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    HomeMilitaryU.S. Navy Galvanizes National Submarine Workforce Amid AUKUS Commitments

    U.S. Navy Galvanizes National Submarine Workforce Amid AUKUS Commitments

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    Amid the tides of change in global defense strategies, the United States Navy has initiated an ambitious campaign to revitalize its submarine workforce and industrial base, embracing the national urgency to maintain undersea warfare dominance.

    PUGET SOUND, Wash. (Sept. 11, 2017) The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) transits the Hood Canal as the boat returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Jimmy Carter is the last and most advanced of the Seawolf-class attack submarines, which are all homeported at Naval Base Kitsap. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith/Released)

    The recent National Signing Day events unfolded as the crescendo of several Talent Pipeline Program (TPP) initiatives across maritime hubs, honoring over 2,700 new defense industry careers.

    The scope of these programs is monumental, with the Navy preparing to add more than 140,000 skilled workers over the next decade to construct one Columbia-class and two Virginia-class submarines annually by 2028.

    Such an enterprise reflects the Navy’s strategic response to unprecedented demands, aiming to preserve the nation’s critical undersea advantage while upholding its commitments, including the new trilateral AUKUS partnership.

    USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) and Royal Australian Navy submarines train together.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    At the heart of this movement lies the sentiment articulated by Team Submarine’s Command Master Chief Jeff Hiscocks during the Virginia event: “It doesn’t matter your position or title; you contribute to our national security. You are helping the United States of America exercise power projection and diplomacy.”

    Multi-national special operations forces participate in a submarine insertion exercise with USS Hawaii (SSN 776)” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This sentiment rings especially true considering the pivotal role these skilled tradespeople, including welders, pipefitters, and electricians, play in a defense ecosystem crucial to the national security fabric.

    Mike Ross, an Assembly Operator at TE Connectivity and a U.S. Army veteran, encapsulated the drive of these new hires, stating, “Every day I am driven by a sense of purpose knowing that the parts we develop contribute to the defense of our country and its allies.”

    A submarine returns to its homeport.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The National Signing Day marked more than an individual achievement; it celebrated the synergy of over 290 defense industry and 140 academic partners dedicated to supporting the Nation’s defense.

    060411-N-1810F-001
    Kings Bay, Ga. (April 11, 2006) Ð The Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) makes her way through Cumberland Sound to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Florida will be officially welcomed to her new home in Kings Bay with a return to service ceremony scheduled for May 25, 2006 in Mayport, Fla. Florida is the second of four SSBN submarines to be converted to the guided missile SSGN platform. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Lynn Friant (RELEASED)

    As this program expands, with new events and regions, the TPP stands testament to the collaborative spirit vital for sustaining the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet.

    110905-N-JH293-063
    DIEGO GARCIA (Sept. 5, 2011) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSGN 729) prepares to moor outboard of the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) in Diego Garcia. Georgia is homeported in Kings Bay, Ga., and will undergo a continuous maintenance availability and crew exchange while in Emory S. LandÕs homeport of Diego Garcia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Williamson/Released)

    The Navy’s concerted efforts are not only celebrated domestically but are also aligned with the international obligations under the AUKUS agreement. The White House’s $3.4 billion funding allocation to the Submarine Industrial Base is a clear indicator of the high stakes involved.

    According to Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker, this funding is a “welcome start to the process of fortifying our submarine maintenance and production capabilities,” highlighting the strategic importance of the workforce in meeting both domestic and AUKUS-related obligations.

    USS Delaware (SSN 791) returns to Submarine Base New London after conducting routine operations.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As echoed by senior Navy officials and witnessed in panel discussions at the 2024 Sea-Air-Space exposition, the vitality of the submarine workforce is a national asset.

    Erica Logan, deputy director for Workforce, Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) program, emphasized the holistic approach necessary for addressing workforce shortages, stating, “It is about people, but it’s also about supply chain, it’s about aging infrastructure, it’s about the economic issues. We realize all of these things are intertwined.”

    Relevant articles:
    US Navy Launches Careers in Defense Industry, United States Navy (.mil)
    Navy’s Needed Revitalization of the Submarine Workforce Accelerates, United States Navy (.mil)
    Building the U.S. Naval Submarine Fleet, Build Submarines
    Navy continues to address submarine workforce challenges, Federal News Network

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