Lt. Lily Hinz, Navy News Service
4 February 2016
KINGS BAY, GA. – Commander, Submarine Forces, Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, visited Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay, Feb. 3 in order to communicate his Commander's Intent to all Kings Bay submariners.
The visit marked the second in a series of visits to submarine waterfronts to communicate his intent, priorities, goals and vision.
Tofalo was able to address Kings Bay Sailors during two sessions. He held an all-hands call with department heads and juniors in the base gymnasium and hosted a triad call with commanding officers, executive officers, chiefs of the boat, and major commanders in the Trident Training Facility auditorium.
Tofalo presented his Commander's Intent, which focuses on four prioritized lines of effort: (1) provide ready forces, (2) employ the force effectively, (3) develop future capability, and (4) empower our people, the foundation of our strength.
Tofalo stressed the importance of material and operational readiness, while also acknowledging the old age of the Ohio-class submarines.
"Because you SSGN and BN Sailors are so squared away, the decision was made to expand the lifespan of the platform out to 42 years vice 30. Given what's at stake, it so important to maintain high standards in everything you do," said Tofalo.
"Every single submarine has to get underway on time, and you all here in Kings Bay are getting a submarine to sea every three weeks, a remarkable feat."
There were 900 Sailors in attendance at the all-hands call and for Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Santos Tobias, a Sailor assigned to the USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) Gold Crew, the admiral's visit was truly meaningful.
"The fact that the admiral made the time to come down here and speak to us, face-to-face, really demonstrates the value of each individual Sailor here at Kings Bay," said Tobias.
During his session with senior leadership, Tofalo stressed the importance of independent operations and preparing for high-end combat.
"You are out there operating alone and unafraid, operating far forward, sometimes intentionally without routine communications," he said. "You have that command pin on your chest because you have to make tough decisions. I expect you to exercise the full extent of the authority vested in you."
Tofalo spoke candidly with senior leadership, who walked away with a better understanding of his priorities and vision for the future of the force.
"I appreciate the admiral's willingness to use his influence to better equip the BNs, GNs and SSNs in peace and for war," said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Crescitelli, the executive officer of USS Georgia (SSGN 729) Blue Crew.
Tofalo assumed his current duties in September 2015. As commander, Submarine Forces he is the Undersea Domain lead, and is responsible for the submarine force's strategic vision. As commander, Submarine Force Atlantic he commands all Atlantic-based U.S. submarines, their crews, and supporting shore activities. These responsibilities also include duties as Commander Task Force (CTF) 144, CTF 84 and CTF 46. As commander, Allied Submarine Command, he acts as the principal strategic adviser to the NATO strategic commanders on submarine-related issues.