During the Cold War, submarines routinely conducted deployed operations with little or no dependence on radio transmissions. Message traffic was received passively, and a shore-side presumption was that it would be acted on appropriately, without the need for the submarine to transmit a response. That was done to protect the submarine from detection and exploitation.
Additionally, submarines were given large expanses of ocean in which to operate and a set of mission priorities. The commanding officer was expected to exercise his own discretion as to where to go and what to do. That expectation was based on the known fact that the submarine CO would have information not available to those ashore, which would enable him to make the best employment decisions.