Three-hundred-sixty-one pounds per square inch-this is the pressure experienced at 800 feet, the rated operating depth for a Los Angeles-class submarine. At such depths all submarines and the Sailors who operate them are under extreme stress. Today the entire U.S. submarine force is feeling similar strain from all sides, because of an increase in worldwide submarine proliferation and an overall decrease in its force size and in Navy-wide antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, leaving them but a shadow of what they once were. To fulfill the Submarine Warfare Division's mission for the U.S. submarine force "to remain the world's preeminent submarine force" and "to maintain dominance throughout the maritime battle space," these challenges must be recognized and confronted head-on.
Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest
By Ensign William Arnest, U.S. Navy
The U.S. submarine force faces unprecedented stresses in the 21st century, but like its boats, that's what it was designed for.