Hunter killers - Nuclear submarines

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by marc123, Jan 23, 2008.

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  1. Hi
    Im joining the Navy as a WS(SM), going to Raleigh on the 17/02 and really looking forward to it.
    Ive been told by the careers office that i will get a preferance to which boat type i would prefer to go on ( hunter killer - Nuclear )
    One of the differences i was told is that the hunter killer will go away for 3/4 months and surface at points during this time so i will get to see the world and the nuclear ones will go away for 3 months and will be under for the whole of that this the case?
    Will i ever see the world and travel as a submariner? and if so what sort of places do they go?
    Also when im not at sea how long can you be home for? i have a young family and this seems to be the big question i cannot answer.
    would appericate some advise.

  2. Marc

    I am many years out of Boats, not subs or submarines, but the two current types SSN (Hunter Killer) and SSBN Trident Ballistic Missile boats. SSN's will be deployed World Wide for up to 7 of so months at a time. Most of the crew will get home during that period. You will get to visit places where Nuclear propelled craft are allowed along side. This list of ports is a bit restricted in the UK being Faslane, Barrow, Plymouth, Portland and may one or two others I do not know about.

    At the end of your posting you talk about your young family, so do you want to be seeing the world or with the family. If the family wins then you need to be on SSBN's 3 months solid at sea then at least 3 months often more when you will be home most nights but if you are one of the lucky one you may get a visit to the USA about every 2 or three years.

    Yer pays yer money and takes your choice. I may be well out of date with this info but our younger members have failed to respond to your request perhaps they can correct anything I have said which is incorrect.

  3. Like Nutty, I've been out of boats for many years, but served on an SSBN ans 2 SSNs. For a stable family life, with virtually guaranteed long forecasts for sea/shore time, SSBNs would be best. If you're interested in some foreign travel, with lots of interesting deployments and operations, then SSNs are the thing. Depends on where your priorities lie - fortunately, Herr Indoors was able to accept the separation involved, and never complained when I used to come home and say "Next trips 3 months in the Med".
  4. But for the best life - fleet boats. Bombers don't do much, like having an office job, that's why they are called 'bomber queens'.
  5. Nutty you forgot to mention Southhampton, Cardiff, Liverpool, Pompy, Hull......and........Coulport and Campbeltown albeit mostly secured to a buoy, I did get alongside once. The high and low water difference at Campbeltown is impressivea, shoot off ashore at high tide and come back pissed at low tide and be ready for the twenty foot drop from jetty to casing.

    I think Bombers for our prospective part three. Then if he feels the need for a more varied life style tx to SSN's. They will soon all be running from Faslane anyway so there won't be a great upheaval in relocation.

    I never did a Bomber would've been nice to have experienced one.

    Question...did anybody ever see anyone making models at sea. I never did...I though a few might have been sniffing glue...but never actually saw anybody sticking something to something else!
  6. Hello Marc,

    You don’t say where you’re family is or whether they (your immediate family at least) would be prepared to relocate to where you’re drafted.

    What Nutty posted is still pretty much spot on.

    At risk of stating the obvious, most boats are either in Plymouth or Faslane with the majority in Faslane, so you’ve got a greater chance of ending up in Faslane. Life on a SSBN is generally more predictable than life on a SSN, but it’s not as “set in stone†as many think. If you want to “see the world†then being on a SSBN will limit you to France (their SSBN base) and the USA (their SSBN facilities), although a bomber has been to Gibraltar. If your end up on a (two crew) SSBN, you won’t get many weekends off whilst you’re “on crew†(typically five months), so unless your family move to Helensburgh you’ll have limited contact with them.

    I’ve only got experience of SSKs, but believe the running is very similar to SSNs. I enjoyed my time in SSKs, but the running was very irregular and often changed at very short notice.

