Submarine Group EIGHT
Task Force CTF 64
Task Force CTF 69
Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South (COMSUBSOUTH)
Combined Task Force CTF 439
Combined Task Force CTF 442
Commander Submarine Group 8 is in the administrative chain of command under Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. As Commander Task Force Six-Four and Commander Task Force Six-Nine, the Commander exercises operational control of the U.S. Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) and Fast Attack Submarines (SSNs) deployed to the Mediterranean. In these roles he is responsible to Commander U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Primarily an administrative title, Commander Submarine Group 8's operational functions are accomplished through four Task Forces: CTF 64, CTF 69, NATO's CTF 442, or deployed SSBNs and CTF 439, the operational title for Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South -- the rear admiral's NATO hat. CTF 64 and CTF 69 are responsible, respectively, for ballistic missile submarines and attack submarines assigned to Sixth Fleet.
Submarine Flotilla Eight was established in March 1963 at the AFSOUTH Post Bagnoli, Naples, Italy and was assigned responsibility for all U.S. submarines in the Mediterranean. To exercise his national operational responsibilities, Commander Flotilla EIGHT was designated Commander Task Force SIX-FOUR (U.S. SSBN Operations) and Commander Task Force SIX-NINE (U.S. SSN Operations), subordinate to the Commander, U.S. SIXTH Fleet.
In September 1967 the U.S. Navy upgraded Commander Submarine Flotilla EIGHT to a Flag Officer billet commensurate with his assumption of the NATO post of Commander Submarines Mediterranean (NATO Submarine Operations), and the co-location of the COMSUBMED staff with the existing COMSUBFLOT EIGHT staff at AFSOUTH Post Bagnoli. COMSUBGRU EIGHT and COMSUBMED Headquarters were moved to the Naval Support Activity compound, Agnano, on 15 August 1974. Commander Task Force SIX-SIX, Area Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, U.S. SIXTH Fleet, was disestablish and its mission consolidated into Task Force SIX-NINE, on 31 May 1995. Commander Task Force SIX-FOUR was redesignated as Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South (COMSUBSOUTH), on 1 January 1996.
In the Mediterranean, U.S. submarines operate as units of the SIXTH Fleet. They participate in both U.S. and NATO operations and exercises. Today's modern submarines are fully integrated with the fleet but retain the ability to operate independently for sustained periods. Although capable of a wide range of missions, U.S. submarines in the Mediterranean spend the bulk of their time signaling support to allies and resolve to potential enemies through engagement activities with allies - military exercises, port visits, and distinguished visitors embarkations; conducting special operations; and participating in contingency combat operations.
During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, U.S. submarines, along with those of our NATO allies, ensured the sea lines of communication supporting our forces in the desert were unimpeded. U.S. submarines conducted Tomahawk cruise missile strikes against Iraq. U.S. and Allied forces also combined to support Operation Sharp Guard and Joint Endeavor, the joint NATO and Western European Union enforcement of United Nations resolutions regarding the Balkan War.
During Operation Allied Force in 1999, CTF 69 / COMSUBMED (recently renamed COMSUBSOUTH) directed the simultaneous movements of as many as five submarines from four different NATO nations. Additionally, U.S. and U.K. submarines contributed significantly to strike operations with Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM), successfully launching one quarter of all TLAMS fired, hitting eighty-five percent of targets assigned.
Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South (COMSUBSOUTH), was established in September 1967 as Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces Mediterranean (COMSUBMED). This is the NATO "hat" worn by Commander Submarine Group 8, a US Navy Rear Admiral. COMSUBSOUTH is a separate staff from COMSUBGRU EIGHT that coordinates NATO southern region submarine operations throughout the Mediterranean under Commander Allied Naval Forces, Southern Europe. Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South (COMSUBSOUTH) is a functional commander that is responsible to Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe (COMNAVSOUTH) for the planning and execution of submarine operations in the Mediterranean. In order to meet the above requirement COMSUBSOUTH (CSS), becomes the NATO Submarine Operating Authority (SUBOPAUTH) for the Mediterranean area. Located at Naval Support Activity, Capodichino in Naples, Italy, COMSUBSOUTH is staffed by 24 submarine community personnel from the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and all other allied naval submarine forces.
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