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June 6, 2018

Sub Tech Symposium Looks to the Future

STS-2018 Roundtable

Adm. Frank Caldwell, USN — director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, presents the keynote on the first day of STS.

Credit: APL

STS-2018 Roundtable

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson speaks to the STS audience at the Kossiakoff Center.

Credit: APL

STS-2018 Roundtable

Vice Adm. Chas Richard, deputy commander, USSTRATCOM, speaks on the third day of the symposium.

Credit: APL

STS-2018 Roundtable

The symposium concluded with a roundtable discussion featuring (from left) Vice Adm. (Ret.) Michael Connor, STS chair for NSL; Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces; Rear Adm. John Tammen, director, Undersea Warfare Office, CNO N97; and Michael McClatchey, director, Advanced Undersea Integration, NAVSEA 07.

Credit: APL

For the last three decades, the Submarine Technology Symposium (STS) has served as a platform for collaboration and an open forum for addressing key technology challenges affecting submarines and undersea systems.

In the symposium’s 30th year, participants looked to the future. Sponsored by the Naval Submarine League (NSL) and organized by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), STS 2018 focused on a theme of “Designing the Undersea Force of the Future.” Approximately 600 attendees gathered in APL’s Kossiakoff Center in Laurel, Maryland, from May 15 to 17 to learn about the innovation and advances necessary to form the undersea force of tomorrow.

The conference began with opening remarks by Adm. (Ret.) Kirk Donald, NSL’s chairman of the board. Sessions and exhibits centered around the day’s topics: Next-Generation Warfare from Under the Sea and Accelerating Design to Capability.

Day two focused on the Future of Strategic Deterrence (Nuclear and Conventional) and Distributed and Cross-Domain Warfare Enablers, and the third day addressed Anticipating and Disrupting Adversary Technology.

Presenters from industry, laboratories, academia and the Navy shared their vision and strategy for the future and fostered discussion with the technical community. Adm. Frank Caldwell, director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programs; Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces; Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe Jr., director, Strategic Systems Programs; Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, program executive officer, Submarines; and Vice Adm. Chas Richard, deputy commander, USSTRATCOM, delivered daily keynotes.

Additional speakers — Ron O’Rourke, Congressional Research Service; Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations; and Robert Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense — also addressed challenges and opportunities in the undersea domain.

Tofalo noted the value of the symposium. “This is a unique opportunity for technologists to meet with the Submarine Force leadership in a classified setting and talk about the future of undersea warfare,” he said.

Vice Adm. (Ret.) Michael Connor, STS chair for NSL, and Lisa Blodgett, APL Force Projection Sector head and STS co-chair, led the team that chose the authors and exhibitors from a pool of 105 submitted abstracts.

“We’re proud to be hosting this event,” said Blodgett. “In its 30th year, the Submarine Technology Symposium continues to be a leading forum for discussion and learning in this arena, and we hope it contributes toward shaping the future of the fleet.”

STS wrapped up with a roundtable discussion moderated by Connor and featuring Tofalo, Rear Adm. John Tammen, director, Undersea Warfare Office, CNO N97, and Michael McClatchey, director, Advanced Undersea Integration, NAVSEA 07.

APL first organized STS in 1988. The symposium was conceived as a classified forum where technologies relevant to capabilities of submarines and related systems could be examined and advanced by various experts. Today, STS is considered the premier technical conference on submarine-related technologies.

“This conference continues to provide outstanding briefings and exhibits that support the NSL’s mission to promote greater communication among the military, academic and business communities,” said Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, NSL president.

Media contact: Justyna Surowiec, 240-228-8103, Justyna.Surowiec@jhuapl.edu

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.