessment of how integration of women is going?
A: We are now at the point where the first female officers have completed their initial tours at sea and rotated to shore duties. Now they are approaching decisions on what to do with their remaining naval service. Ultimately, the best metric of our mutual success is to what extent those women decide they want to continue to serve as submariners.
Q: Regarding the videotaping of women in showers, what’s your comment? Is there something about the isolated nature of the submarine service at play here?
A: It was simply sailors who did not understand what it means to treat a fellow shipmate with dignity and respect. The submarine force has tried to communicate very clearly our expectations of professional conduct. It’s not professional conduct of men to women. It’s conduct of shipmates to shipmates.

Navy Live: Inside the U.S. Navy's Silent Service

Edited by: Austin Rooney



Naval Submarine League 33rd Annual Symposium

U.S. Navy Considering Adding Anti-Ship Missiles Back To Submarine Force (US Naval Institute News). The Navy is investigating adding an anti-ship missile to its submarine force – bringing it in line with the majority of the world naval submarines, the director of Naval Reactors said on Wednesday.  “For this audience, I’ll tell you we are considering that and we are taking some steps to delivering that kind of capability to our submarine force and I can’t really say any more than that,” he said. The U.S. submarine fleet did use the UGM-84A Harpoon anti-ship missile but that Harpoon variant was retired in 1997. The current primary attack submarines is the anti-ship weapon is Mk 48 heavy torpedo and is limited in its range relative to anti-ship missiles developed and deployed with foreign navies. In particular, Russian and Chinese submarines field a variety of anti-ship missiles with ranges that far exceed the Mk-48s. 


4-Star: Navy Must Invest In Undersea Drones (Navy Times). The submarine Navy needs to invest in unmanned underwater systems and faces a crossroads on par with its iconic shift to nuclear power in the 1950s, the Nuclear Navy's new boss said Wednesday. "The way I look at it, we're kind of at a fork in the road," said Adm. Frank Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, in a speech opening the annual Naval Submarine League symposium in Northern Virginia. "If you look at our history, we've been here before," he said. "Just like when we decided to go down the path of nuclear propulsion, or when we decided to go down the path of the ballistic missile submarine, or our deep submergence program." Caldwell argues that as the sub force faces a dip in its numbers next decade, and new technologies threaten underwater communications, the Navy needs to invest rapidly in unmanned underwater systems to augment missions like intelligence gathering, submarine tracking and more. 


Navy Nuclear Power Chief Says Unmanned Systems Are Future Of Submarine Warfare (Defense Daily). Unmanned systems will revolutionize undersea warfare much in the manner that nuclear propulsion did, the Navy’s new nuclear reactors chief said Oct. 21. “I think we have an imperative, now, to transform undersea warfare by exploiting the use of unmanned vehicles, autonomous assets and the supporting systems,” Adm. Frank Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, said at the Naval Submarine Leagues’ annual symposium outside Washington, D.C. “It’s the right path and I think it’s a path that is compelled out of necessity.” Potential challenges from adversaries in undersea warfare, the hiatus in submarine building taken in the 1990s and an anticipated dip in force structure in the 2020s have all created the requirement for submarines with longer strike ranges and varied mission capabilities, Caldwell said. The possibility of deploying subs to monitor or protect subsurface infrastructure, which is an emerging mission, would require subs to launch and recover submersible unmanned vehicles, he said. “When you add all these up, I think there is an imperative for us to move forward more swiftly in this unmanned realm,” he said. 


Undersea Warfare Directorate Looking To Increase Dominance Through Key Investments (US Naval Institute).  The new director of undersea warfare (OPNAV N97) is looking to extend the Navy’s asymmetrical advantage by investing in longer-range targeting, electromagnetic warfare tools and other capabilities to help submarine forces operate effectively into the future. Rear Adm. Charles Richard said at the 2015 Naval Submarine League Annual Symposium that the Commander of Submarine Forces has released a vision for the force, and Richard will determine a path to get to that vision. Among the capabilities he sees the Navy needing is putting effects on targets at longer ranges – and having the targeting and the command and control infrastructure to support longer-range strikes. While the Navy has tried to achieve long-range targeting by submarines in the past and wasn’t able to overcome technology obstacles, “we think we’re on the cusp of getting to it with our new technologies. But it’s not going to do me a lot of good to have a target-quality solution with a weapon that can go do something that I’ve been ordered to do if I’m waiting for permission to fire because my command and control networks aren’t in a position to let me go do that,” he said. “I can gain competitive advantage over a potential adversary if I can get inside his command and control loop, so we’re working on that.” 


Navy Can’t Afford Extending Ohio Submarine Platform, Haney Says (Defense Daily).  The Navy can’t afford to further extend the life of its current Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine platform, despite an upcoming budgetary challenge on replacing it, according to a key Pentagon official. “That sub was built to last 30 years and we’ve extended it out to 42 years, longer than any other submarine we’ve operated in this country,” U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) chief Adm. Cecil Haney said Thursday at a Defense Writers Group event in Washington. “Our backs are against the wall at this point in time.”


Navy: Future Attack Submarine Scheduled For Duty In 2044 (Seapower Magazine). The Navy is planning to field a new-design nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) in 2044, a Navy official said. Speaking Oct. 22 to an audience at the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium, George Drakely, executive director of the Program Executive Office-Submarines, said the service plans to begin an analysis of alternatives in 2024 for the design, designated SSN(X). Drakely said the Navy expects to begin construction of the SSN(X) in 2034. He said that affordability will be a key focus of the design, leveraging the technology existing at the time. He expects the SSN(X) to make extensive use of off-board sensors. The SSN(X) will follow the production of 48 Virginia-class SSNs, with the last scheduled for delivery in 2034. 


<< first < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > last >>

Page 1 of 4
powered by MemberClicks