NSL History

The Naval Submarine League was founded in 1982 to provide a means for Submarine Force leadership to share their vision and direction with the American people, so they could be aware of the need for a strong undersea arm of the U.S. Navy. Several events have been developed which enable government, industry and academia to identify, study and develop potential solutions to undersea warfare challenges. A quarterly journal, The Submarine Review, and ten chapters (some at submarine ports) enable submariners and submarine enthusiasts to be informed.

DRAFT – A Brief History of the Naval Submarine League by CAPT James C. Hay, USN, Ret.:

Forward: To arrive at a “A Brief History of the Submarine League”, The Submarine Review’s ARCHIVE (at the NSL web site) was used to pick out interesting issues within the greater Submarine Force history to illustrate major Submarine League efforts at illustration and education. The ARCHIVE references are shown in brackets. The problem, of course, is an overload of information which is all very interesting. There are a number of great speeches, given on various occasions, and the talks by the Force Commanders give an excellent history of the Force. One can be fascinated by any number of the articles. All of it is great stuff but the emphasis here is on illustration and education of the issues.


“The Beginnings of the League”

[July ‘90] RADM Al Kelln was talking about some sort of a submarine support organization as early as 1980. With concurrence from VADM Shannon Cramer, VADM C huck Griffiths and VADM Jack Williams, Al started the ball rolling. An initial Submarine Supporters meeting was held on May 26 1981 with 37 retired submarine officers present. The next Submarine Supporters meeting was held on May 4 1982 with 111 people present. The year between the meetings was spent by Al sending out flyers and getting together all that was needed for setting up the organization.

At the May ’82 meeting a draft Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws were approved and the name “Naval Submarine League” proposed by Phil Beshany was accepted. The league was incorporated on 30 June of 1982. Admiral Al Whittle was elected as Chairman and the other Directors were VADM Shannon Cramer, VADM Chuck Griffiths, CAPT Jim Keane, CAPT Sandy Levey, Mr. Woody Ramsey, VADM Red Ramage and RADM Al Kelln. The Directors authorized the NSL professional magazine THE SUBMARINE REVIEW, with CAPT Bill Ruhe as Editor and RADM Jim Murray as Publisher.

The Naval Submarine League was underway and growing. During the ‘80s membership grew to over 4200 members and 103 Corporate Benefactors. Five NSL chapters were organized. Admiral R.L.J Long led the way for six years as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. In 1988 the Submarine Technology Symposium, in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, was added to the annual schedule of large-format meetings to broaden the scope of participation within the submarine community as:

  • General —all members
  • Corporate Benefactors—industry leadership
  • Technical (Classified)—engineers, designers, academics

These large-group meetings also provided ample opportunity to invite important members of the administration’s Defense establishment, Congress and senior retired submarine officers of significant note, as speakers for Banquets or Luncheons, as appropriate.

The Naval Submarine League, with The Submarine Review quarterly magazine distributed to many desks in Congress, throughout the Force and to all homes of members throughout the nation, has a significant information output facility and a working information input organization., thus a credible voice to be used for education of the public about the Submarine Service.

“Beginnings of Submarine Development Group”

[April ‘83] A good place to start using the Voice of the League in telling of special Submarine Force work was Frank Adam’s article about Submarine Development Group TWO. He started his description with “One of the brightest ideas the Submarine Force ever had was the formation of a permanent special mission team which employed operating submarines and was called the Submarine Development Group.” He described a meeting in Washington of Admiral Lockwood, Admirals Jimmy Fife, Joe Grenfell, Swede Momsen, Dan Daspit and others at which ideas for killer subs were discussed.

A group of two fleet boats and two Guppies was commissioned in Key West in May 1949 with Roy Benson as Commander. It left on its first SS vs SS exercise in July to operate in the Norwegian and Barents Sea areas as potential areas for US vs Soviet action. One of the boats, Cochino, was lost to a battery fire on the way home. Halfbeak was added as a replacement. The DevGru was transferred to a new home in New London and Benson established good relations with academics interested in the SS vs SS problem. Further exercises pinpointed problems with self-noise and ultra-quiet became a widely used practice. The arrival of K-1 with its BQR 4 big sonar introduced detections at extended ranges and opened new vistas for tactical analyses. New hardware, new submarines and full tactical publications for the force all followed.

“A New Submarine”

[January ‘84] The need for a new class of Attack Submarines was expressed to Congress by the Secretary of the Navy on October 18, 1983. A letter from John Lehman to Hon. Charles E. Bennett, Chairman, Subcommittee on Seapower and Strategy and Critical Materials, in the House of Representatives stressed the importance of the Attack Submarines in a shooting war at sea. SecNav outlined the Soviet force of Attack Submarines and compared them to the USN count. He further went on to note that the current 688 class of submarines did not have the space and weight margins to accept needed improvements.

“Point; Criticism of the Seawolf Program”

[April ‘88] The Washington Post of July 26,1987 carried a syndicated article by Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta with criticism of the SSN-21 (Seawolf) program. The Anderson/Van Atta article starts with: “The Navy wants Congress to spend billions of dollars on a submarine that will ensure that the United States remains dangerously behind the Soviet Union in the race for submarine supremacy.” The Anderson/Atta article stated that Soviet submarines go faster, dive deeper, have greater survivability, are better automated, etc. Therefore are “…significantly ahead of the United States in submarine technology…”.

Their proposal was to cancel the SSN 21 program, build more 688s, and “…launch a substantial effort to develop a truly 21st century submarine.”

CounterPoint: No Mission Context

[April’88]  The counter to the Anderson/Van Atta argument, by David L. Anderson, stipulates that some of the faster, deeper observables may be true, but they are not together on any one submarine. His larger point is that the anti SSN 21 does not have any mission context and concludes that having a lot more of the 688s will not have the impact of a few SSN 21s.

“A Submarine Roundtable”   

[October ’91 A Submarine Roundtable took place in June of1991 and came about through the perceived need to address, in submarine terms, the various issues and questions arising from the seven-month crisis and conflict in the Persian Gulf. The first part is a scene-setter of questions prepared by a committee and distributed to invitees for the Round Table. The second part is the Discussion. In addition to the Discussion there are two points of particular note. First, there was a real effort made to identify the issues facing the Submarine Community and not to dwell on potential programmatic solutions to those issues. The second point is the unanimity as to the essential arguments for the Force, so often remarked by others about the submarine community, was in full evidence as sensitive issues of real importance to the nation, the Navy and the Submarine Force were raised and addressed.

