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Submarine Force Kicks Off Inaugural Submarine Conference of the Americas

29 July 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner

NORFOLK, Va. - Commander, Submarine Forces hosted the inaugural Submarine Conference of the Americas (SCOTA) onboard Naval Station Norfolk, July 26-27.

The inaugural SCOTA was hosted by Western Hemisphere (WHEM) undersea leadership from allied and partner submarine-operating nations to showcase and address national undersea domain capabilities, the challenges of interoperability, and undersea collaboration against strategic competitors in the WHEM.

Vice Adm. William Houston, commander, Submarine Forces, kicked off the multinational conference with a welcome remark to attendees from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the U.S.

“We are all at this conference together because out countries share the same values of democracy,” said Houston. “Our submarine forces all offer unique capabilities and advantages and this conference will enable all of us to take the next step forward in our partnerships while also strengthening our ability to operate as a cohesive joint and combined force which can respond to emerging crises if needed.”

Following Houston’s introduction, a video of Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro was played for participants thanking them for their time and collaboration while encouraging them to take advantage of the unique opportunity to bolster knowledge between strengthening relationships between allies and partnerships.

“I would like to thank all of the key leaders of the West’s undersea domain who are participating in this important conference today,” said Del Toro. “I believe SCOTA will lay a new foundation for a renewed sense of collaboration and threat awareness from the undersea domain, so I urge you to make the most of this gather and keep building our vital security partnerships.”

After two days of presentations and discussions, Rear Adm. Carlos Alfonso Saz Garcia, commander, Submarine Forces, Peruvian navy, left the conference with deeper comprehension on the challenges of interoperability and undersea collaboration against strategic competitors in the Western Hemisphere (WHEM).

“For us it is very important to participate in this type of gathering, which is the inaugural Submarine Conference of the Americas, as it seeks to unify the collaboration amongst all the submarine forces in the western hemisphere,” said Saz Garcia. “We have many things in common, we navigate the same seas and have similar submarines. I truly think SCOTA will reinforce ongoing partnerships and provide a different vision from the undersea to a common security problem throughout the Americas.”

The conference included presentations from multiple subject matter experts on global threats in the undersea theatre, Navy security, the future of the combined fight in the western hemisphere and lessons in hemispheric security. One subject matter expert was Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Fleet Forces Command, who spoke on the advantages and capabilities participating countries had over potential adversaries.

“One of our key advantages collectively in this room is our navies’ capabilities and overmatch in the undersea domain,” said Caudle. “Our competitors cannot duplicate or match the advantages we hold in the undersea environment. We must all have a deep level of understanding of what each of our navies’ strengths and capabilities are, so that we can better integrate together when the time arises.”

The conference also included a tour of the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Montana (SSN 794), allowing participants to view the capabilities of the U.S. Submarine Force in person while offering a chance for questions and ideas to be asked and shared.

The Submarine Force executes the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve.

The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.


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