Commodore Gene Doyle – 6/2/15
United States Navy submarines, they run silent, deep, fast and are very powerful, everything that Jim Dennison’s golf game is not! Luckily, Jim’s game is not patrolling the Pacific Ocean. Commodore Gene Doyle, Commander of Submarine Squadron 11, was our guest speaker this morning. He is the area’s senior operational submarine commander in charge of all San Diego based submarines. His boats, support facilities and staff provide “Silent Service” capabilities that are essential in ensuring the US Navy’s undersea dominance.
Submarine Squadron 11 consists of 6 Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines, the floating dry dock ARCO and the Undersea Rescue Command. In total, Captain Doyle oversees more than 110 officers and 820 enlisted personnel. Captain Doyle took command of Submarine Squadron 11 on February 15, 2014. His prior service at sea included 3 submarines before taking command of the USS Alexandria (SSN 757) in 2008.
Today’s US Navy utilizes four classes of submarines. The largest boat, the Ohio-class ballistic missile boats are 560 feet in length! Most of these boats are 30 years into an expected service life of 42 years. The most numerous boat, the Los Angeles-class, are also the oldest submarines in the fleet. First commissioned in 1976, these boats are being phased out. The Seawolf-class was built as a faster, deeper, more powerful submarine first built in 1989. A product of the Cold War defense plan, only three of these boats were built. The newest member of the fleet is the Virginia-class fast attack submarine. Entering service in 2004, these boats are innovative and designed for longer service life.
The priorities for today’s submarine fleet include a replacement for the Ohio-class ballistic missile boats, a program to increase the number of submarines in the fleet to a minimum of 48, to cover mission responsibilities from 2025-2035 and the design of new armament programs, specifically torpedoes. Captain Doyle has his mission clearly defined and Submarine Squadron 11 is well prepared to meet its demands.