The US Navy’s newest submarine squadron stood up Dec. 15 at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 21 replaces the Commander, Task Force (CTF) 54 detachment as the organization charged with supporting submarines forward-deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), which encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
CSS 21 replaces an existing small detachment of CTF 54. The squadron will be under CTF 54’s operational control and will have tactical control of submarines deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR. The squadron is being stood up to increase submarine safety and optimize submarine force support to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
Vice Adm. John W. Miller, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said:
The squadron will provide mentorship, lessons learned, logistical and administrative support and coordination with other task forces to support submarine missions here in the region.
According to many submarine leaders, the new squadron will benefit the crews and the Navy immensely.
Rear Adm. Stuart Munsch, commander, Task Force 54, added:
The establishment of Submarine Squadron 21 will help us to better serve deployed submarines and thereby improve support to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
The new squadron will help submarines to better prepare for the unique and challenging shallow water, high contact density environments in the 5th Fleet AOR. It will provide deployed submarine assessments and additional training as necessary. The squadron will be able to provide more localized support and be able to improve existing relationships from its forward-deployed location in Manama.
Press release, Image: US Navy