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Squadron

Prior to 1920 the term "squadron" was used as "group" is today. With a reorganization of the Fleet in September 1920, the term squadron came into its present usage.

Destroyer Squadrons, composed of Guided Missle Cruisers, Destroyers, Frigates, or a combination of these type ships, can operate independently or as part of a battle group or task force. The Squadron typically consists of about half a dozen combatant ships and two thousand men and women. When a DESRON deploys with a carrier and its escort ships, the combined force is called a Carrier Task Group. The Destroyer Squadron has the dual missions of serving as the Immediate Superior in Command to assigned surface combatants, and performing as a sea going Warfare Commander or Major Command asset. Administratively the COMDESRON -- who typically holds the rank of Captain and is styled a Commodore -- reports directly to Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific or Atlantic Fleet. Operationally, the COMDESRON reports to the Commander of the assigned numbered Fleet through a designated Battle Group Commander. In September-October 1995, as part of the Chief of Naval Operations reorganization of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet's surface forces, destroyer squadrons were designated as Immediate Superior in the Chain of Command (ISIC) with direct oversight of the training, maintenance and readiness of assigned ships. As an Immediate Superior in Command, the Destroyer Squadron develops the employment schedules, monitors and assesses training, and reports on the readiness status of squadron ships to the Type Commander and numbered Fleet Commander. As an afloat Major Commander, the Commander Destroyer Squadron is variously assigned by a numbered Fleet Command as a Battle Group Warfare Commander or as an independent multi-ship Major Commander at sea. During deployment the Squadron Commodore serves as Sea Combat Commander (SCC). SCC duties encompass Surface Warfare Commander (SUWC), Under-Sea Warfare Commander (USWC), Maritime Inspection Commander (MIC) [U.N. Sanctions Enforcement], LAMPS Element Coordinator (LEC) ["LAMPS" are helos, specifically Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Muli-Purpsose System helos carried by the surface combatants], Defensive Mine Warfare (MIW-D), alternate Launch Area Coordinator (LAC) for Tomahawk missions and Submarine Operational Controlling Authority (SOCA) [responsible for coorinating employment of attack submarines assigned to the Battlegroup]. On 01 September 1998 COMDESRON 14 reorganized as a Tactical Destroyer Squadron (TACDESRON). Relinqueshing her duties as an ISIC in order to concentrate on tactical proficiency and warfighting, DESRON 14 is the premier squadron providing Opposing Forces (OPFOR) training for US and Allied forces in the Atlantic.

A tactical Amphibious Squadron organization is unique. Ships are assigned periodically to one of the tactical squadrons for specific operations or for temporary administrative purposes. The squadron functions to prepare plans, embark amphibious forces, conduct rehearsals, movements and perform assaults upon hostile shores in support of national policy during low intensity conflicts and as a component of an integrated battle force during major conflicts. Thes Squadron has the capability to land troops and equipment by air and sea simultaneously, and to support troops in the field with fixed and rotary wing attack aircraft. The amphibious squadron commander with his staff is charged with responsibilities for planning and executing amphibious operations and deployments with a reinforced Marine Battalion. The PHIBRON carries a 2500 member Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) plus the equipment and supplies to keep it fighting for up to two weeks. The amphibious squadron staff is capable of planning and executing amphibious assaults at the Marine Expeditionary Unit level with augmenting detachments from a Tactical Air Control Squadron, Naval Beach Group, Special Warfare Group, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, and Fleet Surgical Team. Additionally it serves as Naval Forces Commander in various Joint Task Force Operations. Amphibious Squadron SEVEN was established in August 1986 as a readiness squadron. The PHIBRON's original mission was to provide maintenance, training, and administrative oversight for LST, LSD and LKA class ships. In 1994 the PHIBRON's mission changed to conducting expeditionary warfare while maintaining an optimal state of readiness to effectively support national objectives as directed by Fleet Commanders. The oversight functions of the ships shifted to the Amphibious Group and the size of the staff was significantly reduced.

Submarine Squadrons provide the maintenance support for submarines. A Submarine Squadron typically consists of about half a dozen nuclear-powered submarines, and may also include a submarine tender and a floating drydock. In addition to the operational ships, the squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support. The Squadron 20 commander is responsible for five submarines and the 10 crews that man those submarines at all times. Squadron 20 is also the waterfront coordinator and principal squadron involved in planning and executing all SSBN refits with Trident Refit Facility. He is also responsible for all material readiness and fiscal responsibility. Submarine Squadron 16 was officially reactivated Aug. 7, 1997 as part of a Navywide effort to improve submarine support. Under this new model for supervising the operation, maintenance and training of the two-crewed submarine force, five submarines are in each Kings Bay squadron. By reducing the span of control to five submarines and 10 crews, each squadron can dedicate more effort to monitoring and servicing the submarines under its control. Additional new efficiencies were gained through specialization of the two squadrons. Squadron 20 remains the waterfront coordinator and principal squadron involved in planning and executing SSBN refits with the Trident Refit Facility. Squadron 16 has assumed the role of off-crew training coordinator and principal squadron involved in training and certifying that off-crews are ready to return to their ships. Squadron 16 also has the added benefit of more closely linking off-crew training to at-sea training.

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