Academy Graduate Serves 40 Years in the Submarine Force, Leaves Historic Legacy 
By JOC Michael Foutch, USN, with information from the Navy Wire Service 

Photo of ADM Robert L.J. LongRetired Admiral Robert L.J. Long, who served 40 years with the Submarine Force, passed away on 27 June 2002 and was honored at a memorial service on 11 July at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. ADM Long's family and more than one hundred friends from the sea service and the corporate community heard Chaplain Luther Alexander characterize ADM Long as having "led a life that should encourage all of us." 

A 1943 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, ADM Long was the Vice Chief of Naval Operations from 1977 until 1979, and the 11th Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Pacific Forces (CINCPAC) from 1979 to 1983. Perhaps his greatest achievement , however, was inspiring and influencing many of the Navy leaders who occupy some of the top command positions today. One of them, current CINCPAC ADM Thomas Fargo, said, "He was a very strong, yet - I would say - a warm and charismatic leader. The first time I met ADM Long was in 1976, when I took a position as his aide," ADM Fargo remembered during the ceremony. "He said, 'Tom, I want you to know I didn't hire you to carry my bags. I hired you for your brains. But - you're gonna carry the bags, too.'" 

Four days after ADM Long took over as CINCPAC on 31 October 1979, Iranian militants overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and seized 70 American staff members. The U.S. response included a show of military strength in the Indian Ocean, demanding long, tensionfilled hours from the new CINCPAC. After a four-year tenure, dealing with the Soviet threat in the Western Pacific and working to build a warm relationship between the military and local residents in Hawaii, ADM Long retired in June 1983. "I think he felt it was important for the military to have a strong relationship with Hawaii and its people, and that's where he put his emphasis," Fargo said. "Even after he retired, he came back here about every year to visit." 

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, ADM Long graduated from the Academy with distinction following an accelerated course of study imposed by the demands of World War II. Subsequently, he served aboard the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45), earning the Bronze Star with combat "V" for his meritorious service as plotting room officer during operations against Japanese forces in the Philippine Islands and the Ryukyus late in the war. 

Photo, Caption Follows
Surrounded by members of his family, ADM Long's son, Robert Long, of Seattle, Washington, receives the ceremonial flag.

Following the war and Submarine School, Long served at sea on several submarines and also as an associate professor with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Unit at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Then, after graduating from the Naval War College in 1954 and commanding USS Sea Leopard (SS-483), he served on ADM Rickover's staff in 1959 and 1960. Next, he was the first Gold-crew commander of the Navy's second U.S. ballistic missile submarine, USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) fro m August 1960 to August 1963 and then the Commanding Officer of the Lafayette-class SSBN USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633) (Blue). 

After his promotion to flag rank, ADM Long served with Commander, Service Group THREE/Commander Task Force 73, and Deputy Commander for Fleet Maintenance and Logistic Support, Naval Ship Systems Command, before assuming duty as Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in June 1972. Two years later, the admiral was named Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare. 

After his tours as Vice Chief of Naval Operations and CINCPAC, ADM Long retired in July 1983. Nine of the officers on his staff as Vice Chief were later promoted to flag rank. 

VADM Joe Williams, who served with ADM Long, eulogized his friend. "Bob never lost sight of the idea of a balanced Navy. He had strong opinions on how the Navy should be structured and the missions it should take." VADM Williams also recalled how one of ADM Long's key decisions led to the Navy's assuming ownership of a former "snake-infested, never - used, costly-to-maintain, NATO ammunition facility in Georgia" that later became the Kings Bay Submarine Base, characterizing the episode with the old saying "If you'll buy that, I've got some coastal swampland in Georgia to sell you." 

After retirement, the admiral worked as a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors for Northrop Grumman Corporation and Hudson Industries. Additionally, he was appointed to head the commission that investigated the 1983 terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. 

"Bob believed and forcefully expressed his conviction that leaders should first and foremost be imbued with honesty, integrity, a sense of morality, an understanding of right and wrong, and a strong, strong work ethic," VADM Williams noted. "We can all be grateful he came our way." 

ADM Long is survived by his wife, the former Sara Helms of Jacksonville, Florida, and their three sons, Charles, William, and Robert. Charles Long offered a brief tribute to his father: "He cared deeply about three things - his wife, his family, and his Navy. We moved 23 times during his career, but he always taught us that home is not a place, but where your family is. With my father, it was hard to say where his family ended and his Navy family began. People were always the focus of his life." 


Task Force EXCEL Focuses on Training 
by COMNAVSUBFOR Public Affairs 

As the Chief of Naval Operations aims to revolutionize training, Task Force EXCEL (Excellence through Commitment to Education and Learning) is making waves in the already highly trained Submarine Force. 

Task Force EXCEL is a group designed to take an in-depth look at how the Navy trains its Sailors and to develop ways to i m p rove that training, said Atlantic Submarine Force Master Chief Don Kultti. He said the goal is to develop Sailors both personally and professionally. 

"We want to give Sailors the same level of certification as their civilian counterparts and improve the quality of training at the same time," said Kultti. 

Stan Meyers, Submarine Warfare Division Training Officer, said Task Force EXCEL has one simple purpose: to improve training. 

He said the task force is affecting the Submarine Force much the same as it is the rest of the Navy - it is changing the focus of training. 

"It's looking more at individual human performance instead of standard classroom training," said Meyers. 

He explained that the classroom may not be the best place for all learning. 

"If we can train Sailors on systems they will operate in the fleet and avoid putting them in a classroom, we can cut down on time and cost," said Meyers. "The manpower to train students in classrooms is the most expensive part of training.

"With the addition of the Undersea Warfare Learning Center, Training Support Centers and new training curriculum for certain rates, Kultti said the Submarine Force is on the road to more efficient training. The Submarine Operation Center for Excellence seems to bear the most impact so far, said Kultti. He said it will serve as one voice for the entire submarine force to dissolve any communication deficiency among training sites. 

Kultti said that none of this is to say Navy training is broken. He, along with others including George Horn, Task Force EXCEL action officer, believes they have been doing a pretty good job of training submariners. "The Submarine Force has always valued its people and valued training," said Horn. "This is just an improvement on that."


COMSUBLANT Sailors of the Quarter 
Photo of the COMSUBLANT Sailors Of The QuarterCommander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT) awarded its Sailor of the Quarter and Junior Sailor of the Quarter honors recently in the NH-95 Building auditorium on the Naval Support Activity Norfolk compound. Storekeeper 1st Class (SS) Marlon D. Wilkins received the Sailor of the Quarter award for his duties as the staff storekeeper. His exceptional fiscal management of a $5 million budget helped him earn the award. Electronics Technician 3rd Class Sabrina R. Rollins was honored as the Junior Sailor of the Quarter. As a member of the Base Consolidated Telecommunications Center, she qualified as Staff Supervisor, a position normally held by a senior petty officer. COMSUBLANT Chief of Staff CAPT Joe Walsh presented the Sailors their awards and extended a personal thank you to both Sailors for their efforts.

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