October is our focus on submarine warfare, and we have a great lineup of “Silent Service” articles in this issue. But first, allow us to mark our 150th birthday. The Naval Institute was founded on 9 October 1873 at the U.S. Naval Academy by a group of naval officers who, in the post-Civil War doldrums, saw the need for an independent organization to generate ideas that would propel the Navy and Marine Corps (and later the Coast Guard) forward. In “A Two-Way Street: The Navy–Naval Institute’s 150-Year Relationship,” historian Craig Symonds describes how the Institute and the Sea Services have shaped each other ever since: “[The Naval Institute] is not a conduit for the official view of anything, naval or otherwise. It is instead the one thing every large organization needs . . . a knowledgeable and sympathetic outside voice, one that is often supportive, but one that can be critical at need—a sounding board and not an echo chamber. It may sometimes be annoying . . . to the actual establishment, but it is absolutely essential.” I also recommend Tom Cutler’s “Fifteen Founders” from the October issue of Naval History, which provides short biographies of our founding fathers.
Connecting our birthday with the submarine force, Denis Clift’s “The Silent Service” covers the highlights of submarine content in Proceedings throughout our history, starting with Lieutenant Chester Nimitz’s December 1912 “Military Value and Tactics of Modern Submarines.”
Submarine content continues with Captain Peter Brereton’s “Better Command and Control for Theater Undersea Warfare.” Brereton points out that evolving Chinese and Russian submarine threats will stretch the C2 capabilities of theater undersea warfare commanders at the operational level of war. Back in the shipyards, submarine maintenance problems have plagued the Navy for the past decade. There are no quick fixes for this systemic challenge, but Ronald Giachetti and Paul Beery, professors of systems engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, offer ways to improve efficiency and capacity in “Fighting Submarine Maintenance Bottlenecks.” This is a fascinating article that looks at complexity and queuing theory and the stochastic nature of maintenance work—as well as problems stemming from the advanced age of the Navy’s public shipyards.
Integrating women on submarines was a hotly debated issue in our pages two decades ago. Lieutenant Commanders Emma McCarthy and Andrea Howard, two of the first 100 women submarine officers, write about the process of integrating crews—what went well, what did not, and lessons for submarines that have not yet welcomed their first women crewmembers. Their article, “Different But Equal,” also offers lessons for any organization managing significant culture change.
The Maritime COIN Project is back this month with Navy Captain B. J. Armstrong’s “Counterinsurgency to the Shores of Tripoli.” Captain Armstrong offers valuable lessons from the Navy’s operations against Barbary pirates at the start of the 19th century for today’s efforts to curb Chinese overreach in the South China Sea.
We enjoy telling midshipmen that most of the buildings on the Yard are named for officers who wrote for Proceedings, often starting when they were junior officers. Lieutenants King, Nimitz, and Rickover are prime examples. Fifty or a hundred years from now, which Proceedings authors of this age will be the famous leaders who wrote when they were just starting their naval careers? We ponder this from time to time as we enjoy the privilege of working with today’s authors—especially the young ones. Here’s to the next 150 years of “giving voice to those who seek the finest Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard!”