Is this true?

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by Polycell, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. That some one can join boats straight from civvy street?
    Gordon Bennett, so they don't have to do any time in Gens first?
    Whats happened to the SETT? Do they not do the tank anymore?
    If what I have heard is true it just makes me wonder what the submariners of today are really like, but hey ho time marches on. I guess as all the boats are now nukes and all operate at 1000 feet sorry, 300 metres plus there is no need for escape compartments, so weld up fwd and after escape hatches use the tower to store more beer or special fit kit!!
  2. Polycell, when I applied to join Pusser's Chosen back in 1979 I was told that I I could join the Submarmite Service upon completion of my training and completing my Junior's Time (when I was old enough to drink beer not milk.)
  3. Polycell i also had a shock when i heard this,from civvy st into boats,but as you say hey ho lets march into the future, :wink:
  4. The submarine service has suffered serious manpower shortages for a few years now. Recognising the problem, the powers that be have made concerted efforts to boost recruitment and retention. Measures such as compulsory transfer from general service, general service time counting towards payment of SP (SM), recruiting directly from civvy street, golden hello's, financial retention bonuses, offers of extended service (in some cases up to age 55 and occasionally beyond) have all been used. Spookily there remain category's that are severely undermanned with the outlook only getting worse. The ramping up of the civil nuclear industry will without doubt further drain manpower resources such as nuclear watchkeepers. Short term financial incentives may plug a hole temporarily but in reality such measures do not really address the longer term retention problem.

    Now to the SETT. Without doubt a choke point to the C-O-C when attempting to supply much needed manpower to the front line units. The cynical amongst us might be of the view that the discontinuation of pressurised escape training has had absolutely nothing to do with the "Health and Safety" reasons given by the higher echelons of the service and is actually driven by political pressures from both within and without the Royal Navy. The US Navy and other navies have recently either reinstated or decided that pressurised escape training is an invaluable tool. In fact the USN has constructed a pressurised tower at the Submarine School Groton.Their initial instructors were trained at SETT.

    With the move of the medical services located at once was HMS Dolphin to the Midlands, the site really has nothing left, apart from SETT. This facility is situated on prime development land adjacent to the Ex Royal Hospital Haslar. contracts for the sale of that site to a developer are due for signature in the very near future. Would we be surprised if in the not to distant future Blockhouse was subject to a similar sale? I think not, make up your own minds.

    Have a nice day

  5. Unfortunately Poly, (I think) those who want to join boats get seperated from those going gens very early on in their career ie at Raleigh, this is allegedly to give them more of a 'Submarine ethos'. My take on it is that young lads are being told they are submariners before they are even fully fledged members of the RN. A lot of them arrive onboard having been told how good boats are, money is good etc but have nothing to compare it against (General Service) think doing part 3, hot bunking and being 1 in 4 on trot is sh*te and leave. In an ideal world (like up until the mid '70s) everyone would do time in the surface fleet and then volunteer (or get a black edged draft order, cest la vie) but due to us not having enough arses on seats we find ourselves getting the troops in at source. Don't get me wrong most of the young lads who turn up onboard are bon oeufs and get on with it, but when I hear them giving their suface compatriots grief, having not even set foot on a grey warriror, it does make me shake my head, same as when a non-submariner gives someone in boats grief, age old statement on this forum of 'do both, then gob off'!!

    Most of the troops who I know who volunteered, and most of those who didn't but still arrived onboard, enjoy it because they have something to compare it against. You'll always get someone who misses all the creature comforts and wants to go back, or wants better watchbills in some cases, but if you're a young 'un who doesn't know any better I think you are at a disadvantage having not seen how the other half lives.

    Spoke to my dad about it, as he was an instructor at Dolphin when joining boats straight from training was introduced. Just as you have stated in your post Poly, he says most submariners were up in arms about it with the same arguments about them not even being matelots yet, how can they join boats???? Due to the lack on manpower I don't think things will ever change back, would be ideal if they did but not holding my breath (won't miss doing the tank myself!!!).
  6. When I was at Dolphin, the first thing we did was SETT. Anyone medically unfit never got any further. I never did any General Service time, volunteering for boats while on WEMs course. However, all my training up to that point had been GS. Had I failed SETT then I would simply have been drafted to a ship. Now trainees complete all their submarine training first, and large numbers of them were then found to be unfit for service in submarines when at SETT. They then had to be retrained for a GS role. Amazingly, since pressurised training has ceased, the number of trainees successfully completing SETT has increased hugely. Now I know I'm cynical, but I think even those less cynically minded than me might just wonder if perhaps the use of H&S justifications is in fact just a cover.
  7. Sadly same sort of thing in the Health Service.

