Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest
Because the Frank Cable (AS-40)—with the Salt Lake City (SSN-716)—and other Navy assets already are in place at Guam, the Navy's plan to homeport attack submarines there is a cost-effective, high-impact way to increase submarine operational tempo in the Western Pacific.
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. submarine force has been adapting its mission to remain a vital asset to the Navy. The past ten years have brought decreased funding for new submarine construction and operations. The strategic plans for force requirements in the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff report of November 1999 called for submariners to continue their operational readiness, but with fewer submarines and less money. Several options exist to wring more operational days out of our submarines each year. The most cost-effective option to date is the forward home porting of three Los Angeles (SSN-688)-class attack submarines in Apra Harbor, Guam.