Rotary Club learns about submarines

Staff report

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Elizabethtown Rotary Club met on Wednesday and heard a presentation from Rotarian Wayne Schaeffer about nuclear submarines.

Schaeffer explained his background in the U.S. Navy and in the Civil Service. He has had experience with nuclear submarines through these affiliations.

“The nuclear submarine force is the third leg of the nuclear triad,” said Schaeffer.

Schaeffer said from the time of the Cold War forward, the nuclear defense systems have been used as a deterrent. Since then India, China, Israel, Great Britain, and France have all developed nuclear capabilites. He added that the United Staes and the Soviet Union developed what is called a triad.

The triad consists of a land based missile system, and air based system, and a submarine based missile.

Schaefer that the submarine fleet is quiet and considered “stealthy.” The submarine can provide such services as surveillance, mine laying, harbor defense and attacking enemy ships to name a few things, according to Schaeffer.

He spoke about three categories of submarines: SSN, SSBN and SSGN. Schaeffer pointed out that each division had specific capabilities depending upon their size and class.

Schaefer also pointed out that the US does have an aging nuclear arsenal. He added that there have been conversations about upgrading the nuclear systems.

“To keep our defense strong, solid, safe and reliable, we need a strong nuclear defense force,” said Schaeffer.

He added that both Iran and North Korea are concerns and are the reasons for the need to ensure our capabilities are current.

Staff report

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