US Navy Zumwalt destroyers now part of new experimental squadron

Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has established a new squadron that will be in charge of integrating unmanned surface vessels (USV) and support fleet experimentation to accelerate delivery of new warfighting concepts and capabilities to the fleet.

The new squadron has been re-designated from Zumwalt Squadron ONE (ZRON ONE) to Surface Development Squadron ONE (SURFDEVRON ONE), which means that the navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers will now be part of the experimental and developmental squadron.

SURFDEVRON ONE will be responsible for the maintenance, training and manning oversight for medium and large unmanned surface vessels (e.g. Sea Hunter / MDUSV) and Zumwalt-class ships: USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), the future USS Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002);

Surface Development Squadron ONE (SURFDEVRON ONE) was announced by Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP).

“By standing up a command dedicated to developing warfighting capabilities and experimentation, we will ensure the US surface navy remains the premiere surface navy in the world,” said Brown.

SURFDEVRON’s primary functions will be to support experimentation to support development of new and emerging surface warfighting capabilities. It will also develop material and technical solutions to tactical challenges, in addition to coordinating doctrine, organization, training, material, logistics, personnel and facilities requirements for unmanned surface systems.

Commanders, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet, approved the SURDEVRON ONE plan, and Chief of Naval Operations endorsed it earlier this year.

Capt. Henry Adams relieved Capt. Scott Carroll during a combined change of command/establishment ceremony.

“ZRON ONE embodied Adm. Zumwalt’s legacy of warfighting innovation by leading fleet integration of the revolutionary ship class that bears his name,” said Carroll. “Establishing this new squadron – with its focus on experimentation and future warfighting technology – fulfills and extends ZRON’s purpose to the rest of the surface navy. Although the name has changed, I’m proud to note that ADM Zumwalt’s innovative legacy will persist.”

Adams is SURFDEVRON ONE’s first Commodore. Previously, he led CNSP’s Commander’s Action Group (CAG) and served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWO ONE (CDS 21). Other previous command tours include USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12).

The stand-up of SURFDEVRON ONE will be executed in phases over the next several years until it reaches full capacity and capability.

The squadron headquarters will be located onboard Naval Base San Diego but will operate throughout various areas of operation.

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