OUTLAW SHARK Submarine History Seminar a Success

Sub History Seminar 2012 - Cake Cutting

LT Chris Rose, USN, Naval Academy Ocean Engineering Instructor and Officer Representative for the Dolphin Club, joins NHF Chairman ADM Bruce DeMars, USN (Ret.) (at left) and NSL Chairman ADM Rich Mies, USN (Ret.) (at right) in cutting the 112th Submarine Force Birthday cake.

The 2012 Submarine History Seminar was held on the evening of 24 April 2012, as part of the National War College Commandant’s Lecture Series in historic Roosevelt Hall at the War College’s Fort McNair campus in southwest Washington, DC. 2012 marks the 11th year that the Naval Historical Foundation has partnered with the Naval Submarine League to stage these compelling looks back at the U.S. Navy’s submarine force in war and peace. This year’s topic was “OUTLAW SHARK – The Beginning of Over-The-Horizon Targeting.” The seminar took an in-depth look back at the intensive effort in the 1970s and 1980s to develop over-the-horizon (OTH) targeting methods needed to ensure that newly developed HARPOON and TOMAHAWK cruise missiles could be employed reliably to their full range potentials.  Moderated by NHF Vice President RADM Jerry Holland, USN (Ret), panelists included:

  • RADM Guy Shaffer, USN (Ret), who had served for five years as Director, Navy Command and Control and Communications Projects for the Naval Electronics Systems Command in the 1970s;
  • RADM Walter Locke, USN (Ret), who had served as Director of the Joint Cruise Missiles Project from 1977-1982;
  • Dr. (and retired Navy CAPT) Robert Hess, who directed and performed contract analyses in areas of ocean surveillance, OTH targeting, command and control and related fields for numerous Navy and DoD offices in the 1970s and 1980s;
  • CAPT Lynn Wessman, USN (Ret.), who served as project officer for OUTLAW SHARK at Submarine Group Eight in Naples, Italy in the late 1970s.

The audience of nearly 70 active duty and retired Navy personnel, plus eight midshipmen of the Naval Academy’s Dolphin Club, listened with rapt attention to the participants’ enthralling descriptions of the U.S. Navy’s ultimately successful effort to target the Soviet Navy before they were able to develop the same capability to target USN ships.

The seminar was preceded by food and refreshments sponsored again this year by the Northrop Grumman Marine Systems office and included a ceremonial cake to mark this month’s 112th birthday of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force.

Sub History Seminar 2012 - Crowd

Seminar attendees enjoy food, drink, and camaraderie before the seminar in the foyer of historic Roosevelt Hall at the Naval War College.

Sub History Seminar 2012 - Panel

Seminar participants (left to right) RADM Shaffer, RADM Locke, DR. Hess, CAPT Wessman.

Sub History Seminar 2012 - Cake

Ceremonial cake featuring OUTLAW SHARK logo.

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  1. Reply

    I can imagine no more rewaidrng a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: I served in the United States Navy.’ -President John F. Kennedy-

  2. Clark Lattimer


    I served aboard the USS Gurnard SSN 662 and then the USS Guitarro SSN 665 untill Nov.1981 . I was involved with the Outlaw Shark Program and i believe that i had the priveledge of pressing the cursor on what was at that time a very impressive display that routed our shot from the pacific missile range to a classified target utilising an amazing 6 course alterations midflight. This required several different techs working together aboard the missile. I am proud to say that it was a direct hit and was the 1st successful undersea shot fired on the west coast. All in all i was very proud to have been involved with this outstanding program and all the amazing people who made it work. My part was very small but still very satisfying. Sincerly ET1 (SS) Clark Lattimer

  3. Harold Pastian


    I can neither confirm or deny that I may have been in the PMR at the time you describe aboard Norton Sound during the sailor proofing stages of Outlaw Shark. Very impressive system at the time. I remember crashing the system repeatedly to the dismay of the gentlemen with VERY large pocket protectors and horn rimmed glasses. Very smart folks.

  4. Reply

    As a tech rep for Lockheed Missiles & Space, Inc, I was a (very young) systems programmer for the Outlaw Shark OTH system then in development. Since all of the programming was done in assembly language, which for today’s coders is unheard of, this lead to some serious blunders discovered when live testing the system. I recall being on the USS Guitarro for one of these SLCM tests which failed gloriously, leading the captain to declare the test aborted. Live inspection determined that the “fire” order verification code from the Outlaw Shark system to the MK46 had suffered an infamous programming error ie off by one ( Is the first entry the 0’th array entry or the 1st array entry ?). Thus, this ended my marine tech rep assignments- someone had to take the blame , although I was not the one responsible. I went on to deploy the GLCM mission control centers software as the Nuclear Security Specialist at EURCOM in ’82 – but that’s another story. I will always look back on my few days on the USS “Gutfish” as memorable and proudly wear the ball cap SSN665 when appropriate. Fare thee well, shipmates.
    Paul Lodrige USAF, LMSC (ret)

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