Admiral Trost sponsored the meeting, Vice Admiral Kauderer was the Moderator. Attendees at the Roundtable were:

ADM Bill Crowe                ADM Carl Trost                  VADM Al Baciocco                  VADM Al Burkhalter

VADM Dan Cooper           VADM Chuck Griffiths        VADM Bud Kauderer               VADM Ron Thunman

RADM Jerry Holland        RADM Sumner Shapiro        CAPT Jim Hay                         CAPT Jon Vick

Unable to attend but contributors to the conclusions were:

ADM Bob Long                ADM Al Whittle                  VADM Jon Boyes                     Dr. Doug Johnson

RADM Al Kelln

“The SEAWOLF Debate Point and Counter Point”

[October ‘91] The hottest issue of immediate interest in 1991 was the Seawolf Program and its progress through the perils of production, including a major welding problem, and the comments of those who fail to see the need and others who want to use the funds for different needs. James J. Kilpatrick, a nationally known columnist, wrote a piece which appeared in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot of September 12, 1991, that Senator John McCain R-Ariz had brought an amendment to the floor of the Senate in which he had proposed “… to kill the Navy’s $2 billion baby, the submarine Seawolf.” The article went on to say that Senator McCain said it would be better to spend the money on airlift and sealift. The Kilpatrick/McCain article ended with “Since the heyday of Admiral Hyman Rickover, the submarine service has functioned as the most powerful, privileged and promoted branch of the Navy. This overblown role has never been justified.”

[October ’91 The answer to the Kilpatrick column was written by VADM Roger Bacon, Assistant CNO for Submarine Warfare. He explained that submarine warfare is a one-on-one affair and stealth is all important. VADM Bacon stressed the point that although the government in Moscow has changed, the Soviet submarines are still at sea and are getting better. Besides operations, Admiral Bacon pointed out that submarine development takes 10 -13 years and cutting Seawolf endangers the US ability to build nuclear submarines.

VIDEO Entitled: “Seawolf The Inside Story”

[October ‘91] Besides countering those who don’t agree with us, there are other important things being done by the Submarine League. Bud Kauderer cites one such accomplishment in his President’s column. “Your Naval Submarine League produced a very professional video entitled “SEAWOLF: The Inside Story.” With commentary by our Chairman, ADM Trost.”

“On Not Confusing Ourselves”

[October ‘91] There is one more very important piece from the October ’91 Review. Mr. Robert W Pirie, Jr. has given us an expert’s insider look at an unusual book that is a collection of essays “…which offers a rare opportunity to look back on the building of an intellectual basis for the superpower age just past.” Robin wrote that in 1991 {and 31 years later) we find ourselves still very deeply involved in deterrence (only now it is more complex.) In any case, knowing the foundation of what we are doing is a good thing.

“Support for Seawolf”

[January ‘92] The League’s support chorus for the Seawolf program continued with two articles appearing in different journals thus spreading the word, both are reprinted here. The first is by RADM Jerry Holland and it appeared in the December ’91 issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings. Jerry made the point that the only way to make a submarine design quieter is by making a new design. It is not an additive. Jerry ends his piece with “Someday the United States will have to build the Seawolf. If not now, when?”

The second piece appeared in the December ’91 issue of Sea Power, a Navy League publication. It was written by Vincent C. Thomas, Jr. and was reprinted with permission. It appears to be from an interview with VADM Roger Bacon. It established his experience and expertise and makes the point that the proposal to cancel Seawolf and build more 688s does not add to overall capability. The author quotes Bacon as saying “The Seawolf represents the same kind of quantum leap forward in capability that was so dramatically demonstrated during Desert Storm by the F-117 stealth fighter and the Tomahawk cruise missile.”

In the April 1992 issue of the Submarine Review, VADM Bud Kauderer wrote the following:


[April ‘92] As you are aware, coincident with the delivery of the FY’93 budget, the Administration proposed to eliminate the SEAWOLF submarine (i.e., complete SSN-21; cancel SSN-22 and SSN-23) and to rescind (recapture and redistribute) the previously authorized and appropriated funds. The potential consequences for the future Submarine Force and for our unique and fragile industrial base are matters of great concern.

Select from the following menu:

Reject the proposed rescission and continue construction of the three SEAWOLF class submarines as previously authorized.

  1. Reject the rescission, direct that SSN-21 and SSN-22 be completed; cancel SSN23 (not yet under contract).
  2. Approve the rescission; complete SSN-21; cancel SSN-22 and SSN-23.
  3. Cancel the scheduled refueling overhauls of the early flights of the SSN-688 Class; apply the savings toward the construction of additional Improved SSN-688 Class as gap-fillers until the arrival of the Centurion New SSN.
  4. Accelerate the design phase of the CENTURION New SSN to improve on the current FY ’98 Authorization goal.
  5. All of the above.
  6. None of the above.

You now know about as much as any inside the Beltway mavin. The outcome is uncertain. We are taking advantage of every opportunity to educate, to ensure that all involved in the process are aware of the value to our nation of a strong and ready Submarine Force.

“A Question of Strategic Stability?”

[April ‘93] A Russian oceanographer, physicist and member of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology’s Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies while visiting the MIT DACS Program wrote an article for Breakthroughs, a publication of the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program at MIT. That article was reprinted in The Submarine Review with permission. His subject was the collision between the USN submarine Baton Rouge and a Russian Sierra class submarine. The accident happened on February 11, 1992 when the Russian submarine struck Baton Rouge from astern. The oceanographer did a long discussion of sound conditions limiting sonar detection ranges in that area before declaring the collision an accident and no one’s fault. His main point, however, was to use Baton Rouge’s presence in the area with so many Russian strategic missile submarines home ported to question the strategic stability of USN submarine ASW.

The counter to the issue of strategic stability was ably provided by Ambassador Linton Brooks, an ex-submarine CO who was one of the State Department’s experts in Strategic Arms negotiations. He explained that the issue of Strategic Stability has to do with land-based ICBMs and the question of use before lose does not apply to sea-based submarine SLBMs. He states “…the loss to conventional attack of one SSBN at a time over a period of days or weeks provides no single event of sufficient importance to warrant the irrevocable and catastrophic decision to execute a strategic nuclear strike.” About the specific issue of Baton Rouge in close proximity to Russian waters, he says “…peacetime operations of the type Baton Rouge was conducting are no threat to stability. Indeed, the opposite is true. By increasing US understanding of Russian operations, forward deployments reduce the risk of misinterpreting events during times of tension.” Ambassador Brooks concludes with; “But those of us whose profession is national security need to contemplate the possibility that we may once again be forced to think through the consequences of facing an adversary armed with a powerful nuclear arsenal. If that day comes, submariners must be in the forefront of thinking through the difficult questions of escalation and stability.”


