March 1, 2002
This presentation will discuss the status of the business and the product associated with providing the US Navy with its submarines. The current status of submarine production and steps taken to maintain submarines as the nation's most capable warfighting platform will be discussed.
Rear Admiral Millard S. Firebaugh, USN (Ret) graduated from MIT in 1961 and received a commission in the Navy. Following duty on USS Mitscher (DL-2) he returned to MIT graduating in 1966 with a master's degree in electrical engineering and a Naval Engineer degree. He participated in the search for the remains of the USS Thresher (SSN-593), qualified as a salvage diver, and served as a ship superintendent in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard involved in the overhauls of nuclear submarines and the construction of the deep diving research submarine USS Dolphin (AGSS-555). He returned to MIT receiving a D.Sc. degree in Ocean Engineering in 1972. Subsequently, he supported the Navy’s deep submergence assets at Submarine Development Group One and administered contracts for the construction of Los Angeles Class submarines at Electric Boat. In 1979 ADM Firebaugh began service in the headquarters of the NAVSEASYSCOM in submarine design and naval architecture and managed the design of the SSN688 Class VLS, which was deployed on 32 ships. He was selected as program manager to initiate design and construction of the Seawolf Class submarines. After seeing the program through design and award of contracts to construct the first two ships of the class, he became Chief Engineer of the NAVSEASYSCOM, serving in that position until retirement in 1995. Since departing the Navy, he has been involved in various technical activities including the remediation of nuclear waste. In 1997 he returned to the submarine business at General Dynamics, Electric Boat Corporation where he is now Vice President, Innovation and Chief Engineer. ADM Firebaugh holds the American Society of Naval Engineers' Gold Medal, the US Navy Distinguished Service Medal and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is the the editor of the second edition of "Naval Engineering and American Sea Power".