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News | April 2, 2009

USSTRATCOM SNCOs visit Sub Forces

U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

"The tour of USS West Virginia with Chief Narofsky and fellow senior enlisted USSTRATCOM personnel was an opportunity for them to see first-hand the third leg of the strategic deterrent triad: our ballistic missile submarine and the motivated Sailors that work hard to complete their mission," said Command Master Chief Vinnie Vinson, Submarine Group 10.

Vinson and Master Chief Petty Officer Brad Albrecht, Command Master Chief, Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, hosted the following command chiefs on a recent visit to Naval Submarine Base King's Bay, Ga. : Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Narofsky, U.S. Strategic Command; Chief Master Sgt. Todd Kabalan, 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La and Senior Enlisted Leader for Task Force 204; and Chief Master Sgt. Dave Spector, 20th AF, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.

The visit to COMSUBGRU 10 and SWFLANT highlighted naval explosive weapons handling and storage procedures, portside, facility, and nuclear security operations, land and maritime convoy operations, and operations and maintenance training. COMSUBGRU 10 exercises operational and administrative control of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines and guided missile submarines stationed at Kings Bay. During the visit, Narofsky highlighted the Year of the Enlisted Global Warfighter and Warrior of the Week program and said the timing for the visit was perfect.

"The Sailors of the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base and the Trident subs and are a vital part of the USSTRATCOM mission of strategic deterrence," said Narofsky. "They are on watch 24/7 providing global security for America. It was great to see how they operate, train and take care of the mission. "

The visit also included a tour of the Trident Training Facility where they toured the missile maintenance classrooms and the submarine simulator. During the simulator, the three chiefs performed the underwater practice maneuvers known as "angles and dangles. " The visit also included a tour of the Trident submarine USS West Virginia. Tridents are nuclear-powered, Ohio-class strategic deterrent submarines, nicknamed "Boomers," and carry as many as 24 Trident II D-5 nuclear ballistic missiles.

"General Chilton [Commander USSTRATCOM] just recently finished his testimony to the House and Senate Service Committees," he said. "And General Schwartz [Air Force Chief of Staff] and Admiral Gary Roughhead [Chief of Naval Operations] just finished the Air Force-Navy Warfighter talks wherein both discussions focused on strategic deterrence and closer intra-service collaboration. Also, with the Nuclear Posture Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review happening this year, it was a good time for the senior enlisted leaders of the strategic deterrent triad to meet and discuss issues and ideas concerning nuclear operations. "

"This was a fantastic trip that emphasized the importance of closer collaboration in joint strategic operations," said Kabalan. "It also allowed me to gain further insight into our challenges, both conventional and nuclear, and provided an excellent avenue for future liaison and coordination within the nuclear enterprise. "

Albrecht provided a tour of the SWFLANT facilities, the weapons storage areas, and the Coast Guard escort security operations. Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, or SWFLANT, provides strategic missiles and strategic weapons system support to the fleet ballistic missile submarine fleet.

"Today, more than anytime in the past 15 years, as the Air Force focuses on reinvigorating the nuclear enterprise we should also focus on building relationships with our sister services and comparing best practices," said Spector. Every sailor I met that day from the CMC to the most junior maintainer was motivated, full of enthusiasm and had a positive attitude. "