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Navy running out of submariners

#1
From the Telegraph on-line:

Navy 'running out of sailors to man submarines’ - Telegraph

Britain’s nuclear deterrent is at risk because the Navy does not have enough sailors to man its submarines, Ministry of Defence officials admit.

Internal documents warn that a lack of recruits for the Submarine Service may leave attack submarines and boats carrying the Trident nuclear missile stranded in port.

A separate threat comes from a predicted 15 per cent shortfall in engineers by 2015.

Methinks that the Gubment have got to reassess their recruiting strategies on all Arms.....at this rate the Scouts will end up being the UK's defences
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#2
Sounds like poor manpower planning to me. If you can't recruit in the deplths of a recession and with unemployment running high, AND with an outflow programme in your Service (internal transfer anyone?) then something is badly wrong.
 
#3
I watched a docu about submarine skippers. Already experienced submarine officers, they were being assessed for their suitability to command a sub. Unlike SAS selection, pilot training, and other military courses of the most demanding nature, you can only attempt this course once. Trouble was, if they failed it, they were not only denied command of a sub, but they were banned from ever serving on a sub again. So, it's pretty much shit-or-bust for them, and the Royal Navy loses a good submarine officer, as they can't still serve as a 2i/c, or whatever the naval term is for it.
 
#5
Four of the candidates on this Perisher course were lieutenant commanders, and one lieutenant. They got promoted on passing. The lieutenant failed if I remember correctly. One LtCdr was US Navy and he passed. A shame the ones who fail can still no longer serve in any capacity.
 
#6
If they fail, then they end up (like my 1 XO) on surface fleet. Why do you think the RN is letting WRENS join the silent survice? Less to do with equal opps and more to do with that no one wants to do 10 month deployments with no contact from home.
 
#7
Sounds like poor manpower planning to me. If you can't recruit in the deplths of a recession and with unemployment running high, AND with an outflow programme in your Service (internal transfer anyone?) then something is badly wrong.
Have you bothered reading the article describing the marketable professional skills and expertise these particular people possess, even in a recession?

...Lord West said: “There’s no doubt that recruiting and keeping highly qualified nuclear engineers has been tough. Nuclear engineers have also become highly sought-after by the civil industry as this country has not trained enough.”...
Apart from having to complete their daywork, these guys in SSBNs are standing six-hour watches, watch and watch about (1 in 2), for routine deployments lasting 90 days. In SSNs, they are on deployments lasting up to 10 months owing to the submarine flotilla having been slashed so viciously. Even with the extra SSP and allowances they receive, I can see why the grass might appear (and actually be) greener outside.

Further information here: Weapon Engineering Officer (Submariner)

It's hardly rocket science, is it?

(Well, actually it is where Trident and TLAMs are concerned. /images/smilies/icon_smile.gif )
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
If they fail, then they end up (like my 1 XO) on surface fleet. Why do you think the RN is letting WRENS join the silent survice? Less to do with equal opps and more to do with that no one wants to do 10 month deployments with no contact from home.
And not many runs ashore. And the Aussies are hanging round the gates at Devonport and Faslane asking passing submariners if they'd like to see some puppies (or transfer to Australia with good pay and conditions and much less sea time).

I predict a bounty retention scheme for Charge-qualified engineers soon. As if the smellies weren't paid enough already.
 
#10
...Apart from having to complete their daywork, these guys in SSBNs are standing six-hour watches, watch and watch about (1 in 2)...
Three or four hour watches, one-in-four.
Is that right? I must have been thinking of their overworked 'skimmer' brethren working in Defence watches in so many unsavoury parts of the world these days.

I found myself wondering why I was sticking up for the 'sundodgers' immediately after I posted. :)
 
#13
My whole class was drafted to boats, Polaris. Fortunately I was kicked unconscious playing rugby so could not do the tank at Dolphin, happy days. Its a shit lifestyle, they are all barking mad and the few quid extra does not compensate. Want to retain WEOs etc, recruit more and pay more.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
VMT. Reassuring to know I didn't just dream it.
I'd question Joe Private's assertion about the engineering workload, but I never spent much time aft in my brief submarine career. I do know remember the junior engineering officers of both branches organising their watches to give themselves weekends off at sea.
 
#16
Originally joined up as a submariner- started dry phase and realised how cack life under the waves would be, luckilly for me I failed my vitalagraph and was made Permanment Medically Unfit for sub service.
 
#17
I'd question Joe Private's assertion about the engineering workload, but I never spent much time aft in my brief submarine career. I do know remember the junior engineering officers of both branches organising their watches to give themselves weekends off at sea.
You are correct, and Dunservin wasn't dreaming, but I was talking about the particular group to whom Lord West was referring. There are some who do six hour watches 1 in 2, some who do three or four hour watches 1 in 3, and some who do three or four hour watches 1 in 4.
 
#18
So that's the reason I keep seeing adverts Deep Down You Could Be A Submariner all over the place, with the promise of a salary of up to £89k (that will be the skipper's pay). Of all the armed forces jobs, that is the one I would least like. Not seeing the Sun, and not breathing fresh air for days on end. I quite like my fresh air, even if it is full of rain, hail, sleet and snow. Much better than being cooped up in a tin can. Being a submariner is not for everybody. Respect to those who do it.
 
#19
So that's the reason I keep seeing adverts Deep Down You Could Be A Submariner all over the place, with the promise of a salary of up to £89k (that will be the skipper's pay). Of all the armed forces jobs, that is the one I would least like. Not seeing The Sun, and not breathing fresh air for days on end. I quite like my fresh air, even if it is full of rain, hail, sleet and snow. Much better than being cooped up in a tin can. Being a submariner is not for everybody. Respect to those who do it.
Look on the bright side, it will be following it.s sister News of the World into the dustbin of history soon enough - nothing lost.
 

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