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Q&A With Rear Adm. Bruner

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Director of Undersea Warfare Division Speaks to Number of Topics

Undersea Warfare Magazine, Aug. 21

Question: When you heard you were coming to Washington to head OPNAV’s Undersea Warfare Division, did you expect to be focusing so much on the future of payloads?

Answer: Frankly, it didn’t surprise me. I was weapons officer on Pollack, the first ship I served in, and later ops officer in Mariano Vallejo’s Gold crew, so I saw firsthand that bringing weapons to bear on an enemy is the ultimate measure of any warship. Since then our understanding of payloads has gotten more complex. They’re not just weapons anymore. While the Navy continues to value the traditional submarine combat prowess, there’s been a growing recognition of the submarine’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and the role it can play in shaping the landscape prior to war. The Submarine Force stands ready to fight and win our nation’s wars, but if we can provide national decision-makers with the information or options necessary to prevent war, all the better.

While submarines still often operate “alone and unafraid,” we’re moving into a future where we need to expand each submarine’s range of influence. We’ll need to share data with off-hull sensors and platforms to build the “big picture” prior to combat and then provide effective command and control for longer-range weapons.

Q: So what’s your first priority?

A: My first priority is an integrated plan for the future. Because of the time involved in building each submarine and their 30- to 40-plus-year lifespan, we’re now feeling the effects of decisions made decades ago. The timing of these effects, along with fiscal constraints, means that we need to attack multiple problems at one time. So the Submarine Force has developed an Integrated Undersea Future Strategy designed to shape the future of platforms, payloads, payload volume, people, and force posture. It’s a comprehensive strategy to make us successful in tomorrow’s operations and —  if necessary — tomorrow’s warfighting.

Full Text Undersea warfare Q&A

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