[July ‘93] Defense News, March 8-14,1993: “U.S. Navy planners are looking at as many as 12 submarine alternatives as part of a Pentagon-directed review to determine the most effective design to pursue under the CENTURION program, service sources said March 4. Navy sources said they expect the review to be complete by midsummer but caution that the review may be delayed since it takes a great deal of time to assess each alternative. A separate Pentagon directed study assessing the future of the submarine industrial base should be complete next month, the Navy sources said.”

“The two studies will be used to guide development of CENTURION, a lower cost replacement for the SSN-21 SEAWOLF submarine that was cancelled in 1992 for being too expensive. CENTURION is expected to begin construction in 1998.”


An Editorial of the New York Times, July 26, 1993

The Times editorial starts with “Todays Navy has yet to adjust to today’s realities.” It goes on to quote a Congressional Budget Office study that: “…shows how the Navy can safely reduce the size of the Trident force and slow its tempo of operations, saving billions in the process.” The arithmetic which followed mixed counts of warheads, missiles and submarines to end up with 6 instead of 12 submarines at sea, and end of double crewing. It also recommended retirement of the eight oldest missile submarine submarines and putting seven warheads on each missile instead of the mandated 4 on the D-5s. The resultant warhead inventory was 1680, “…almost as many as it would have under current plans.”

The counter to the Times editorial was written by Jim Hay, Editor of The Submarine Review, an ex-submarine officer who commanded 2 SSBNs and served 5 years as Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy).. Later he was a Director in GD’s Center for Undersea Warfare. “The Times editorial is a smoke signal in the air that dangerous cutting may be done to the nation’s preeminent deterrent force for relatively short-term savings. Their math is simplistic but their logic is also wrong-focused. They have over-emphasized SSBN Effectiveness without considering SSBN Survivability, which is a vital part of the credence of deterrence. Effectiveness can be measured by counting the number of warheads available for launching at their targets on receipt of the appropriate signal, survivability is calculated by the number of hulls employed in the entire enterprise. There are many factors in the equation of utility of a force, they include consideration of what the future may hold in the nature of threats to be addressed. There is also the matter of the opposite to deterrence, which is the invitation for a future enemy to take advantage of a weakened force.”

“Centurion Makes No Sense”

[October ‘93] In the June 28 issue of Defense News James George wrote that the real surprise in the announcement of the Seawolf program cancellation was the promise to proceed with a new, less capable, low-cost submarine code-named Centurion. Most observers were skeptical that the nuclear Navy trained by Adm Rickover could bring itself to build such a ship. It turns out they are probably right. He cites Defense Program costs for Seawolf development at more than $3 billion, followed by a new submarine costing $2.6 billion as a lot for a less capable submarine. Jim George went on about both low-cost alternatives and novel ways on getting rid of surplus submarines. None of the suggestions solved any of the Navy’s problems.

“Sensible Centurion”

[October ‘93] RADM T, D. Ryan, Director, Submarine Warfare Division published a counter to Jim George’s article with another article in the Defense News. ADM Ryan established a half-dozen points to refute the misplaced logic of the George article. First, he shows the Navy is committed to reshaping itself in response to the breakup of the Soviet Union and is not rooted in an antiquated mind set. Next, he describes as wrong the suggestion for a high-low mix. His third point is you cannot get to a solution of this type problem by declaring what king of engines a particular vehicle must have. He concludes the nation needs are submarines which fully exploit the characteristics of mobility, endurance and stealth. He asks what is the value in a submarine which has to return to port every month to refuel?  Finally, he says we need to preserve those highly perishable technical skills needed to design, build and put to sea submarines which are second to none.


Inside the Pentagon, June 3, 1993.

[July ‘93] Pentagon officials are considering a plan to build a third Seawolf attack submarine modified for special operations in FY-96, which would help preserve two shipyards and meet legitimate Defense needs, according to informed sources.

The new boat, the SSN-23, has a price tag of about $2.5 billion, but it will require new funding of only $1.6 billion because portions of the boat have previously been funded by Congress.

“About the Bottom-up Review”

[January ‘94] From a speech by the Secretary of the Navy, Hon. John H. Dalton to the NSIA Submarine Seminar, New London CT. September 22, 1993.

“Many say that the Navy made out well in the “Bottom-Up Review” since Secretary Aspin came to the right conclusion on carriers, attack submarines, ships and the size of the Marine Corps. Bottom-Up Review concluded that the nation needs a modern, highly capable Submarine Force. Specifically, it was agreed that we would maintain a force level of 45-55 attack submarines and would preserve our submarine industrial base with slow, long-term production.”

“Dangers to be Faced After Bottom-Up”

From Remarks delivered by Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet at the NDIA Submarine Seminar New London CT 22 September 1993.

[January ‘94] Secretary Aspin, at a 2 September press conference in which he reported the results of the Bottom-up Review, described the dangers that the United States faces in the post-Soviet Union world. Our defense policy will focus on four main dangers to our security:

  • The spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction
  • Regional conflict -There are a number of regional bad guys that can threaten out interests
  • The failure of democracy in the developing world, where reversals in the tenuous movement toward democracy in a number of countries could change our national security situation
  • A weak economy- in the short term, our economy is protected by a strong military, but in the long run, the country’s national security is best protected by a strong economy

Everything in the Bottom-Up Review had to relate to these four dangers, and they will continue to influence the size and shape of our military forces in the years to come.”

“Fundamental Change in Navy Warfighting Strategy”

From Remarks by RADM Thomas D. Ryan, USN at the Capital Chapter, NSL Luncheon, Arlington, VA,30 November, 1993.

[January ‘94] “The Navy and Marine Corps whitepaper…”From the Sea” together with the “Bottom-Up Review” results describes a fundamental change in naval warfighting strategy. It signals a shift from open ocean warfighting on the sea to joint operations projecting power ashore from the sea. Naval forces will focus on responding to regional crises

IS IT TIME TO JUNK THE NUKES?                                                                    By Paul H. Nitze

[April ‘94] Mr. Nitze is a highly respected authority on Arms Control and is a veteran US negotiator for those matters. He wrote an article, with the above title, for The Washington Post of January 16, 1994. It was reprinted, with permission, in The Submarine Review. He based his question about the need for strategic nuclear weapons on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the shift of the singular nuclear threat to a more complex threat of regional aggression. He goes on to suggest the US shift to a deterrence stand based on smart conventional weapons as more useful in regional crises. Mr. Nitze used the Gulf War experience to show the effectiveness of smart weapons, and also the non-utility of our strategic nuclear weapons in deterring Saddam. Mr. Nitze recognized the necessity of deep national discussions for the use of smart conventional weapons for deterrence of regional crises.


