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Submarine Development Squadron FIVE

Submarine Development Squadron 5, established in 1967 as Submarine Development Group 1 by the Chief of Naval Operations, is the operational focal point for all Navy deep submergence matters. Since its commissioning, Development Squadron has become the working repository for deep ocean technology and the operational, at-sea application of that technology.

Located at Submarine Base San Diego, the primary mission of Submarine Development Squadron 5 (SubDevRon) is the highly complicated and important task of submarine rescue. This is the Squadron's main focus, implemented by the Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) at Naval Air Station North Island, also in San Diego. DSU maintains the Navy's only two deep submergence rescue vehicles; Mystic (DSRV 1) and Avalon (DSRV 2). One vehicle is in a rescue-ready, standby status at all times to conduct submarine rescue -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The DSRV and its 200 tons of support gear are capable of being flown any where in the world on one C-5 Galaxy cargo plane.

Development Squadron 5 is also responsible for deep ocean search and recovery and scientific research operations for a variety of agencies, both inside the military and out. Besides the various units at DSU, Development Squadron is in charge of two submarines--USS Dolphin (AGSS 555) and USS Parche (SSN 683). Dolphin is homeported in San Diego and is the navy's last diesel-electric, deep-diving research and development submarine. Parche operates out of Submarine Base Bangor, Wash. in concert with the Squadron's other Northwestern detachments.

In 1967 Commander, Submarine Development Squadron FIVE, was established as Submarine Development Group ONE by the Chief of Naval Operations. In 1982 the Chief of Naval Operations formally established the Submarine Development Group ONE Detachment for Unmanned Vehicle Command. Submarine Development Group One was a tenant command at SUBASE Bangor. The mission of submarine rescue is carried on by elements of Commander Submarine Development Group One, including the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles (DSRV) Mystic and Avalon and the U.S. Navy divers manning the fly-away submarine rescue chambers at the Deep Submergence Unit, at North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego CA. USS Dolphin (AGSS 555), a unit of Submarine Development Group One, is used for research and development of advanced sonar equipment and systems.

On 17 November 1970, SSN-575 SEAWOLF transited the Panama Canal coinciding with her change of home port from Groton, Connecticut to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for conversion to a special project platform. In 1974, SEAWOLF completed her extensive post-conversion testing and evaluation period and conducted her first Pacific Fleet deployment which included operating independently for a period of three months. For her performance of duty, she was awarded second Navy Unit Commendation. In 1975, SEAWOLF came under the exclusive direction of Submarine Development Group One, and for outstanding performance in 1974-1975, was awarded a Battle Efficiency "E". In 1976, SEAWOLF received her second consecutive Battle Efficiency "E" and the Engineering "E" for Excellence. During her second Pacific Fleet deployment, she conducted independent submerged operations for three months and demonstrated superior endurance by remaining submerged for 87 consecutive days, a US Navy record. She received her third Navy Unit Commendation. In 1977, SEAWOLF received her third Battle Efficiency "E" and her second Engineering "E" for Excellence. During her third Pacific Fleet deployment, she conducted 79 consecutive days of independent submerged operations and received her fourth Navy Unit Commendation and the Navy Expeditionary Medal. In 1978, SEAWOLF conducted her fourth Pacific Fleet deployment. In August 1981, SEAWOLF deployed on her fifth Pacific Fleet deployment. She returned to homeport in October 1981 and received the Navy Expeditionary Medal. In 1983, SEAWOLF conducted her sixth Pacific Fleet deployment of 76 days and returned to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in May 1983. She was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal, another Battle Efficiency "E", another Engineering "E", a Supply "E", and a Damage Control "DC". In 1984, SEAWOLF conducted a 93-day deployment to the Western Pacific, returned in July, and continued her high operating tempo with numerous local operations. She was awarded her third consecutive Supply "E", a Communications "C", and the Deck Seamanship Award. In 1985, SEAWOLF conducted her last successful Western Pacific deployment and returned to Mare Island on 1 April 1985 to prepare for decommissioning. USS SEAWOLF (SSN 575) was decommissioned on March 30, 1987.

In June of 1979 the Secretary of the Navy awarded Sperry (AS-12 )the Meritoriour Unit Commendation for meritorious service in support of the units of Submarine Group Five, Submarine Development Group One and Submarine Squadron Three from 1 April 1978 to 1 December 1978.

On 30 October 1976 USS Parche steamed into her new home port at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California. Here she began her new career with Submarine Development Group One.

The Advanced Tethered Vehicle (ATV) is a tethered, unmanned vehicle system designed for operation at depths as great as 20,000 feet. The ATV was designed and built at the SSC San Diego's Hawaii laboratory as a follow-on to the Remote Unmanned Work System (RUWS). It was tested and evaluated along with the Advanced Unmanned Search System (AUSS) at NRaD San Diego. It was then transferred to the Submarine Development Group One (SUBDEVGRU ONE) in San Diego in February of 1993, with SSC SD continuing to provide support, re-engineering and new fabrication of system components.

The US Navy submersibles SEA CLIFF and TURTLE and ROV ATV were made available for limited academic research through a cooperative arrangement between NOAA and the US Navy's Submarine Development Group One in San Diego, CA. The Navy Submarine Support Facility was established at Point Loma in November 1963 on 280 acres of the land. On November 27, 1974 the base was re-designated a shore command, serving assigned submarines, Submarine Group Five, Submarine Squadron Three, Submarine Development Group One, the Submarine Training Facility and later, Submarine Squadron Eleven. On October 1, 1981 the base was designated as Naval Submarine Base. Starting in April 1995, several commands were decommissioned or their homeports were changed to meet the down-sizing requirements of the Navy. Commands throughout San Diego were regionalized in an effort to provide equal or better base services while managing a reduced budget. The six naval installations on Point Loma were consolidated as Naval Base Point Loma on 1 October, 1998.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:01:28 ZULU