Groton Sub Base To Be Home To New Undersea Warfighting Development Center
By Julia Bergman
June 9, 2015
Groton -- The Navy announced late Tuesday afternoon that the Naval Submarine Base will be home to a new Undersea Warfighting Development Center "as the supported command to train Navy forces in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)."
The announcement is part of a larger Navy plan to reorganize the various warfare centers to better align them with warfare mission areas.
The development has been working its way "through the system for months now," and is the "natural progression" of the significant federal investments made at the base over the past eight years, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said by phone Tuesday.
Calling the base the "Sorbonne of the submarine force," Courtney said the news represented "a pretty powerful statement by the Navy." The center, Courtney added, will be "really focused on a mission of anti-submarine warfare, war-fighting strategy," and that the plan is to "stand up" the command this summer.
The center will have two detachments — one in San Diego and the other in Norfolk, Va. — under its command. The establishments are effective immediately, according to the Navy, which also announced that the center in Groton will be led by a one-star admiral "who is responsible for training the submarine community in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures for undersea operations."
The establishment of the center will bring more people to the base with the addition of 52 jobs. Of those, 19 will be civilian personnel and 33 will be military personnel, of which there will be 14 officer billets and 19 enlisted billets. The 14 officer-funded billets amount to a total annual salary of about $2.2 million and the 19 enlisted billets amount to a total annual salary of nearly $1.5 million. The 19 civilian billets add up to about another $1.5 million.
The news is encouraging for Groton's chances in any Base Closure and Realignment rounds in the near future. The Pentagon is recommending a new BRAC round in 2017.
"BRAC is a wild card process," Courtney said. "You never want to take anything for granted, but in terms of making the case for Groton's long-term value, it doesn't get much better than this."
Courtney said the center's offices will likely be in the building most recently vacated by Submarine Group 2.
The importance of the center's mission, Courtney said, will "inevitably result in more and more enhancements."