Home' Navy News : August 19th 2010 Contents NAVY NEWS
August 19, 2010
By Michael Brooke
ASPIRING submariners are steam-
ing through the Initial Common
Collins Class (ICCC) Submarine
Course and other category-specific
training with the help of highly
skilled and motivated instructors and
a suite of simple but challenging
Qualifying as a submariner is
not the 'rocket science' some sailors
may believe it to be, thanks to the
part-task trainers and simulators used
by Training Authority Submarines
(TA-SM) at the Submarine Training
and Systems Centre (STSC), located at
The part-task trainers for the con-
soles of a Collins-class submarine
and other training simulators allow
the trainees to gain valuable experi-
ence with the systems, giving them the
confidence necessary for a seamless
transition from the classroom to the
platform at sea.
The training simulators are key
learning enablers for electronics and
marine technicians (submarines)
who require 19 weeks and six weeks,
respectively, of submarine category-
specific training after completing 11
weeks of recruit training, 38 weeks
employment training and four weeks
POMTSM John Cagney, an ICCC
instructor, said the part-task training
simulators combined with boat inspec-
tions gave the trainees the knowledge,
skills and confidence required to do
their job effectively.
Simulation centre for excellence
"We get the trainees onto the part-
task trainers early in their training so
they get a better perspective of what
we teach them in the classroom," he
"The part-task trainers help the
trainees who sometimes struggle to
absorb the large amount of information
they are given during the four-week
"The part-task trainers are brilliant.
We get great value from using them
for training, especially if the propul-
sion control simulator and ship control
simulator consoles are also being used.
"It helps get people through the
training pipeline when we have boats
tied up for full cycle docking and other
LCDR Graham Winter, Manager
Training Systems, said the state-of-
the-art STSC was a centre of excel-
lence that enabled trainees to develop
their skills within a safe and cost-
"The submarine school is a centre
of excellence in training delivery. We
are not just a centre of excellence for
submarine training but are a model
for other training centres in the way
we have our learning systems set up,"
LCDR Winter said.
He said TA-SM's milestones for
submariner training included the
development of the manoeuvring con-
trol console and the propulsion control
console, as well as the submarine
virtual walk-through simulation envi-
"We have exploited the virtual
walk-through technology to provide
a virtual communications centre to
assist the communication information
systems trainees carry out patch works
and switching on various types of
equipment," he said.
Garrie Fowler, the TA-SM senior
simulator instructor, said the feedback
from trainees was always positive.
The former Collins and Oberon-
class submariner said hands-on simu-
lators enabled young submariners to
enhance their learning before they got
to a boat, where learning from mis-
takes was not an option.
"We introduce these procedural
trainers very early on. When we first
started we did time in the classroom,
time in the simulators and then sent
them to a boat," Mr Fowler said.
"But today the trainees are getting
ramped up in the simulators right from
day one, with really good results. We
introduce them system by system, or
console by console."
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE: POMTSM John Cagney conducts submarine manoeuvring
control console training at the Submarine Training and Systems Centre at HMAS Stirling.
Photo: ABIS Lincoln Commane
Do you have what it takes?
THE mining boom and mechani-
cal issues with Collins-class sub-
marines have conspired to create
critical shortages across the sub-
marine force, but the Collins-class
is fighting back with a vengeance
and SUBFOR needs the best of
the best to man another subma-
rine by the end of 2011.
To do this the Submarine
Recruiting Team (SMRT) was
formed as the coordinating
organisation for issues and poli-
cies relating to the generation of
submarine sailors and officers, as
well as the principal point of con-
tact for lateral recruiting.
CMDR Paul Bartlett is leading
the team and said the benefits of
being a submariner were some of
the best kept secrets in the Navy.
"We will be out and about
improving the understanding
about life in submarines, as well
as the benefits of becoming
part of an elite Navy team and a
strategically-significant part of the
ADF," CMDR Bartlett said.
"SMRT will be conducting
workshops to provide information
to a wider audience and support
members who are interested in
The Submarine Familiarisation
-- Recruit (SF-R) program is one
of the initiatives run by the SMRT.
Since March 2009, 10 recruits
per intake have been chosen by
staff at Recruit School -- based
on their performance and suit-
ability -- to participate in the SF-R
The recruits participate in a
five-day program comprising sub-
marine category lectures, simula-
tor tours, history lessons and a
presentation from COMSUBFOR.
They also participate in pro-
grammed PT sessions, evening
instruction and evening rounds
to maintain alignment with the
Recruit School curriculum.
CMDR Bartlett said the pro-
gram had been successful to date
and the first participants would
achieve their 'dolphins' in the very
"SF programs for seaman
officers have also proven suc-
cessful with participants recently
starting their SMOTC," CMDR
For others who would like a
more comprehensive look at a
career in submarines, nomina-
tion for the Submarine Suitability
Course (SSC) is highly recom-
mended. The SSC is a five-day,
obligation free look at all aspects
of submarine service.
Candidates participate in cat-
egory lectures, submarine and
simulator tours, a tour of the local
area highlighting life in Western
Australia, and some further test-
ing to determine their submarine
"Passing the SSC is a manda-
tory prerequisite prior to start-
ing submarine training," CMDR
"With no cost to the member's
parent unit, the SSC helps poten-
tial submariners answer all those
pressing questions to determine
if submarines are really for them,"
Submarine career shopfronts
have also been established at
some of the Navy's larger training
CMDR Bartlett said HMAS
Cerberus was the first, with the
Submarine Careers Councillor
(SMCC) working out of Recruit
"The SMCC performs presen-
tations on submarine careers for
the wider Cerberus community,
while providing a single point of
contact for prospective submarin-
ers and removing the work load
from the divisional chain," he said.
"A similar position will be set
up in the JWAC faculty by the end
of this year, as a point of contact
for submariner careers at HMAS
Watson and in the wider Sydney
"Also, an experienced sub-
marine officer will be posting into
ADFA, by the end of the year, and
will provide some crucial support
to prospective submariners."
More information on submarine careers
is available on the Defence Force
Recruiting website at www.defence-
SUBFOR and TA-SM websites also con-
tain information and contact details.
The Team can also be contacted on (08)
9553 3821 or via email at submarine.
BEST OF THE BEST: ABETSM Timothy Keefe-Jackson mans the upper deck during a force protec-
tion exercise at Diamantina Wharf, Fleet Base West. Think you have what it takes to join the SUBFOR?
Contact the Submarine Recruiting Team on (08) 9553 3821 to find out!
Photo: LSIS Nadia Monteith
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