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December 9, 2010
Let's get on with it
As significant as the technical challenges are, it's
equally important Navy meets the challenge of deliv-
ering the workforce necessary to operate the boats.
Navy is already moving to address this. RADM
Moffitt himself carried out a review of the subma-
rine workforce, called the Submarine Workforce
Sustainability Review, in 2009. In it he made 29
recommendations, all of which were accepted and are
Discussing the current state of the submarine
workforce, RADM Moffitt says he's heard promising
reports on how things are going.
"I was able to spend a day at sea with Collins
recently and I spoke with many of the sailors and
officers who are now experiencing the impact of those
recommendations," he says.
"They seem to be welcoming them and it appears
they are being implemented well.
"We have to want to do it badly enough. I think
the prospect of a future submarine fleet the size of
the one outlined in the White Paper gives us a great
imperative to fix these problems; so let's get on with
"All of the ideas that were laid out in my review
were ideas the submariners themselves gave me. I
think that was key to making them successful."
Passion, dedication and intense
RADM Moffitt says the challenges posed by
the Future Submarines Program are matched by the
opportunities it creates for Navy and its people.
"I think it's important to recognise that
Government has decided it wants a larger submarine
fleet for very sound reasons," he says.
"This is going to make the RAN's submarine capa-
bility a much more potent element in the defence of
Australia. It's a growth industry in which there will be
many opportunities for people who are seeking differ-
ent career opportunities within Navy.
"I strongly doubt we will confront a set of circum-
stances where the only way to [operate] submarines in
Australia is to live in Western Australia -- I think there
are likely to be changes in that respect."
RADM Moffitt also thinks the challenges of being
a submariner will change in the future.
"The life of a submariner is likely to become more
balanced and reasonable than it has sometimes been
in the past," he says.
"One of the things that struck me when I did the
Submarine Workforce Sustainability Review was the
passion, dedication and intense professionalism that I
found in the submarine people. I found that incredibly
One of the things that struck me when I did the
Submarine Workforce Sustainability Review
was the passion, dedication and intense
professionalism that I found in the submarine
people. I found that incredibly uplifting.
-- RADM Rowan Moffitt
Head Future Submarines Program
SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT: The future is bright for submariners like ABMTSM Shane Large,
pictured here helping with a refuelling evolution on board HMAS Farncomb.
Photo: ABIS Evan Murphy
STEALTH: A Collins-class submarine sails off the coast of Western Australia
during a weapons firing serial.
Photo: ABIS Lincoln Commane
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