Why Submariners Should Talk to Fighter Pilots

by Benjamin S. Lambeth

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The author maintains that submariners and fighter pilots, despite the obvious differences in their modes of warfare, are similar in many ways. For both, standoff combat is preferred, with a high premium on initiative and stealth; maximum weapons range is a pivotal consideration; and smart last-ditch maneuvers can be a lifesaver when energy and ideas have been exhausted. Their platforms and weapons are direct extensions of themselves, and their personalities figure centrally in the outcome of the fights they win or lose. Submariners and fighter pilots are perfectly positioned to set the example for force integration and joint employment. A trial operator-to-operator dialogue between representatives of the attack submarine and fighter communities could yield a learning outcome of great professional value to both.

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Originally published in: The Submarine Review, October 1999, pp. 36-43.

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