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1998 in Review: Initiative, Innovation, and Change

This Annual Review presents a selection of text and pictures that portray the missions, programs, organization, and people of today’s Submarine Force. You will find information here about the location of our boats and an overview of the deployments that were completed in 1998. In many ways, the story in 1998 was much the same as it has been in years past: that of well-trained Sailors taking sophisticated platforms to sea and doing great things. But 1998 was a critical year for the Submarine Force. For the first time, we became asset-limited rather than mission-limited – in the sense that as a result of the dramatic cutbacks in the size of the force, we no longer have enough platforms to do all the things that are asked of us. The numbers tell a story all their own. In October 1997, we were a force of 73 SSNs – 14 less than the 87 we had in September 1991. Today we are at 58 SSNs.

The Submarine Force is responding to this new reality by moving out on several wide-ranging initiatives to improve efficiency. Many of the best of these new initiatives were recommended at the deckplate level, and among these force-wide improvements are:

  • Changing the tactical inspection program to schedule just one inspection per Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC). For most ships, this means combining the Tactical Readiness Examination with Pre-Overseas Movement Certification (POMCERT)
  • Scheduling mod-Alert SSBNs (already underway) to participate in lieu of SSNs as opposing force (OPFOR) submarines for fleet exercises
  • Uncoupling carrier task group SSN deployment dates from the Battlegroup underway date. This allows one SSN to deploy a few weeks before or after the battlegroup to meet SSN forward-presence requirements
  • Issuing a joint COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPAC basic Operational Order to standardize policy and operational procedures for submarines worldwide
  • Streamlining formal school requirements for SSNs and SSBNs. This eliminated 186 man-days of schoolhouse training per SSN and 202 man-days per SSBN
  • Eliminating Supply and Food Service Inspections by using new technologies to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of logistics and food service
  • Reengineering the Command Inspection Program to fully utilize the results of other inspections, assist visits, and training availabilities. This has reduced the command inspection program from a five-day visit requiring 15 inspectors, to a day-and-a-half visit requiring five inspectors

At this point, we have fewer submarines than we have had since the beginning of World War II. As we continue to reduce the force to the 50 SSNs mandated by the Quadrennial Defense Review, we will need to draw heavily on the spirit of innovation that has always been a hallmark of the Submarine Force, to find new and better ways to carry our tradition of excellence into the submarine’s second century.





Table of Contents


Attack Submarines in Carrier Battlegroup Operations

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Allied Engagement

Mine Warfare

Undersea Warfare – Pins and Insignia

Submarine Force Organization

1998 Battle Efficiency “E” Winners

Submarine Strike

Special Warfare

Sea Control

Submarine Strategic Deterrence