Unknown Waters: A Firsthand Account of the Historic Under-Ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651)

By Alfred S. McLaren | Go to book overview

6
Prospective Commanding Officer
Training for Submarine Command

Orders detaching me from Queenfish came in late August 1967. I was only the second nuclear submariner to be released by Admiral Rickover to attend the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Although it was not a prerequisite for taking command of a submarine, the Command and Staff course stood to broaden my knowledge of naval operations and history and help me appreciate more fully the requisite duties of the staff officers who would be involved in planning and scheduling the operations for whatever submarine I might one day command.

At the U.S. Naval War College I had the rare opportunity to meet and work with colleagues and more senior officers from other communities within the U.S. Navy and with those from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The frosting on the cake, though, was obtaining a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University, which had a branch at the Naval War College. My proposed joint thesis was the importance to our national security of the seasonal marginal ice zones that border polar ice packs worldwide during the winter months.1

Dr. Lyon, Dick Boyle, and I had remained in close contact during the months following the Davis Strait operation. When they heard about my thesis research, they expressed considerable interest and flew to Newport from California to discuss it with me in the early fall of 1967. During the course of several meetings, they offered many valuable ideas and insights as well as important references on the subject. As we examined where marginal sea-ice zones could be expected to occur dur

-37-

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