[April ‘94] A commentary about Mr. Nitze’s thoughtful article was offered by RADM Rich Buchanan, the Director of the Strategic Submarine Warfare Division of the Office of the CNO.

He wrote “…the potential for strategic deterrence of regional aggression with conventional arms the premise of the article.” He went on to describe the requirements for effective deterrence:

  • If your weapons are good enough
  • If you can choose the right targets
  • If you have the will to make the appropriate action at the appropriate time
  • If you can communicate clearly to the potential adversary that you can deter him without resorting to the threat of nuclear weapons

He went on to say “Those are several big Ifs but the idea is reasonable; the technology is available and the potential benefits make the idea well worth the focused thinking and energy required to figure out how to make it work.”



RADM M.Y.E. Pelaez USN                             Keynote Address, May 11, 1994                                                            Chief of Naval Research

[October ‘94] Rear Admiral Pelaez reminded all attendees at the Submarine Technology Symposium of the current cuts in the Defense Budget and what that means to the Submarine Force and its primary function. He does so in real terms and leaves no room for under estimating the seriousness of higher authorities’ shift of attention from ASW to integrated, littoral missions. To make his point about “Affordable initiativeshe cites an increased use of COTS in preference to Milspec material whenever possible. He lists a couple of To Dos to particularize his point:

  • We need to look harder at cost and manufacturability early in the R & D process
  • We need to look at the whole process of life cycle maintenance in a COTS environment
  • We need to attain the necessary degree of reliability, provide for supply support

Also, for the industrial community he suggests they look to the civil commercial world for applicability of their programs.

Admiral Pelaez went on to say that ONR is searching hard to determine those technological developments which will truly make a difference for our naval forces. Some which he believes will be important are:

  • Time Critical Strike
  • Information Dominance
  • Environmental Dominance

In addition, Joint operations will require a greater degree of connectivity submarines have been used to in the past, which may include:

  • SHF/EHF satellite links
  • Greater use of imagery
  • Rea time communications
  • New types of antennas


The January 1995 Issue of The Submarine Review has several items of great importance and high interest for the entire submarine community. It is recommended that you read all three of these in full. At least, however, do read the complete story of the NEW ATTCK SUBMARINE INDEPENDENT REVIEW GROUP by VADM J. Guy Reynolds.


“New Attack Submarine Independent Characteristic Review”

by VADM J, Guy Reynolds, USN (Ret.)

[January ‘95] Editor’s Note: More than 10 years ago (about 1985) the Navy began concept definition for an attack submarine follow-on to the SEAWOLF class. In the early 1990s, the process matured to the point of requesting formal approval for the new attack submarine.

“Preface   At the 12 January 1994 New Attack Submarine (NSSN) Defense Acquisition Board, Dr. John Deutch acknowledged that a nuclear attack submarine program is vital to our nation’s security.” He also asked the Secretary of the Navy for assistance in assembling an independent review group to examine the ability of the NSSN baseline design to perform its military missions from the viewpoint of its major characteristics. Ms. Slatkin, ASN(RDA) appointed an outside group of technical experts to review the NSSN baseline design. VADM J. Guy Reynolds was named Chairman of the group. He described the Group’s deliberations and recommendations in terms of major characteristics:

  • Speed
  • Submarine Signature
  • Payload
  • Combat Systems
  • Cost Consideration

The Top-Level conclusions were that the NSSN program is consistent with Department of Defense objectives (bottom-Up Review) and there are no Emerging Technologies on the horizon that warrant delay of NSSN.


“The New Security Environment”

[January ‘95]  The Secretary of Defense Press Release, September22, 1994

SecDef announced the results of DoD’s Nuclear Posture Review.

“In light of the post Cold War era, President Bill Clinton directed the Defense Department to reexamine its forces…, First, there was the Bottom-Up Review of U.S. conventional force structure…Now we have just completed a review of our nuclear forces,”

Strategic Nuclear Forces “The most important results of the NPR can be seen in the decisions the strategic nuclear force structure the U.S. plans to retain after the START II Treaty is implemented”.

  • 14 Trident submarines carrying Trident II (D-5) missiles-rather than 18 submarines, 10 carrying D-5 and 8 carrying C-4 missiles
  • 66 B-52 bombers, reduced from the 94 planned a year ago
  • No requirement for any additional B-2 bombers in a nuclear role
  • All B-1 bombers will be reoriented to a conventional role
  • Three wings of Minuteman III missiles carrying single warheads (500-450)

Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces  

  • Retain our current commitment to NATO of dual capable aircraft based in Europe and the deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe (less than 10% 0f Cold War levels)
  • Retain continental U.S. based dual-capable aircraft
  • Eliminate the option to deploy nuclear weapons on carrier-based dual capable aircraft
  • Eliminate the option to carry nuclear cruise missiles on surface ships
  • Retain the capability to deploy nuclear cruise missiles on submarines

Nuclear Safety, Security and Use Control

  • The U.S. equip all its nuclear weapons systems, including submarines, with coded control devices by 1997

The NPR news report goes on to give Background information

The Submarine Review article includes comments by both House and Senate Appropriations Committees on the New Attack Submarine Building Program cost.

“NPR & Navy”

[January ‘95] The third article in the January issue with nuclear weapons interest in the January ’95 Submarine Review is by Captain Bill Norris who was then Chief of the Nuclear Division of the Joint Staff. He is a submarine officer with previous staff experience in naval nuclear weapons systems. His article is titled “Nuclear Posture Review and the Navy.” It is a lesson-to-be-learned by the submarine community if we get to the option left open by NPR for a nuclear cruise missile for submarines. [January ‘95]

“SSN 23 and the new SSN”

[July ‘95] The Hon. Richard K Danzig, Under Secretary of the Navy, addressed the question of the “SSN 23 and the new SSN” at the Submarine League’s Annual Symposium on June 7, 1995. He was addressing the decision to retain two building yards and cited the premium for that at three percent of submarine building costs between now and 2012. He went on to say: “We have agreed amongst all of us that the New Attack Submarine is where we all want to be. The how to get there is the issue. My sense in this regard is that one has to play the ball where it lies. Where it lies is that we have $900 million invested in a third Seawolf. For an additional expenditure of $1.5B we can achieve that third submarine. I view that as eminently sensible-for three very basic reasons.

