Submarines: July 22, 2002


The Navy finds itself with only 54 nuclear attack submarines at a time when it needs 65 to conduct the War on Terrorism. Theater commanders are demanding more and more submarine patrols in their areas, and there are just not enough subs to go around. A number of steps have been taken to get more out of the submarines on hand. These include allowing the subs to transit from port to theater at higher speeds (which can be heard and tracked more easily, although one would assume Al Qaeda doesn't have a lot of destroyers with ASW systems), reducing turnaround time, and pushing Operational Tempo to 85 percent, a level regarded as ridiculous. (The official target on which the size of the submarine force is based is 60 percent.) Time for heavy maintenance, training, and experiments in new tactics or with new equipment has been zeroed out, and the existing submarines are being literally worn out from over use. When the Clinton Administration slashed the submarine force, every analyst in (and out of) the Navy said it was a bad idea that would come back to haunt the US during the next crisis. And the Bush Administration had planned (before 11 Sept) to cut the force by three more subs rather than pay for expensive refuelings. Three subs will be home ported at Guam in order to reduce transit times to the most distant patrol zones.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Submarines: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close