Submarines & Submariners: An Introduction

Course length:

2 Days



Course dates

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This two-day course is designed for engineers in the field of submarine R&D and Operational Test and Evaluation. It is an introductory course presenting the fundamental philosophy of submarine design, submerged operation and combat system employment as they are managed by a battle-tested submarine organization that all-in-all make a US submarine a very cost-effective warship at sea—and under it.

Today’s US submarine tasking is discussed in consonance with the strategy and policy of the US, and the goals, objectives, mission, functions, tasks, responsibilities, and roles of the US Navy as they are so funded. Submarine warfare is analyzed referencing some calculations for a Benefits-to-Cost analysis, in that, Submarines Sink Ships!

From this course you will gain a better understanding of submarine warships being stealth-oriented, cost-effective combat systems at sea. Those who have worked with specific submarine sub-systems will find that this course will clarify the rationale and essence of their interface with one another. Attendees will receive copies of the presentation along with some relevant white papers.

Follow this link for a short overview video

What You Will Learn:

  • Differences of submarine types (SSN/SSBN/ SSGN)
  • Submarine onboard organization and day to day operations
  • Basic Fundamentals of submarine systems and sensors
  • Submarine Mission profiles
  • Basics of Submarine Warfare tactical and operational control
  • How submarines support national military objectives
  • Makeup and function of the Submarine Support Enterprise
  • How the sea impacts submarine operations
  • Submarine Maintenance Cycles – Supporting the Tip of the Spear

Course Outline:

  1. Warfare from Beneath the Sea:
    • US Submarines – From a glass-barrel in circa 300 BC, to SSN 774
    • Review of the Order of Battle for Submarines of the World
  2. Submarine Warfare Basics:
    • Employment of Submarines past, current and future
    • US/UK/USSR Cold War Submarine Operations
  3. Current Day Submarine Tasking:
    • What US nuclear-powered submarines are tasked to do.
    • What the tasking of US submarines is based on
  4. Submarine Organization (Onboard and Force Wide):
    • Makeup of today’s submarine crew
    • What does it mean to be “Qualified in Submarines”
    • What does the shore based support for the “Submarine Enterprise” do
  5. Fundamentals of Submarine Design, Construction and Modernization:
    • Makeup of today’s submarine force
    • Submarine Form, Fit, & Function.
    • Basic submarine operational characteristics
  6. Maintenance Cycles for Submarines:
    • Submarines Maintenance cycles – past, current and future


CAPT (ret) Todd Massidda, P.E. has over 30 years of Navy leadership experience serving on seven different submarines, including command of USS ALABAMA SSBN-731. As commanding officer of ALABAMA and executive officer on ALASKA he has extensive experience in bringing combat systems technologies to the fleet after major overhaul periods. In addition to his operational submarine experience he served as a Future Concepts Officer at US Special Operations command during which he had extensive experience in bring new technologies and ideas to special operations forces. As Operation Officer at Submarine Group Nine, he led a highly successful multi-year effort to proof SSGN concepts ahead of the SSGN conversion program. He completed his career as the Branch Head for Ocean Systems and Nuclear Matters on the OPNAV staff in Washington, DC. He is currently applying his knowledge as a Program Manager in the SSBN Security Technology Program at John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.


REGISTRATION: There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course. We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING: If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time. To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at