  • One, this is the world’s best submarine
  • Two, at the moment it is the least expensive submarine we can buy
  • Three, The Seawolf represents to us a sensible way of sustaining our submarine building capacity at the same time we are evolving to the New Attack Submarine.”
[July ‘95] At the same Annual Symposium at which USECNAV talked about the “SSN 23 and the NSSN Question” VADM Georg W. Emery, COMSUBLANT addressed the question from a different level: “The question of whether or not we should choose to build advanced technology submarines like the SSN 23 and the New Attack Submarine could be stated in its more basic form: whether or not we choose to dominate the future undersea battlespace.”

[July ‘95] Admiral Long’s “Welcome to the Technology Symposium” reminded all of the change from the old era of Soviet threat but also echoed the Secretary of the Navy who said that “attack submarines are the prerequisites to our ability to carry out the Navy’s strategic mission.” The Admiral then went on to recommend Admiral Bill Owens new book High Seas. In the same issue The Submarine Reviewreviewed the book and included an interview with Admiral Owens.


“Living in a Time of Change- -A Conversation With The Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of STAFF”

[July ‘95] Dealing with change -both evolutionary and revolutionary-has been a constant theme in Bill Owens’ thoughts and actions, and with the publication of High Seas, he has put into print some of his personal views about the changes facing the Naval Service. The interview was conducted By Captain Jim Hay, Editor of the Submarine Review and by Captain Sam Tangredi a frequent contributor to the Review. The interview consisted of questions specifically about the book its observations and its recommendations, except for the first question, a general one about the Submarine Force, which is reproduced here:

Question: Since we represent a submarine-oriented audience, we would like to begin by asking what you see as the factors affecting our Submarine Force?

Admiral Owens: Two of the factors that submariners really need to consider-in addition to fiscal constraints and budget considerations-are, first, the subtle nature of change in deterrence, and second, the need for increasing jointness.

In looking at deterrence, we need to ask what is it in the new world order, or disorder of today? Does the current policy of engagement and enlargement of democracy-as described in the National Security strategy-require us to maintain the same strategic deterrent as throughout the Cold War. Obviously, this deterrent has moved primarily to sea in our Trident fleet…but will nuclear deterrence be effective in deterring new world threats? What does that mean for Trident?

Submariners will continue to be more joint. We are spending a lot more time at periscope depth, In years past we didn’t we didn’t express much interest beyond SEAL and other operations, but now must continue to think more about how we interact directly with the battlefield ashore.




By Admiral William A. Owens, U. S. Navy

Reviewed by Sam J. Tangredi

[July ‘95] Editor’s Note: This Is not a usual book review because this is not a usual book. This is a book of observations and recommendations from a professional naval officer of long and brilliant service as a submarine officer who was at the apex of the US military organization when he wrote the book. It can be expected that he was completely informed of all intelligence of foreign military activity. His observations can be accepted as completely credible.

Captain Tangredi has both Command at Sea and senior staff experience, has a PHD in International Affairs and has written widely on military affairs



By VADM Albert J. Baciocco, Jr. USN

[July ‘96] The Panel was charged to provide an independent evaluation of available and future submarine technologies, as well as an assessment of the costs, benefits and possible drawbacks to their incorporation into the new submarine. They were also tasked with coming up with a technology insertion plan for submarines. A panel of 14 included experts in the application of technology, submarine operations and all had long experience in working with government They started gathering information by talking with those who had testified before the House National Security Committee about submarine technology They also solicited technology suggestion from shipyards and industry.

The panel considered technologies in the new submarine design, those submitted in response to the solicitation, and those funded by the DoD and Navy technology community. Both strengths and weaknesses were noted. The several areas of technology examined separately.  The panel concluded that the present new submarine technology design is appropriate. The panel strongly encouraged the Navy to consider panel recommendations for revolutionary technologies which should be pursued, the need for stability in R&D funding, and suggestions for improved management authority and accountability



Status Report by

ADM Hank Chiles, USN (Ret.)

and CAPT Dave Cooper, USN (Ret.)

[April ‘98] The official & first announcement of the Submarine Centennial Celebration to be held during the whole year of 2000. ADM Chiles has agreed to be the Chairman and CAPT Dave Cooper is his Deputy and Action Officer. The Honorary Chairmen are ADM Bill Crowe and Admiral Jim Watkins. All three submarine Veterans’ organizations are being brought together to assist the Active-duty Submarine Force in making this a country-wide event. Committees have been formed and several projects are already in the works.

Suggestions are needed for activities in your area. Please contact us at Naval Submarine League Headquarters.



Dr, John Foster

[July ‘98] Dr. Foster is one of the Nation’s pre-eminent scientists in the field of National Security. He is a former Director of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and as Director of Defense Research and Development (RDT&E) the third highest office in the Pentagon.  

Some brief excerpts from Dr. Foster’s talk will perhaps outline his points but only a full reading will show his real intent.

He cites the Chairman, JCS document which calls for forces by 2010 “which will dominate an adversary over the full range of missions and conflicts.” And “That dominance must be the result of the unique military capabilities of our forces, and we can’t expect to do it by sheer numbers.” “To be dominant we must reach for some revolutionary capabilities.”

“To this date, the Polaris concept, followed by the Poseidon and the Trident has been the dominant element of our strategic deterrent during the Cold War.”

“It is useful to identify some things that will remain the same and some things will change. What will remain the same is the need for the U.S. to maintain a strategic nuclear deterrent and to provide assured protection of the world’s sea lanes and sea lift.”

“The New SSN is certainly a step in the right direction….” “however, its’ clear that the supporting R&D lags the ship’s construction.”

“My sense is that the challenge we are likely to face and must surmount will demand more capability and flexibility than it will be practical to retrofit into the New SSN. It’s now nine years since we started to design the New SSN, so it’s time to take a clean sheet of paper and begin to think through just what kind of a submarine we will require to provide dominance in the littoral regions in 2015 and beyond.”

“The first mission that I believe needs more attention in intelligence.” “ And, in my opinion, it is the intelligence missions in peacetime that set the number of submarines required in the force.”