    Leave school,go to uni for 2 years then out on the road as a paramedic.
    No grounding on the road doing routinue work getting to see people in on a daily basis etc.

    They come out of uni with a degree but no life experience.

    My favorite saying is:They can tell you the cubic capicity of a jar of pickles but can't get the lid off.
  8. I guess being on a Nuke these days is not a worlsd away from being a skimmer except you can't promenade on the quarter deck after supper!
    Lets face it when it comes to accomodation, food etc whats a Type 45 got that a nuke hasn't.
    Its a world away from the diesel days when you certainly relied on your buddies to know the 'systems as well as you did. I remember being on Revenge at the end of her first commish in '73 when only certain members stirred from their racks at action stations and the movie continued in the dining hall, when my relief on the after planes turned up more than once pissed when the SRs mess was dry at sea on a diesel boat. Yep its a whole world away from what life on boats used to be like and I suppose a whole lot better.
    I suppose I can get my head round the fact that strawberry mivvies can join boats straight from school, but not doing the SETT what kind of madness is that? OK so the DSRV comes and gets yer but what if the only way out is a rush escape, a rush escape whats that hookie???
  9. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    "Supper"? "SUPPER"?! I've heard it called many things before, but never that... you've never had scran on board a Pusser's sleek, grey warrior of death, have you?! 8O :pukel: :wink:
  10. :x Regarding compulsory transfer from general service. How would that have affected me being claustrophobic ? I never envied[ but respected] Submariners but as far as I was concerned they could have it. :?
  11. I tried the claustrophobic gag when I got drafted to boats and was told by a doc "how do you know until you've tried" so you may/may not have got away with it. I wasn't claustrophobic to be honest, I was just trying to get out of the draft and the [email protected] saw through me :cry:
  12. I am one of 2 WAFU CPO's who are coming over to the Submarine Service after 20 years in the FAA - thats how desparate things are. I'll be honest with you, the thought of doing the SETT was terrifying (can't speak for the other guy) but is it actually necessary in this modern age? Or is it simply just a rite of passage that has traditionally separated the men from the boys? Not being inflammatory, just asking the question, that's all - I genuinely don't know the answer.
  13. I'd fecking well want to know how if the situation ever arose! 8O
  14. I was hoping the line in bold was the answer!!!!
  15. Personally I find the idea of the dunker more terrifying. As for is SETT useful, yes. While the theory training now given at SETT is all well and good, I think the confidence that carrying out an escape gives is priceless. If you were forced into an escape situation rather than awaiting rescue, you're going to be shitting bricks. That belief in the system given by having done it might just make the difference between getting it right and making a fatal mistake.

    One other thing, what are 2 WAFUs going to be doing on a boat?
  16. Haven't you heard? QE and PoW have been cancelled and we're going to operate F-35 from the A-boats :D

    Not really, we're retraining to become MESM Officers 8O
  17. So skimmers don't get an evening meal these days about half past five-ish then? uhmm the mob has certainly gone down in my estimation, oh and this meal was always called supper hey but mind you this was in the 60s.
    We had nine o clockers as well usually an orange and a boiled egg!!!!
  18. I have no idea if doing the SETT is necessary or not only those that didn't do it but have made an escape from a boat would be able to answer that BUT I did it several times to qualify and to requalify and I tell you I'm mighty glad I did it cos there is nothing more satisfying than climbing out of the tank having made a hundred foot free ascent thinking if that were for real I'd probably be alive!!
  19. Fair comment Polycell
  20. :p
    I started my apprenticeship in 1988 and was told in 1990 I'd been drafted boats (against my wishes!) so this is certainly not a NEW practice! Cue the tank with all the fun that went with it (medicals etc)

    Personally, I found it informative and enjoyable. This new regime of 'plugging in' then getting out of the tower is a joke. How a non-qual is going to get it right - especially the 'breathe-normally' part - is beyond me.

    However, as new boats are havinf LETs fitted instead of old style escape towers we really need something new and up to date. Nuff said!

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