Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Australia Needs Submariners!

Check out this story in The Australian -- here are some excerpts:
"The navy is currently experiencing a shortfall of submariners of about 30 per cent of requirement," a Defence Department spokesman said in response to questions from The Australian yesterday. "The shortage of submariners has meant there has been a reduction in sailing days..."
...But these missions are now threatened by a critical shortage of mechanical and electrical technicians, as well as electronic and acoustic warfare specialists...
...The navy said it was considering a range of initiatives to improve the pay and conditions of submariners and entice more sailors to join.
The navy last year allowed civilians to join the submarine arm directly without first serving on surface navy ships, as had been previously required.
It has also increased the size of the special submariner allowances, which traditionally mean pay of up to 20 per cent more than sailors on ships...
...The navy has repackaged its publicity pitch for submariners, extolling the virtues of being based at the fleet headquarters in HMAS Stirling in Perth.
"Nearby you can enjoy a round of golf, or take a peaceful walk deep into jarrah forests," the Defence website says, while spruiking local fishing, nightclubs, markets and water sports.
When discussing the submariner's training course at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria, the navy promises that "despite the Hollywood stereotypes, there won't be gruff drill instructors screaming in your face".
"The type of people we are looking for are what we call extroverted introverts - people who get along with others but at the same time are mentally able to occupy their 'own space', even though others surround them," the navy says.
Collins-class boats have a crew of about 45, so the 30% shortage means that the Aussies need to find an additional 75 or so qualified people to be submariners every couple of years. Getting rid of the requirement that prospective submariners serve in surface ships first should help, as should the extra money. What they really need, though, is a good movie that shows submariners as the supermen they are -- virile, indestructible, and irresistibly desired by the opposite sex. (I would have said "women" instead of "opposite sex", but the Aussie Sub Force has female submariners -- they started training in 1998. This shortage of qualified personnel should put to rest arguments made by those who support opening U.S. submarines to women that we need to do this to ensure we have enough qualified applicants.)

6 Comments:

Anonymous qm1ss said...

You would think that a Navy that has such a small submarine fleet wouldn't have this problem. Definitely some positive media coverage would help but enlisting women in the force as well? I'd be curious to see how they managed that with the space and all.

2/27/2007 7:39 PM

 
Blogger Chap said...

Tim Blair had you covered back in January. Check #9 here for links to the recruiting site.

Lots of former Royal Navy types are now in the Australian sub force. And with their LCDR promotion freeze there may be more! Wonder if those guys recruit the XOSS's....

2/27/2007 9:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will see some US Sonar girls and other coner types onboard HMAS boats very soon.

2/28/2007 4:25 AM

 
Blogger Skippy-san said...

I submit to you they might have an easier time if they did not have the women in the sub force...............

2/28/2007 7:58 PM

 
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

Our total naval personnel strength is about 15,000 , and our population about that of Texas.
The Army is overstretched, with commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a number of failing states in the Pacific.
Positive media coverage of anything military will happen about the time that hell freezes over.

And as for female submariners - I've taught a few at ADFA, the Australian Defence Force Academy. Very much a case of "In order to be treated the equal of a Man, you have to be twice as good. Fortunately this is not difficult."

Except that it *is* difficult, some of the guys were very switched on. One guy comes to mind - a Midshipman Goodall.

Lt Goodall was killed when his helo crashed while conducting disaster relief operations in Indonesia.

Speaking as a submarine combat system designer (ISUS-90) with a little time spent on subs (g) we need all the quality personnel we can get. Some big muscular 250lb guys who can shore up bulkheads, some 90lbs sopping wet lasses who can get into cramped spaces no one else can to secure a valve.

3/04/2007 11:41 AM

 
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8/06/2012 12:09 AM

 

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