It is difficult to find any record of nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) operations near the continent of Africa. Certainly traditional missions have been conducted to interdict the flow of narcotics to and from Africa, impede the operations of pirates off the Horn of Africa, or during the Cold War, monitor Soviet military activities off North Africa. Most staffs continue to regard a submarine's potential contributions to operations according to these criteria. SSNs are not generally considered to be integral instruments of global maritime partnerships. Nevertheless, they appear to be evolving into precisely that.
Traditional roles performed by U.S. Navy attack submarines in coastal Africa are expanding to include training international navies and information-sharing. First reports of their performance give high marks.
By Captain Pete Miller, U.S. Navy