Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Naval Submarine Base New London, the Submarine Capital of the World, and spoke with more than 1,300 sailors during an all hands call, Aug. 22.
During the nearly two-hour conversation with Groton-based Sailors, which was streamed live online via livestream.com, Greenert spoke on a variety of topics to include undersea dominance, cyber warfare, future manning levels and the future of the force as a whole.
“This is a great opportunity for Sailors across the U.S. Navy Fleet to watch the all hands call, join the conversation and ask questions through the live chat feature on the website,” said Greenert in a Facebook post a few days prior to the event. During the conversation, Greenert also took questions both from the audience and online viewers.
While addressing the packed auditorium at Dealey Center, Greenert reflected on returning to Naval Submarine Base New London, where his professional career began.
“This is like coming home,” said Greenert, who added that the last time he sat in the auditorium at Dealey; he watched the popular movie, the Matrix.
“I was professionally born here and all submariners are born in Groton, Conn., at the Naval Submarine Base,” said Greenert. “This is where we build and launch our submarines to go to sea and this is the place where we intellectually build our submariners.”
Greenert added that having the base in proximity to where we launch our submarines “on time and under budget” is also where “we launch our best minds” of the submarine force.
Greenert also reflected on how the Naval Submarine base has evolved and its importance to the U.S. Navy and submarine force.
“We must continue to own the undersea domain,” said Greenert.
The CNO also discussed the Navy’s shift to the Asia-Pacific Region and the submarine force’s role.
“We are rebalancing to the Asia Pacific that is the key part of our maritime defense strategy and another key part of the defense strategy is we have to own the undersea domain which is very clearly written and the submarine force is the centerpiece of that,” said Greenert.
Before the all hands call began, the CNO reenlisted six Sailors from Naval Submarine Base New London assigned commands. He thanked the Sailors families for their ongoing support.
“Thank you for your support of your son or daughter,” said Greenert, who instructed all Sailors to call, text or email their mothers this week and thank them for her support.
The sailors who were reenlisted by the CNO include: Information Technology Submarines Second Class (SS) Timothy E. Cockrell, USS San Juan (SSN 751); Logistics Specialist Second Class (SS) Andrew J. Jolley, USS San Juan (SSN 751); Engineman Second Class John C. Kovac III, Naval Submarine Base New London Port Operations; Personnel Specialist Second Class Shana L. Michaud, Naval Operational Support Center New London; Logistics Specialist Third Class Rafael Munoz, USS Dallas (SSN 700), and Electronics Technician Third Class Nestor Gallardo, Naval Submarine Support Facility.
Prior to the all-hands call, the CNO also met with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Congressman Joe Courtney, D-Conn., at Naval Submarine Base New London.
During the CNO’s visit to the base, he also saw firsthand the continuing infrastructure improvements to include a 500-foot-long, 65-foot-wide pier; a six-lane, synthetic track and field with a 400-meter rubberized surface; and a high-tech, 20-lane indoor small arms range.