D. Record: A Glimpse Behind The Scenes Of The RN's Gruelling Submarine Command Course

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by soleil, Oct 12, 2013.

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  1. Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. Serious question; how much will the shrinking DD/FF numbers affect the population of Officers suitably experienced and prepared to train as Boat XOs/commanders?
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  3. Eh? How are you linking FF/DD numbers to SMCC Student numbers?
  4. I think POL is referring to eyes only stages of perisher and the inshore elements later on. The last perisher running boat I had used Dutch as well RN units, so that may answer the question.
  5. Or you could time SMCC to tie in with large, multi-national exercises and see what happens?
  6. I think that would work, especially if the perisher part was conducted at the start to work up the surface ASW forces before the start of the exercise, JMC maybe?
  7. WreckerL, that was to be the second phase of my question and I think you've largely answered it thanks. On the;


    An accountant would find that quite an attractive option and wouldn't be too concerned with seeing what did happen. My understanding of Joint Exercises is that they are to operate as they would on the big day. That would imply that all force elements would be commanded by those appropriately qualified. To inject an additional serial to test those being selected for command would, arguably, be distraction from the primary objective. To inject it into the core of a realistic exercise could, arguably, end in tears.

    My primary question was on the assumption that the SM Service may not have sufficient "mass" to provide sufficient numbers of officers suitably apt and qualified for command. That shortfall, I assume, would need to be found from General warfairey volunteers. Also assuming that it's the DD/FFs that provide the bulk of the seedcorn for senior commanders, a reduction in hull numbers would reduce the population of suitable WOs who might transfer to Boats. There again, if Boat WOs are only taken direct from RNC and don't transfer from Surface, then please disregard it as a bone question from a simple stores wallah.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  8. Generally speaking a Warfare officer will have 3 sea drafts under his belt, the last one being a watch leader, before being selected for perisher.

    Taking a WO straight from gens would fail from the start as they'd be lacking in submarine experience before going on the course. They have to start from the bottom and work up to that level of competency and ability to even hope to be selected.

    Surface warfare tends to be 2 dimensional, underwater warfare tends to be 3 dimensional, much like dogfighting in an aircraft (although a lot slower :) )
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  9. Last I checked, fighting the enemy in the air, on the surface and underwater also qualified as 3 dimensions.

    Submarine Warfare Officers are very good at doing one thing (fighting a SM), and ****ing awful when required to co-ordinate large TGs of assets in all 3 environments. Moreover, if they wish to Command a Surface Warship they have to go through the same Command Qualification process as Surface Warfare Officers. That generally means starting at the bottom and working their way up.....
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  10. I meant 2 dimensional as in a surface ship can go forwards, backwards left and right whereas a boat goes up and down as well, the last surface ship that tried the 3rd dimension was the Belgrano and she only went one way.# Don't forgrt boats have to worry about air, surface and sub-surface opponents as well.

    I'd dispute the last part about SM oficers in the surface world, one of my skippers ended up driving HMS Cornwall before moving on. I don't think Tim McClement started from the bottom once he'd done his drive of a T boat!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  11. fails_as_is

    fails_as_is Badgeman Book Reviewer

    First off, before I wade in with both steaming bats, SMCC is timed to tie in with Joint Warrior (JMC/Neptune Warrior in old currency). Secondly, I would agree with Wrecks in that post a T-boat drive, a former CO would definitely NOT be starting at the bottom. I'd go on to amplify that further by saying I think atg makes broad sweeping generalisations about SM warfare officers at his peril. It's not been unknown for general service warfare officers to come across as having little appreciation of the Underwater environment either...
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  12. No, you're right. A former T-Boat CO (or V or A Boat CO), has only passed 3 of the 13 Command Exams required to Command a Surface Ship. So not quite at the bottom, but near enough to it.

    To date, no SMCC Qualified Officer has passed the current (i.e. post 2004) Surface Command Process; 4 have "old" passes in the system, which wouldn't get you Command of HM MSL GLEANER these days. 2 are up for the new version very soon, both are good blokes, both have done exactly the same process as any other Officer wishing to Command a Surface Ship. Starting from the same point, with the same exams, with the same qualifying procedure as a GS(X) Warfare Officer sounds exactly like starting from the bottom to me.
  13. fails_as_is

    fails_as_is Badgeman Book Reviewer

    The level of merit and ability to command only being measured by success in command exams?
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  14. So your saying successfully passing perisher means nothing in the surface world, GS command courses must be a bitch then as I know of at least 2 perisher failures who've gone on to drive a DD/FF.

    How come driving an SSN/SSBN only gives you 3 quals as opposed to a surface bloke getting 13? Apart from fighting off aircraft I would hazard a guess that an SM command is slightly more taxing.
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  15. Just checked at work and the difference between the 2 is CQ1 and CQ2, or as the SMCC qual'd Cdr I asked (who has driven a boat and is still serving), the extra exams are to do with firing a gun, aircraft and niff naff and trivia, or as he put it, basically a PJT for skimmers. So to answer Fails, yes, it is a paperwork exercise.
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