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A submarine squadron (SUBRON) is a naval formation or unit in such states such as the United Kingdom, United States, and Russia/Soviet Union. In France the equivalent unit is the escadrille des sous-marins nucléaires d'attaque (ESNA), part of the French submarine forces (and before the Second World War, escadrilles de sous-marins).

Royal Navy[edit | edit source]

Submarine flotillas became submarine divisions in 1952.[1] HMS Finwhale was a Porpoise-class submarine belonging first to Faslane's 3rd Submarine Squadron and then to Singapore's 7th Submarine Squadron (United Kingdom).[2]

From the early 1960s the structure was:[1]

  • 1st Submarine Squadron - HMS Dolphin
  • 2nd Submarine Squadron - Plymouth
  • 3rd Submarine Squadron - Faslane
  • 4th Submarine Division - Sydney (disbanded late 1960s)
  • 5th Submarine Division - Malta. It was announced on 31 July 1964, that British submarines were to leave Malta.[3] Captain C.H. Hammer was last Captain S.M. 5. HMS Ausonia, the division depot ship, set sail for the UK on 7 August 1964, and then paid off. Submarine depot ships at Malta were Forth' (1948-1960), HMS Narvik (1960-1962), and then Ausonia from 1962 to 1964.
  • 6th Submarine Division - Halifax, Nova Scotia Three A-class submarines arrived 1954, HMS Auriga served with the division, disbanded c. 1967)[4]
  • 7th Submarine Division - Singapore (disbanded by 1971)
  • 10th Submarine Squadron - Formed Faslane late 1960s for the SSBNs

In 1971 HMNB Clyde at Faslane in Scotland was home to the Third Submarine Squadron of Nuclear Fleet and Diesel Patrol Submarines, 'the fighters', and the 10th Submarine Squadron consisting of the four Polaris submarines, 'the bombers'.[5] The Base also conducted the training of all submarines before they joined their Squadrons and this was known as 'work up'. On the decommissioning of the Polaris submarines the 10th Submarine Squadron re-equipped with Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines. 1st Submarine Squadron was located at HMS Dolphin during the early 1990s. In 2001, the five Swiftsure-class submarines were part of the 1st Submarine Squadron based at Faslane and the seven Trafalgar-class boats were with the Second Submarine Squadron at Devonport.[6]

See List of squadrons and flotillas of the Royal Navy.

United States Navy[edit | edit source]

A SUBRON usually consists of three or more submarines. It is the submarine force equivalent to a Destroyer Squadron in the surface Navy. The officer in charge of SUBRON ONE is designated Commander Submarine Squadron One or COMSUBRON ONE. However, unlike a destroyer squadron—which actually moves its staff aboard its ships and deploys with them as an operational Task Element commander—a SUBRON commander and his staff always remain in homeport, and are responsible only for the training, equipping and administering of the ships under its umbrella. A submarine squadron is usually commanded by a Captain (O-6) who has already had at least one tour as commander of a submarine. Up until World War II and possibly afterwards, submarine squadrons could have several Submarine Divisions (SubDivs), often pairs of submarines.

Several submarine squadrons may be organized into a Submarine Group (SUBGRU), headed under a flag officer. For instance, SUBRON 17, SUBRON 19 and DEVRON 5 are part of SUBGRU 9 in Bangor, Washington. The overall responsibility for submarines on the west coast of the United States is taken by the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC); on the east coast, the same responsibility rests with the Commander Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT). The latter is the senior of the two, and thus also plays a secondary role as Commander, Submarine Force (COMSUBFOR).

When a submarine deploys, for instance as part of a carrier strike group, operational command is transferred to the numbered fleet commander for the theater to which the submarine is deploying, e.g., Commander Fifth Fleet.

List of submarine squadrons[edit | edit source]

Odd numbered squadrons are West Coast (Pacific Fleet), even numbered East Coast (Atlantic Fleet).

List of submarine groups[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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