In a June 2013 Proceedings article titled “Sustaining Undersea Dominance,” I outlined the submarine force’s strategy in terms of “People, Platforms, Payloads, and Partners.” The essential themes of that strategy remain intact and are serving us well. We continue to train and operate a force that deploys far forward with minimal external direction. We are building Virginia-class submarines, the world’s best attack submarines, at the steady rate of two per year in a program that is the national standard for delivering high quality, on time, and on budget. We are tracking to continue that success as we design the next generation of ballistic-missile submarines that will replace our Ohio-class SSBNs as they wrap up 42 years of service. We are developing new payloads to increase the reach of our submarines and the impact of our undersea-warfare partners in the surface, aviation, and mine-warfare communities. Our sailors achieve success on deployment, and when absolutely necessary turn around on very short notice for unscheduled deployments. We recently celebrated the 4,000th successful Ohio-class SSBN strategic-deterrent patrol.
Advancing Undersea Dominance
In an era of rapidly evolving technological advances and ambitious potential adversaries, maintaining our beneath-the-waves advantage is a matter of ‘innovate or fall behind.’
By Vice Admiral Michael J. Connor, U.S. Navy