In his November 2000 Proceedings article, then-Rear Admiral Albert Konetzni, then the commander of the Pacific Fleet's submarine force, asked the question: "How many nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) do we need?" Now, in light of the Navy's 2003 budget request, the real questions are: How many submarines are we going to get and what can be done to fulfill the demand for attack submarine (SSN) mission days? The Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) submitted in February envisions building one submarine a year at least through 2007. It is virtually inevitable, then, that the SSN force will fall well below 55 hulls by the end of the next decade, Depending on what happens in future budgets, the SSN force could fall to 28 to 44 hulls by 2028. The Navy needs to plan now for using the attack submarine force differently to compensate for the looming shortfall.