As competition grows, Pacific-based submarine group strives to ‘defeat, deter and win’
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Beneath the cover of the ocean, a “handful” of nuclear-powered U.S. submarines secretly operate in areas unreachable by other vessels across the Indo-Pacific region.
For decades, the surveillance, reconnaissance and lethality the subs provide has gone unparalleled by rivals; however, a changing landscape of military power in the Pacific among adversaries presents a challenge to the Navy’s long-dominant submarine force, leaders say.
A Commander’s Intent issued in March outlines the force’s mission, purpose and challenges, noting that “the demands [on submarine forces] continue to grow at an unprecedented rate.” The document acts as “clear and concise expression of [the] operation’s purpose and the desired end state” to provide “focus” and “help subordinate and supporting commanders achieve the commander’s desired results without further orders,” according to the Department of Defense.
“America’s military remains the strongest in the world, but our advantage is shrinking due to rapid advancements by rival states,” the Commander’s Intent said. “… Their ever-evolving challenges demand our continued vigilance, commitment to combat readiness, ability to quickly adapt and learn in the face of change and our strict adherence to the Navy core attributes of our professional identity.”
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