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SUBMARINE ROLES AND MISSIONS The fundamental changes in the US Submarine Force since the end of the Cold War involve major shifts in submarine warfighting concepts and doctrine from the deterrence of global war to the support of US national interests in regional crises and conflicts from a primary Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW orientation against nuclear powered submarines to taking full advantage of the modern submarines multi-mission capabilities from weapon loadouts of primarily MK 48 torpedoes weaponshtm to Tomahawk weaponshtm Land-Attack missiles or other weapons This changing operational context has rippled through all elements of US submarine operations from peacetime presence to strategic deterrence The transitions in the submarine force follow directly from the transitions in the world order and the evolving nature of the US Navy The world order has shifted from a bi-polar superpower alignment to a multi-polar collection of interests While the likelihood of global conflict is greatly reduced there is an increasing chance of regional conflict The composition and operational posture of the US Navy reflects this having changed from a blue water emphasis to a littoral emphasis For the submarine force this has meant several changes in roles Prior to the end of the Cold War Anti-Submarine Warfare was the major role for US Attack Submarines Now US submarines are more multi-mission oriented Intelligence gathering has shifted from strategic to tactical reconnaissance The Silent Service is no longer completely silent but exchanges information covertly with other US forces The submarine force is learning how to synergistically interoperate with other Navy and Joint communities for mutual mission accomplishment This includes community alliances such as Force ProtectionStrike with Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups Special Warfare with Special Operating Forces such as Navy SEALs Intelligence with the Surveillance community The primary roles and missions for the US submarine force are Peacetime Engagement Surveillance and Intelligence Special Operations Precision Strike
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