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Submarine Surveillance Equipment Program [SSEP]

Submarine Surveillance Equipment Program [SSEP] is chartered as a certifying agent for AN/WLQ-4 and other related submarine sensors used to collect intelligence data. SSEP employs a diverse assortment of ratings to accomplish its mission, to include Sonar Technicians (ST), Electronics Technicians (ET), Photographer's Mates (PH), Yeoman (YN) and Storekeepers (SK). As tasked by Commander, Submarine Atlantic Fleet, COMSUBLANT, SSEP groom teams are sent aboard attack submarines to ensure Sonar, ESM, Video, and Photographic systems are operating at peak efficiency as interfaced with surveillance collection equipment sponsored by Chief of Naval Operations, Naval Security Group, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

Acoustic Intelligence (ACINT) Specialists are provided to submarines as principal advisors to Commanding Officers in ACINT collection tactics. SSEP screens acoustic and video/photographic intelligence mission packages and training exercises and shipboard noise evaluations. SSEP is also the Photographic/Video Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) for submarine photographic/video imaging systems in the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force.

Typically, twenty seven to thirty submarines are supported annually. The mission support process takes 21-30 days by a team consisting of 5 Sonar Technicians, 2 Electronics Technicians and 1 Photographer's Mate. Depending on the type of mission, this period may be followed by an at-sea sonar calibration supported by 4 Sonar Technicians. The collected data is reduced in 10 working days at an off-site data reduction facility, culminating in a report of sonar sensitivities for that platform. The ACINT specialist then supports the ship throughout the remainder of the mission. Within a month of the end of deployment, the ship is deinstalled of all special equipment and returned to pre-installation baseline. The Submarine School Special Security Representative (SSR) is also part of SSEP.



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