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Is this possible within the Submarine service?


A chap I work with has just admitted to me that he managed to complete 5 years in the submarine service, without going anywhere but Gosport. I suspect he started basic and dropped out but as I am ex-pongo rather than one of you lot I was unable to determine whether the vague details he gave were true.

He claims he was trained as a class two marine engineer, working on nuclear subs but always back in base. Is this something that could be gen or is he a walt? I only ask as he is a cnut and I would like nothing better than to out him within the confines of the work environ.


Not sure, what current practice would be, but given the manpower problems which have plagued the service for the last decade, i seriously doubt that his tale would hold water.
However, there certainly was a time when spending such long stretches shoreside were possible... up until the late 90's early 2000s. But even then he would have to have completed his part 3 training to remain as a submariner. And that cannot under any circumsatnces be completed without serving at some point on an active commisioned submarine. That practice has been in place since the dawn of time. So, in plain language, if he was a qualified submariner, he must have qualified at sea....ergo, to claim that he had served ALL of his time shoreside cannot be true.
His definition of being a submariner might be're not a submariner til you've got your dolphins. One more point which may be quite salient. Nuclear submarines have never to my knowledge been based at Gosport. nor have they undergone maitenance there. As an engineer working on them "always back at base" it would have to be either Devonport, Chatham (closed 1983 ish), Rosyth (refitting only) or Faslane.....certainly not Gosport.

I hope this stirs some suitable shit!



Cheers. He tells me he spent his first 18 months at Gosport, then 2 years at HMS Sultan and then tails off. I keep trying to be subtle in my questioning but I am as subtle as a breeze block, hence my choice of service!


There's room for both truth and genuine error there....(but the initial story doesn't smell right).. how long ago would this have been? With the exception of the submarine escape training unit at Gosport, the actual submarine side of life disappeared from there long ago. The only submarines at Gosport were Diesel Electric which disappeared from service by the early 90's. HMS Dolphin (the submarine school and submarine base) shut down somewhere around 1999.


He is 33 and claims to have joined at 18 so 1999 or there abouts for the Gosport bit, then 2001 (ish) for the Sultan bit. He is a well known bullsh*tter, but has kept his military bit quite around me as he knew I was ex-Army, however he let it slip by accident today. He has in the past claimed to be a fireman a cabinet maker and now a Marine Engineer. Given his relatively short itme on htis earth, I am wondering how he fitted it all in.

Given his dire lack of quals, and any engineering ability whatsoever, what would a class 2 marine engineer working on nuclear subs be capable of? It sounds a bit special to me and I am a Degree Qualified Incorporated Civil Engineer.


Lantern Swinger
An MEM2 (Marine Engineering Mechanic 2) was the lowest rung of the ladder. As a "2" he was not even qualified to change a fuse unsupervised regardless of if he was a submariner.
A "2" has not completed a task book and in some cases, don't know about marine engineering but in Weapon Engineering it's the case, an oral exam with an officer, chief or Warrant Officer.
I also find it very hard to believe he managed 5 years as a 2 as he obviously wasn't suitable if that's the case.
He may have been in, but was probably dismissed SNLR as he was useless.
Out him at the next works bash!!


If he joined in 1999, he would do his basic 8 weeks or so in Torpoint near Plymouth. After that he would go direct to do his trade training , this is possibly HMS Sultan which is where engineering training is done. Leaving there sometime within the next 6 months not altogether familiar with the training times. From there he would then go back to Torpoint to do his submarine course. From there he would be released into the fleet to continue his training and be put into either one of the sumbarine squadrons in Devonport or Faslane. He would be expected to complete his training within around three to six months (at a push) of leaving the submarine training school. Part of which is serving on a submarine at sea.

Given the manpower shortages and the fact that they'd spent an enormous amount of time and money training a potential submariner, I find it extremely doubtful that they would then pack him off to sit at a former naval site to work on imaginary nuclear submarines, which routinely undertake maintenance several hundred miles away. I'm not saying he's lying. He might be being never know he might have done secret stuff and have to shoot you if he told you.


War Hero
Trouser legs stopped a load of boats from goin' anywhere for a long, long time and if you were an 'S'
boat rating - it was possible to spend a couple of YEARS alongside the wall....but Gosport?

He was probably the trot sentry on the ALLIANCE or he's full of doo-doo.


War Hero
Super Moderator
I say complete and utter bullshit, end of and for all the reasons quoted above. PM me his name as he sounds like someone I had the pleasure of discharging when I was a DO at Raleigh.

You can't do 5 years as an MEM2 anyway, even if you couldn't go to sea through medical reasons as you'd be mbossed out and nuclear boats visit Gosport (I've done it twice on SSN's) but no engineering work is ever carried out there.

You could always ask him if the nuclear submarine went into drydock pompey side (Portsmouth isn't licensed for that so impossible) or if they went alongside petrol pier at Dolphin (water ain't deep enough so also impossible).


War Hero
Super Moderator
Trying to stir the grey matter, I was there on Turbs for Navy Days, I'm sure that was '87 but I don't recall Super B going in.

I stand corrected but I don't think any reactor work would have been done.
Pompey is/was a Z berth, not an X berth.


War Hero
Well that's shattered one of my ... er ... long held assumptions.

I was always under the impression that Portsmouth City Council,* (whose jurisdiction, I believe, included Gosport), had decreed that no nuclear boats would be allowed within their administration area.

It would appear that view was a bit simplistic.
What's the true story?

(*I think that's what they were called but I'm happy to be corrected)


War Hero
Chaps, my grey cells have always been suspect! It may have been Swifture and it may have been 87 or 88 'cos I took the very new pash, now Mrs SB, down the boat for a 'treat'. She was slightly less than impressed and overawed, but it WAS Pompey.
Spartan was in dry dock (C/D lock) in Portsmouth in about 1997 (there was a requirement in those days to check the SSN emergency docking capability). Triumph was alongside (MSJ(N)) in 1995. Lots of Yanks have been alongside in recent years.

Anyway, back to the original question; sounds like a classic walt and needs "outing"!


War Hero
A Septic entering Pompey last year. Linky
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