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Introduction to Submarines & Submariners

The Enemy Below-- Submarines Sink Ships!

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

This three-day course is designed for engineers in the field of submarine R&D and Operational Test and Evaluation. It is an introductory course presenting the fundamental philosophy of submarine design, submerged operation and combat system employment as they are managed by a battle-tested submarine organization that all-in-all make a US submarine a very cost-effective warship at sea—and under it.

Today's US submarine tasking is discussed in consonance with the strategy and policy of the US, and the goals, objectives, mission, functions, tasks, responsibilities, and roles of the US Navy as they are so funded. Submarine warfare is analyzed referencing some calculations for a Benefits-to-Cost analysis, in that, Submarines Sink Ships!

From this course you will gain a better understanding of submarine warships being stealth-oriented, cost-effective combat systems at sea. Those who have worked with specific submarine sub-systems will find that this course will clarify the rationale and essence of their interface with one another. Attendees will receive copies of the presentation along with some relevant white papers.



Captain Wellborn, USN (retired) served over 13 years of his 30-year Navy career in submarines. He has a BSEE degree from the US Naval Academy and a MSEE degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also has an MA from the Naval War College. He had two major commands at sea and one ashore: USS MOUNT BAKER (AE 34), USS DETROIT (AOE 4), and the Naval Electronics Systems Engineering Center, Charleston. He was Program Manager for Tactical Towed Array Sonar Systems and Program Director for Surface Ship and Helicopter ASW Systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC. After retirement, he was the Director of Programs for ARGOTEC, overseeing the manufacture of advanced R&D models for large subsonic acoustic projectors.

He was a Senior Lecturer in the Marine Engineering Department of Texas A&M, Galveston. Since 1996, he has been an independent consultant for International Maritime Affairs. He has been teaching this course since 1991, and has many testimonials from attendees sponsored by DOD, NUWC, and other agencies that all attest to the merit of his presentation. He also is the author of several technical articles on submarines including two published in SEA TECH magazine: “The Efficacy of Submarine Warfare,” and “USS VIRGINIA (SSN 774)—A New Steel-Shark at Sea.”

CAPT (ret) Todd Massidda, P.E. has over 30 years of Navy leadership experience serving on seven different submarines, including command of USS ALABAMA SSBN-731. As commanding officer of ALABAMA and executive officer on ALASKA he has extensive experience in bringing combat systems technologies to the fleet after major overhaul periods. In addition to his operational submarine experience he served as a Future Concepts Officer at US Special Operations command during which he had extensive experience in bring new technologies and ideas to special operations forces. As Operation Officer at Submarine Group Nine, he led a highly successful multi-year effort to proof SSGN concepts ahead of the SSGN conversion program. He completed his career as the Branch Head for Ocean Systems and Nuclear Matters on the OPNAV staff in Washington, DC. He is currently applying his knowledge as a Program Manager in the SSBN Security Technology Program at John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

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What you will learn:

  • Submarine organization and operations
  • Fundamentals of submarine systems and sensors
  • Differences of submarine types (SSN/SSBN/ SSGN)
  • Future operations with SEALS
  • Nuclear-powered submarines versus diesel submarines
  • Submarine operations in shallow water
  • Required improvements to maintain tactical control

Course Outline:

  1. Warfare from Beneath the Sea:
    From a glass-barrel in circa 300 BC, to SSN 774 in 2004.

  2. Efficacy of Submarine Warfare--Submarines Sink Ships:
    Benefits-to-Cost Analyses for WWI and WWII.

  3. Submarine Tasking:
    What US nuclear-powered submarines are tasked to do.

  4. Submarine Organization- and, Submariners:
    What is the psyche and disposition of those Qualified in Submarines, as so aptly distinguished by a pair of Dolphins? And, how modern submariners measure up to the legend of Steel Boats and Iron Men!

  5. Fundamentals of Submarine Design & Construction:
    Classroom demo of Form, Fit, & Function.

  6. The Essence of Warfare—at Sea:
    “…to go in harm’s way.”

  7. The Theory of Sound in the Sea-- and, Its Practice:
    A rudimentary primer for the "Calculus of Acoustics."

  8. Combat System Suite-- Components & Nomenclature:

  9. Order of Battle for Submarines of the World:
    To do what, to whom—where, and when? [Among 50 navies in the world there are 630 submarines. Details of the top eight are delineated-- US, Russia, and China top the list.]

  10. Today’s U.S. Submarine Force—Semper Procinctum.


    Tuition for this three-day course is $1790 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to