image of VADM Jay Donnelly

“The decision to join the Submarine Force is a challenging, rewarding career choice and our success depends upon continuing to find the best and brightest naval officers to join our team. Each year there is great competition within the Navy, and between the other services, to attract the most qualified midshipmen. Programs to embark these potential future submariners are an important part of our recruiting efforts and help midshipmen make a more informed decision on what path offers the most challenge and reward.”

VADM Jay Donnelly, USN, Commander, Submarine Force

This has been an especially successful summer and a good opportunity to highlight some of the important events and interest items that have contributed to that success.

The decision to join the Submarine Force is a challenging, rewarding career choice and our success depends upon continuing to find the best and brightest naval officers to join our team. Each year there is great competition within the Navy, and between the other services, to attract the most qualified midshipmen. Programs to embark these potential future submariners are an important part of our recruiting efforts and help midshipmen make a more informed decision on what path offers the most challenge and reward.

This summer, the enthusiastic participation by both Atlantic and Pacific submarines to support these underway opportunities resulted in almost 1,900 NROTC and USNA midshipmen participating in overnight cruises as part of summer training programs. Additionally, more than 400 first and second class midshipmen were able to experience the excitement of our Submarine Force during extended underway embarks that allowed select midshipmen to spend up to five weeks onboard. I would like to thank the submarines who participated in bringing to life what these midshipmen have only heard about in sea stories. This type of exposure to the great work of our submarines is critical to attracting the next generation of submarine officers and vital to our continued success.

In an effort to increase our visibility to educators and other influencers, we also sponsored an overnight underway onboard the USS Texas (SSN-775) to showcase submarining to diverse community leaders. The twelve attendees included the president of the National Society of Black Engineers; the president of the Society of Women Engineers; the president of Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists; the Director of External Programs and Outreach of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Deans of universities and college mentors for Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, University of Pittsburgh, Purdue University, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. All participants departed with a better understanding of the opportunities within the Submarine Force and expressed a willingness to recommend and promote submarining and the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC) program to students and members of their respective organizations.

This issue focuses on the Virginia class submarine program as we commission our newest submarine, USS New Hampshire (SSN-778) in October. She will join her sister ships of the Virginia class to provide a huge leap forward in capabilities to accomplish new missions in this new century.

Building a submarine is a highly complex and challenging endeavor. The strong leadership and cooperation shown by the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Submarines, the Virginia-class Attack Submarine program manager and the General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding Teams have made this the preeminent ship building program in the Navy. RDML (sel) Johnson’s article highlights some of those efforts and successes and I encourage you to read it. I thank all involved for the commitment to building the best submarines in the world so that our Navy can continue to ensure freedom of the seas.

Finally, I would also like to take this occasion to announce that we have added the position of SUBFOR Executive Director. Mr. Scott DiLisio comes to us with over 20 years experience in logistics strategy, policy, and planning. In his most recent position as Assistant Deputy Commander, Fleet Logistic Support (ES-340), Mr. DiLisio was instrumental in assisting PEO Subs deliver USS Virginia (SSN-774) and Texas to the fleet as he oversaw $11B in programs for NAVSEA. In this new position, Scott will be my right hand man for all Undersea Enterprise issues. He is the first Senior Executive to be assigned in an initiative to place an SES at each of the Navy Enterprise Lead TYCOM staffs.

I appreciate everyone’s hard work in the accomplishments of our Force and with your continued focus on execution, look forward to our continued achievement.