The US Navy has launched its first ever dedicated underwater drone squadron at a ceremony at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington on Wednesday.
The Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron (UUVRON) 1 replaced a smaller detachment that had been part of Submarine Development Squadron Five (DEVRON 5).
"It's very important to note that today is not only a very important day for Capt. Steve Mack and me, but it is a historical day for the Navy, Submarine Force and DEVRON 5," U.S. Navy Captain Robert Gaucher, the outgoing head of DEVRON 5 said during the event. "Today we are transitioning our UUV detachment into the first UUV squadron. Why is this historical? It's because in standing up UUVRON 1, it shows our Navy's commitment to the future of unmanned systems and undersea combat".
DEVRON 5, formed in March last year, received its first underwater drone, a torpedo shaped vehicle known as a Large Training Vehicle 38, in August 2014. DEVRON 5 is charged with multiple submarine warfare mission areas to include submarine rescue operations and the activities of its three Seawolf-class submarines. DEVRON 5 is responsible for developing and testing new submarine warfare capabilities, including the use of unmanned undersea vehicles.
According to a report by The Drive, the Navy plans for UUVRON 1 to reach its full operational capability by 2020.