  7. There's always the chance of a couple of years alongside
    in Gibraltar.
  8. Only for a broken SSN.

  9. Hi, thanks everyone

    I have a girlfriend and a 18m little girl and we live in Gosport/Portsmouth, the missis is reluctant to move far, she may move Plymouth if get posted there, but she wont go to Faslane. Im going into the Navy to support them and I really want to do it for me as i know ill love it, but seems its going to be hard to find a happy medium.
    *If i go on a SSBN ill be away for less time but will have to travel home at weekend to the other side of the county.
    * SSN's more time away but when home get time with my family.
    The family win everytime but still dont know which ones proposes the best answer! im steering towards SSN's so i can see them when im home without dragging them to scotland.
  10. Im sure the missis wouldnt mind some time in Gibralta!
  11. The way you get the best of the SSBN world is by living in the Clyde area. If your other half does not wish to go to Scotland at this stage (remember all SSNs will eventually be in Scotland) then a Devonport SSN (T boat) is your best choice. You will get more variety on an SSN and you will get port visits either foreign (numerous available) or UK (currently Southampton or Portland). As stated above SSBN programmes are not as reliable as they were (ask those on the boat that did the "mega long" patrol last year), SSN programmes are unreliable, by definition, and to be honest that is in a way part of the attraction. Remember the whole point of being in the navy is to go to sea!!
  12. As said by me and others, not all SSNs are in Plymouth.


  13. Some tough choices ahead it aint going to be easy, but good luck! Things were slightly easier 20years ago.
  14. Faslane is a great place...... and is near a place called Inverqueerthing (adjacent to Rosyth) whose local, dour, MP is quite well known... now what's his name...? ;)
  15. I'm a Guzz rating through and through and have not moved my family to Faslane for either of the drafts I've had up there. It has to be said however, that Faslane isn't as bad a place as some would have you believe. Helensburgh is a hole, but move a bit further afield and there are some fantastic places and people.

    I mention this because if you're thinking of making a career of it you WILL end up in Faslane. As NAFKFP said, all SSNs will end up there in the future. While the T boats may remain in Guzz, as they decomission and the A boats come on line more and more of the available jobs will be in Faslane.
  16. Sorry what is a Guzz? have you kept the family in portsmouth then?
    The missis (therefore child aswell) will not move to Scotland, i will be moved all around in your opinion can this work, i want to see them all i can and the likelyhood is she will stay in Gosport. How much time will i have when im not at sea to do this?
  17. My mistake, I often forget I'm not always talking to matelots. Guzz is Plymouth. I was sent down here to a T boat when I was young trainee, liked it, met a local girl and did my bit to water down the Janner gene pool.

    There's no reason why it can't work if your family stay in Gosport. (Why'd they'd want to God alone knows. The reason I joined the Navy was to get out of there!) There's plenty of cheap flights from Glasgow to Southampton. Plenty of guys are based in Faslane and live either in Gosport or Plymouth. As to how much time off you'll get, that depends on work load and your boss. While I was there I'd put longer days in during the week and then fly home on a Thurs if I could, flying back Sun night or Mon morning. There will of course be weekends you can't get home for one reason or another. Really, whether it works or not is down to you and your missus.

    Like I said though, it's something you need to think about, because sooner or later you will be based there.
  18. cheers mate, im sure ill soon learn the termanoligy.
    Its amazing how little info you get given from the career office, they say what you want to hear i think!
    As long as i can come home at weekends and can look after them im good!
    Im really looking forward to it but want to know as much about the life as possilbe before i go, no good in disolutioning myself or the family, they need to know what to expect to.

    Play up Pompey! and Gosport is the land of oppourtunity!!!!
  19. It's hardly surprising the AFCOs can't give you much detailed info about submarine routines. They're not submariners, and there are few submariners attached to AFCOs at the moment.
    Faslane is a great place to live: stunning scenery, Glasgow is close by rail or road, people are really friendly, quality of life is great. It is quite a trek to the South coast though.
    I spent a fair few years up there with the family and we really enjoyed it.

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