“,,,our future SSNs must be able to communicate with more bandwidth and with much less chance of being detected,…”

“I urge the Navy to make a more robust investment in SSBN and SSN security technologies and focused technology investments.”




BY Adm James D. Watkins, USN (Ret.)

[October ‘98] ADM Jim Watkins gave a moving account of the preparations for Admiral Rickover’s retirement from the Navy, citing every opportunity to remember the Admiral’s drive to increase the professionalism of what we all did.   [October ‘98]



By ADM Hank Chiles USN (Ret.)

and CAPT Dave Cooper USN (Ret.)

[April ‘99] A complete run down of funding, the Smithsonian Exhibit; the USPS stamp issue and a full schedule of planned events across the nation.



By Mel Lyman, CAPT USN (Ret.)

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

[April ‘99] Mel Lyman is an experienced SSBN officer and an ex-CO of an SSBN, currently the Safety and Surety Officer at APL. He explains the 1997 installation of USE -CONTROL in USN SSBNs. He goes over the Fail-Safe and Risk Reduction Commission under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick and the Deputy Chairmanship of ADM R.L.J. Long He notes that their “findings were extensive and thorough. For SSBN Strategic Weapons Systems, however, they were few.” Their recommendation was to lock-up a critical component of the SSBN Strategic weapons system in an on-board safe to which the crew would not have access.  At time of launch, authorization the would be provided from an off-board source. “The key component was determined to be the Commanding Officer’s key (the Captain’s Indicator Panel or CIP key).”



By Dr. Paul Wolfowitz, May 11, 1999

[July ‘99] Paul Wolfowitz was one of the very smart young men who rose to prominence in the last quarter of the last century. He was a Political Scientist who was active in the political-military world.  After the time of this speech, he was President of the World Bank.

His speech discusses the changes being felt at the end of an era in which the US was not only paramount but was allied with all the other leading powers. He noted the confusion caused by trying to accommodate military planning to near term, mid term and future situations. He then specialized on the evolution of China.

He ends with Churchill describing the pre-War I period and comparing it with 38-39 and he says: “I believe to avoid confronting ourselves with a situation of similarly dramatic change it is important that we maintain our ability to change militarily, that we maintain the preeminence that the US and our allies enjoy today. I believe that is something that can’t be achieved, except with real effort and real innovation. So, keep it up and we’ll check back in 25 years.”



The Centennial Cold War Exhibition at the Smithsonian

National Museum of American History”

by CAPT John Shilling, USN (Ret.)

[July ‘99] A highlight of the Submarine Centennial Celebration of 2000 was the full-scale exhibition in the Smithsonian. CAPT John shilling was a major actor in getting approval for that exhibition and in setting it up. That story, in itself, was a wonder to all of us experienced in submarine operations and knew the fine lines of classification which could not be crossed. John tells he whole tale in this article, which is presented in its various sections of: The Concept, The Start-up; The Story; The Audience; The Hardware; The Medium and a Summary.



By CAPT Dave Cooper USN (Ret.)

and CDR Rick Dau USN (Ret.)

[ January 2000] EVENTS: The following are the six Flagship events plus several highlighted ones:

  1. Submarine Stamp First Day Issuance
  2. Washington Submarine Force Centennial Birthday Ball
  3. Smithsonian Exhibit Opening
  4. SUBLANT International Submarine Visit
  5. SUBPAC international Submarine Visit
  6. San Diego Fleet Week
  7. Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
  8. Deterrent Park, Bangor, Washington
  9. Wisconsin Maritime Museum
  10. Submarine Library and Museum, Subase, New London
  11. USS COD (SS 224), Cleveland, Ohio
  12. Albacore Park, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  13. Cold War Submarine Memorial, Charleston, South Carolina .




The Right Ship for the Future”

By ADM Skip Bowman

[April 2000] ADM Bowman makes several points regarding the Virginia class submarines now being built. The first is that budgetary constraints mean that every Navy asset be cost-effective as well as operationally  effective, and that nuclear submarines are already one of the most cost-effective components in the US arsenal. The second point is that the current building rate and the total number of attack submarines being required is not sufficient to meet known demands, therefor, in short, the Navy needs to build a sufficient number of Virginia class submarines.

“…unparalleled capabilities in the area of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” were pointed out for Virginia class submarines. In addition, he cited the armament needed “for significant impact on events ashore.”





Remarks by ADM F. L. Bowman, USN Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion

Submarine Technology Symposium 2002

[July ‘02] ADM Bowman argues for fundamental changes to the process to achieve the end result of delivering needed capability to the warfighters. “The only meaningful way to reach forward through the technology screen is to—build-test-build test-deploy. That’s not what we do today.”  He went on to note several examples of submarines providing front-line capability to the fleet while simultaneously prototyping new capabilities. At the end of his argument, he asks the technology community to consider how we can do this technology development process better and turn those slides into something real, something practical.






ADM F.L. BOWMAN USN, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion


NOTE: A Copy of these Remarks were reprinted with the July 2003 cover of the Submarine                                          Review and was sent to all Members of the Congress [July ‘93]



By Rear Admiral John D. Butler, USN, Program Executive Officer (Submarines)

[October ‘03] John Butler gives a virtual introductory tour of VIRGINIA, including a description of the unique way it was designed and built. The Navy formed an Integrated Product and Process Development Group made up of everyone who would play a part in a VIRGINIA-class submarine from design to decommissioning. VIRGINIA was the first Warship designed by computer.

New technologies were introduced and most systems are open architecture using COTS hardware and software. Another major advancement in VIRGINIA is her telescoping, non-hull penetrating Photonics mast. Divorcing the periscope function from the Control Room permitted a more efficient arrangement of compartments.

There is less crew on VIRGINIA than on earlier submarines but more weapons, including heavy weight torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. A crucial characteristic is its stealth; it’s quieter at 25 knots than the LOS ANGELES class is at pier side.


THE THIRD BATTLE: Innovation in the U.S. Navy’s

Silent Cold War Struggle with Soviet Submarines

Reviewed by Captain Sam Tangredi,U.S.N.

[October’03] “Dr. Cote is well known to readers of THE SUBMARINE REVIEW as one of the premier outside-of-the- Navy scholars of submarine operations as an element of national strategy” Captain Tangredi, himself a scholar of national strategy, (see the review of ADM Owens’ HIGH SEAS in the July  ’95 issue) describes the analyses by which Dr. Cote arrives at his conclusions. For all who wondered what we did in the Cold War, this is part of the answer.



