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SSP Director Discusses Empowering Workforce, Future of Nuclear Deterrence during Recent TV News Appearance

01 April 2024

From SSP Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (March 31, 2024) – The Director for U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, Jr discussed talent development, retention, and support to the nuclear deterrence mission during an interview with television host Francis Rose, Sunday.
His appearance on Fed Gov Today—a television show geared to provide information and analysis about the business of the federal government—gave Vice Adm. Wolfe a chance to discuss SSP’s focus on the workforce. Wolfe highlighted development programs like SSP NOW, which immerse new and existing employees in the mission and history of nuclear deterrence and connect their work to the strategic deterrence mission that enables America’s Warfighting Navy.  

“We are a very small program—if you look at the scale of influence that we have both within the navy and our nation—and so we get them to understand why, the way we do business, and how critical the way we do business is—not just for us but for the American people to have absolute confidence that our submarine force’s deterrent works every single day,” Vice Adm. Wolfe said to Rose, as he related how SSP’s strategy empowers the workforce to recognize themselves as an indispensable part of the capable warfighting Navy for the nation. 

Vice Adm. Wolfe underscored the importance of providing continuous learning for SSP’s personnel and talked about how exposure to different facets of the SSP’s operations ensures a well-rounded and mission-ready workforce. He said a capable and agile workforce—ready to get to work—is among the most critical assets to the SSP mission, the Navy, and the country. 

“What we really need today is, we need a very talented workforce that understands the mission— that is all in… we need more players on the field, so this is part of the way we are doing that,” said Vice Adm. Wolfe.

“We need all of those positions because, quite frankly, no one position alone can win… it’s got to be a team sport.” 

The show aired Sunday, March 31 on WJLA (ABC)-Channel 7 and can be streamed on Fed Gov Today’s website.

SSP is the Navy command that provides cradle-to-grave lifecycle support for the sea-based leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. This includes training, systems, equipment, facilities and personnel responsible for ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Trident II (D5LE) Strategic Weapon System.

SLBMs are one leg of the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent Triad that also includes the U.S. Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and nuclear-capable bombers. SLBMs make up the majority – approximately 70 percent – of the U.S.’s deployed strategic nuclear deterrent Triad. The SLBM is the most survivable, provides persistent presence, and allows flexible concept of operations.


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