It's a dirty little secret, one of those things most in the business know but are too polite or perhaps too politic to say: U.S. nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs) no more support the carrier battle group commander than wet roads support traffic safety. No harm implied - just not a lot of help.
This state of naval affairs is not endemic to operations from the sea, nor is it a malaise that will cure itself if we just leave it alone. At issue is whether we as an organization have the foresight to establish conditions under which the union between the battle group and the SSN can live up to its potential.
For the submarine force there are basic and enduring issues: How can we hope to support joint operations if the force is unable to fully support even naval operations and the carrier battle group? How does the force continue to play a vital role in shaping the future if we continue to be less than fully integrated into what the American people pay their naval forces to do - maintain peace and stability through the presence of forces forward, the centerpiece of which is and will remain the carrier battle group working together with the amphibious ready group.