Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, COMSUBFOR Blog
25 September 2015
Greetings from Norfolk! I am pleased to be posting my first blog as COMSUBFOR. I am honored to have been given this responsibility, and I look forward to the challenges and rewards of serving as your Force Commander.
Soon, RADM Roegge, RADM(sel) Richard and myself will be releasing a joint Commander’s Intent for the United States Submarine Force and Supporting Organizations. This Commander’s Intent is meant to provide the Submarine Force with background and
principles to help each and every member of the Force and supporting organizations understand our priorities and future direction, and their role in achieving them.
This Commander’s Intent will integrate, update, and replace (as appropriate) all previous Force design and guidance documents. That said, you will find the fundamental direction from those previous documents is preserved. This consistency and continuity should make it clear that we as a Force remain on the right track—our foundation is solid, our traditions reinforce the right attributes, and we have much to be proud of. This is less of a “course” change and more of some “small rudder” to keep us in the middle of the channel as we face changes in set and drift.
The situation we face presents us with challenges in at least three world regions, each of which places substantially different operational demands on the Force. Consistent with our history as a maritime nation, the responsibility to prevent challengers from using the sea to threaten these regions will fall predominantly on the United States Navy. As anti-access / area denial systems proliferate, the share of the Navy’s responsibility that falls on U.S. submarine and undersea forces will only grow.
To address this situation, our primary lines-of-efforts remain: Provide Ready Forces, Employ the Force effectively, and Develop Future Capabilities, with all three of these built upon the Foundation of our Strength—our undersea warriors, confident experts of the highest character, and their families. For those of you on the waterfront and in staffs that directly support, the majority of what you do is generate readiness.
In short we must continue to own the undersea domain. Undersea forces operate far forward, are persistent and covert. Our non-provocative influence can deter and de-escalate potential conflicts by providing cross-domain intelligence, real-time warning to U.S. leadership, and rapid transition from peacetime if required. We are the anti-A2AD force, operating inside adversary defenses, using our access to set the table for the joint force, capitalizing on our stealth, and exercising surprise at the time and place of our choosing. I am deeply committed to this vision, and I am deeply committed to the tireless pursuit of undersea superiority.
Thank you for all you do—keep charging!