By CAPT John Richardson, USN, COMSUBDEVRON 12

[January ‘06] Commodore Richardson cites his experience (which is super at-sea experience) “…that if we’re to translate improvements in technology into improvements in tactical performance, we must focus on technology as a tool to improve command decision making.” He differentiates between analytical decision making and intuitive decision making and shows why the intuitive model is the more desirable type. From that basis he goes on to analyze the intuitive decision-making process and how to develop it. The next step is to integrate the new Tactical Decision Aid into its proper place and that is based on trust. It is all an answer to the question “How does the Skipper know what to do?”



by Dr. Thomas O. Paine

[April ‘06] History Editors’ Note: After going through over 30 short summaries of articles marking the History of the Naval Submarine League acting as a public voice of the Submarine Force, you have now qualified for a genuine SEA STORY. Dr. Thomas O. Paine’s story of his time in the immediate post-war Japan and in decommissioning Japanese submarines is one of the best, particularly about his cruise in one across the Pacific.





[January ‘07] The introduction consists of two letters. The first is from ADM DeMars to Dr. Spassky thanking him for giving permission to reprint his essay in THE SUBMARINE REVIEW. The second letter is Dr. Spassky’s reply to ADM DeMars’ earlier request for permission to reprint.



by I. D. Spassky

[January ‘07] The lead-in to the History is a resume of the author’s professional life and lists his many awards It is followed by a PREFACE, about the beginnings of the Russian Submarine Force, and the design bureaus, now two, Rubin and Malakhit. He notes that about 1,100 submarines were built in Russia during the 100 years.

He then gets to a Short Course, in which he  ”outlines in wide strokes of a paint brush” the basic historic events of the Russian submarine shipbuilding history.






by J. Guy Reynolds, VADM, USN (Ret.) President of the Naval Submarine League

[April ‘07] ADM J. Guy Reynolds rode the HAWAII, the third ship of the class, and gave a virtual tour of the Control Room with all its great displays, and the Command Workstation.  His opinion was that the VIRGINIA class ships could do all the traditional submarine missions-just better.

Admiral Reynolds looked into several mission areas and commented on their capabilities:

  • Covert Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Special Warfare
  • Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine Warfare
  • Covert Precision Strike and Direct Support of Forces Ashore.




By RADM Tom Brooks, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Bill Manthorpe, USN (Ret.)

[July ‘07]   Two highly respected Naval Intelligence officers have strongly criticized a book which purports to describe an intelligence project of national importance of the late 70s and early 80s. They charge that: “not only did Vistica (the author of the book) mis-portray the elements of the story, he also chose to vilify some of the players who were, in fact, the true heroes.”



By VADM Jay Donnelly

Commander, Submarine Forces

[January ‘08] “SSGN is now a reality.”  “OHIO is on deployment and it was delivered on cost and on schedule. FLORIDA and MICHIGAN will deploy next year, and GEORGIA is nearing the end of her conversion,” He went on to show a film of FLORIDA during the OPEVAL of her strike warfare assessment.




By VADM A.D.H. Mathews, CB, MCe, ECnG, MIMEchE

Chief of Materiel Fleet, Royal Navy

[July ‘09] VADM Mathews promised to look back on 50 years of collaboration between the U.S. and the U.K., but he went back over 100 years to the Royal Navy contract to Electric Boat to build five Holland design submarines under license at the Vickers Maxim Shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness. He also cited the Quebec Agreement of 1943 which made Britain a Junior partner in the Manhattan Project. It was the 1958 Agreement which enabled the transfer of the USS SKIPJACK submarine design to the UK. It was negotiated between Admirals Rickover and Lord Mountbatten. It was under Bowman’s and Donald’s leadership that technical exchanges between nuclear propulsion teams deepened. Currently, there are 36 engineers from the naval reactors program in the UK.

He also covered the exchanges on weapon design principles which are still ongoing. It included the offer of Polaris.  [July ‘09]





[January 2011] RADM Conner, in speaking to the Annual Symposium, addressed four major issues:

  1. Nuclear Deterrence
  2. Operating in an Anti-Access Environment
  3. Submarine Force Structure
  4. Coordination of the Undersea Battle Space

It is an excellent over view of what has to be done, particularly what has to be done by higher authority.





[April ‘11] The issues facing the Submarine Force in the five year and out periods are visible from a look at the currently planned Force Structure over a 40 year period:

  • Completion of the OHIO Replacement-The prime objective, no planning can interfere.
  • All four SSGNs decommission by 2028—Under Sea Strike Volume decrease
  • SSN Shortfall, a gap –A trough appears at a critical point

The integrated planning which can get us through the critical, and vulnerable, gap is shown. {April’11]



By Admiral Ricard W. Mies USN (Ret.)

[Fall 2011] Admiral Mies cites several recent high level studies to state: “…there has been a paucity of senior-level Administration thinking on the role of our strategic deterrent“ and, “…the result is a glaring mismatch between the rhetoric of national strategy and the resources committed to our national strategy objectives.” He goes on to focus on the risks of further strategic force reductions:

  • The credibility of our extended nuclear deterrent may fall into serious question by some of our allies.
  • Below certain levels, potential adversaries may be encouraged to challenge us.
  • At some level it will become more difficult to sustain the present strategic triad.

Admiral Mies’ illustration of The Strategic Targeting Doctrine Dilemma is very telling. A plot of available weapons vs required damage levels shows a drastic reduction in weapons forcing a change of doctrine from a Flexible Response (counter force) to one of counter-population.

Characterization of The Nuclear Enterprise as a pyramid with Strategic Weapons at its peak gives a picture of the greater picture of support (military, industrial, scientific) required; with arms control only based on the peak. Age of the stockpile and costs of it are also put into context.



Admiral Kirkland H. Donald

U.S. Navy, Director, Naval Reactors

[Fall ‘11] Admiral Donald sets the ground for his discussion of safety from the unexpected by citing that the “Submarine Force operates in complex, high consequence environments where vigilance is always required.” “Therefore, it is imperative that the Submarine Force continuously embody fundamentals that have made us so successful.” He went on to stress that our culture analyzes its mistakes and shares the lessons learned. NR also looks at mistakes other organizations make in order to learn from them.

To that end he set about describing three unique and tragic events:

  • The nuclear disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico
  • The loss of THRESHER

Discussion of each event came up with sets of lessons-to-be-learned

A telling point the Admiral made was that in the period from1915 to1963 the Navy had 17 non-combat losses of submarines for a total of 473 submariners lost. He concluded: “after reviewing the piping system failures of some other early nuclear submarines, it seems that a tragedy like THRESHER was almost inevitable because the Submarine Force was not learning from its mistakes.”




By Mr. Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs

[Winter 2013] Potential oversight issues for Congress for the OHIO Replacement program include the following:

  • The reasons for deferring the start of the SSBN (X)to FY 2021 procurement by two years, to FY2021, the cost and operational impact of this decision and whether it would be feasible and cost effective to restore the start of procurement to FY 2019.
  • The plan to design the SSBN(X) with 16 SLBN tubes rather than 20.
  • The likelihood that the Navy will be able to reduce the average procurement cost of boats 2-12 in the program to the target figure of $4.9 billion each in FY 2010 dollars
  • The accuracy of the Navy’s estimate of the procurement cost of each SSBN(X)
  • The prospective affordability of the OHIO replacement program and its potential impact on funding available for other Navy shipbuilding programs, and
  • The question of which shipyard or shipyards will build SSBN(X)s.


Discussion of each issue is covered by copy of testimony during hearings.




With bombers shifted to other duties and missiles aging out, the arsenal requires modernizing.

[June 2017] This OP-ED article was published in The Wall Street Journal and was updated on January 11,2017. It is published here with permission of the authors. This open letter is signed by the following retired four star U.S. Air Force and Navy officers, all former commanders of the United States Strategic Command or its predecessor, the Strategic Air Command: Gen, C. Robert Kehler, Gen. Larry D. Welch, Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., Gen. Kevin B. Chilton, Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Adm Henry G. Chiles, Gen. Eugene E. Habiger and Adm. Richard W. Mies.

Then follows the open letter.




The Hon. Peter Viselosky                                                                              The Hon. Ken Calvert

Chairman, SubCom. on Defense                                                                 Ranking Member, SubCom on Defense

Committee on Appropriations                                                                    Committee on Appropriations

Dear Chairman Viselosky and Ranking Member Calvert:

As you develop the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense appropriations bill, we urge continued bipartisan support for the submarine force and the nationwide industrial base that supports it.

Virginia-class Submarine

The Virginia -class submarine remains one of the most effective……We urge you to continue your strong support for the Virginia-class submarine by:

  • Fully funding Virginia-class procurement at the requested level of $7.156 billion which funds the procurement of three Virginia-class submarines.
  • Fully funding advance procurement at the requested level of $1.888 billion and Economic Oder of Quantity (EOQ) at the requested level of $882 million to fully support Block V procurement.
  • Fully funding Navy RDT&E, New Design SSN, at the requested level of $121 million to support fielding advanced capabilities to the attack submarine fleet.

Columbia-class Submarine

Ballistic missile submarines are the backbone of the United States strategic deterrent. The Columbia-class submarine will replace the current Ohio-class… to this end we urge you to continue your support for the Columbia-class program by:

  • Funding Columbia-class advance procurement at $1.852 billion which includes an increase in funding for supplier development to $175 million.
  • Fully funding Navy RDT&E, Columbia-class design, at the requested level of $419 million to ensure maximum design completion in advance of construction.

Thank you, as always, for your strong support for these undersea investment priorities. We look forward to working with you on this important issue this year.

/s/ seventy-four Members of Congress



VADM Charles Richard, USN

Commander, Submarine Forces, Commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic,

& Commander, Allied Submarine Command

[March 2020] In speaking to the Annual Symposium, Admiral Richard discussed all that is being done to emphasize War Fighting with Attack Teacher sessions between Ships, the activation of an Aggressor Squadron and some organizational changes to put muscle into the emphasis. In addition, he suggested some Tenets for War Fighting which he can see as probable for the future; the primary one of course, has to do with Strategic Deterrence. Then, with the boats on tactical missions he cites a first tenet is to avoid detection, and he has several specifics which are very interesting. A third is to exert Undersea Dominance, again with interesting details. There are some others which involve advanced concepts but the last is an emphatic Get Faster in doing all the necessary actions.



“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father”

VADM George W. Emery, USN (Ret.)

[September 2020] VADM Emery explains what the “SEA TRIAL LETTERS” are all about (Editor’s note: All submarine officers who rode a ship’s first sea trials are very familiar with Admiral HGR’s letters to VIPs. These letters are different; written on the same occasion, but more personal.) Admiral Emery also explains how these letters came to be in his possession. The actual letters from SEAWOLF and HALIBUT are shown.


“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father; Chapter Two”

“Operation Sunshine and Exploration of the Arctic Basin”

[December 2020] Admiral Emery outlines the background behind the first ice trip by NAUTILUS and the later west to east Polar transit by NAUTILUS and SKATE’s exploration of the Arctic Basin. These were followed by SARGO’s winter trip to the Pole through the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea. SEA DRAGON then made the east to west transit though the Northwest Passage, another first. Those letters are also shown.


“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father”

“Speed, Recognition and Reach:

SKIPJACK, A Gold Medal, and a Submerged Navigation of the World”

[March 2021] Letters From both trials of SKIPJACK and TRITON and many from TRITON’s World Cruise. There is also a letter from Lewis Straus, who used to be Chairman of the AEC and was then Acting Secretary of Commerce.


“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father”

“The Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine”

[June 2021] Letters from trials of the submarines GEORGE WASHINGTON, PATRICK HENRY, ETHAN ALLEN, WOODROW WILSON, and HENRY CLAY. With his letter report of the trials for WILL ROGERS, the Admiral included a one page summary of the 41 ship class of FBMs.


“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father”

“Fast Attack Submarines, Saturdays, Sundays and Nights”

[September 2021] Admiral Emery’s fourth installment, about attack boats tells the story of building SSNs 1960 to 1981. Included here are from the following trials: TULLIBEE, SCULPIN, PERMIT, GUARDFISH, HAMMERHEAD, ARCHERFISH, GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB, LOS ANGELES and BOSTON.

The Sea Trial letters from Admiral Rickover to his son ended with the BOSTON letter.


“Robert Masters Rickover’s Letters From His Father”

Dedicated to the Memories

Of those lost with the Thresher and Scorpion”

VADM George W. Emery USN, Ret.

[December 2021] VADM Emery has a short description of both THRESHER and SCORPION and the letter from Admiral Rickover to his son for the sea trials of each submarine. There is an additional letter from the Admiral to his son upon completion of the trials for ANDREW JACKSON just after the loss of THRESHER in which he quotes a prayer from Breton fishermen for hundreds of years: