Specific info on Weapon Engineer?

#1
Hello chaps,

Looked through literally every single piece of literature about the role of ET-(WE) in the surface fleet but alas it comes up with only a vague bit of general information (same with most other branches).

I applied for the role of Mine Warfare Specialist and sent my application off last week and am just awaiting an interview.

I am however thinking it's not the role for me and am leaning towards Weapon Engineer.

I do, however have a few questions about this role:

• Would I have to specialise in electronics and computer related stuff or could I lean more towards fixing and maintaining of the actual weapons such as missiles, machine guns, Mk 8 naval gun, etc. Rather than the electronic systems behind them? I understand I would have to learn the basics of all aspects however.

• would I be involved in any on Board seamanship evolutions? I read a post about the day to day life of an OM but it said that the only thing to substitute bridge watchkeeping for WE rounds and the post involved seamanship evolutions. I'm not particularly fussed either way. Aside from seamanship, is there any other on board roles?

• I read on the PDF that a weapons engineer "operates" the systems to defend the ship from attack. Is this a mistake and actually that they maintain them or is there a degree of actually operating weapons systems? I thought this role fell solely to WS and SS

• one last one: as I only have GCSE's would I be eligible to become an officer after or during training like in other branches (the AFCO informed me that if I had 3 A* to C grades I could if asked or if I requested to go to Dartmouth from training? Or as WEO's require a degree would I also require one?

Could any serving WE's please post a day to day life of a Weapon Engineer?

Sorry for the long post but detailed answers would really help, I want to know as much as I can before I tell the AFCO this is what want to change my application.

Thanks,

BMBF
 
#3
Why do you keep posting this
Because there's been no replies anywhere else so I thought I'd post it in as many forums as was relevant. I have my RT test THIS MONDAY and if I score high enough for weapons engineer I want to be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not I want to change my application. Didn't mean to get on anyone's nerves just need the information and the AFCO said that they won't be able to arrange for me to chat to a ET(WE) before Monday.

That's why.
 
#5
Im a serving PO, my experience is mostly Type 23s, Weapons Group.

You will work on a variety of systems that incorporate hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics and electrical components. You will work on a section, within either Sensors Group - RADAR/SONAR, Weapons Group - Guns/Missiles/Torpedoes or Comms Group - Comms systems/computers. Job changes usually happen every 3 months, you will get to work all of these different sections in time. You will assist the section head with routine maintenance of these equipments usually under supervision until you are proved trustworthy.

You may get involved in seamanship tasks, such as Replenishment at Sea (RAS), but to be honest in my time I haven't done a lot of it, and you don't want too if you can avoid it. OMs don't exist any more. Other roles that you could get involved in are boarding party, firefighting teams, Air233 were you'll get involved with lashing a helo to the deck, their are lots of secondary roles that you will find yourself involved with at some point. Some good, some bad, you'll learn quickly whats good or bad.

As far as operating Weapon Systems go, you could find yourself loading ammunition on the 4.5 gun, preparing torpedoes for flight/launch, you could be a close range aimer on GPMG/Miniguns. You wont be sat in the OPS Room firing off missiles.

With regards to going officer, you can now become a Petty Officer within 5-6 years if you are good enough. This will give you a foundation degree in engineering. If you display the aptitude and qualities required of an officer, opportunities exist for you to obtain a commission. The Navy will send you to University to top up your FDEng to full degree status. Getting paid upwards of £34K for going to Uni seems like a good deal to me!

A day in the life of a WE.

You will report to your section head at 0800 usually. He will detail you off to conduct daily checks on equipment, this will involve checking the status of running equipment, engineering standards, compartment cleanliness.

To start off with you'll be heavily supervised until you prove yourself competent, you'll be given low level maintenance routines to carry out, such a greasing routines, cleaning everything, and then cleaning it again!

You will then be involved in assisting the section head in routine maintenance for the rest of the day. This could be anything, but generally your keeping the equipment in operable state.

Alongside you could be duty for the day, so you will have to carry out WE Rounds checking all the equipment regularly. You will have fire and emergency party responsibilities, probably will have some sort of exercise to do, flood, fire, casualty, response force. At sea you will be in a watch rotation usually 4 hours on watch twice a day, conduct WE Rounds.

Usually stand easy at 1000-1030 lunch at 1200-1315 and work till 1600. This can and will change, expect to work late sometimes.

You'll get out of this job what you put into it. Sometimes its boring, sometimes it can be interesting, prepare to work hard, do jobs that seem meaningless with a smile on your face and you'll go far. Its not uncommon for lads to become leading hands within 2-3 years now.
 
#6
Nice reply Grog. Things dont seemed to have changed too much from the old pre-OM days.
Boaty, as Grog says, you get out of it what you put into it. There are bad days but there are bloody good ones. I left 17 years ago after serving for 24 years. Would i do it again as a WE? Yes....... but me back aint what it was!
 
#7
agree good reply, also there should be plenty of time for sport and a good and varied social life, and occasionally the oddity, sods opera, crossing line ceremony, sports nights/ afternoon (weekend) games nights, film night all at sea.
 
#8
Well I found that very interesting if no one else did, thank you! Like the OP I have been searching around for a similar write up for a number of roles to get an idea of what these jobs "really" involve on a day to day basis.

I am in the process of joining the Reserves and would have liked more info than the glossy careers leaflets. Nom that I am attending the Unit hopefully I will be able to speak to some people first hand.

If anyone else feels like doing a similar write up for any other roles I am sure they would be read with interest.

Regards.
 
#9
bare in mind this only covers General service WE Wrecks wrote one for boats a while back, cannot remember thread.
SM WE, in harbour similar to above but at sea, normally 6 on 6 off watch keeping with little maintenance, your WE trade comes second to your watch keeping role, I used to be planesman & panel operator, all are involved in incidents', be it fire, flood or action anything that puts the SM at risk
 
#10
Im a serving PO, my experience is mostly Type 23s, Weapons Group.

You will work on a variety of systems that incorporate hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics and electrical components. You will work on a section, within either Sensors Group - RADAR/SONAR, Weapons Group - Guns/Missiles/Torpedoes or Comms Group - Comms systems/computers. Job changes usually happen every 3 months, you will get to work all of these different sections in time. You will assist the section head with routine maintenance of these equipments usually under supervision until you are proved trustworthy.

You may get involved in seamanship tasks, such as Replenishment at Sea (RAS), but to be honest in my time I haven't done a lot of it, and you don't want too if you can avoid it. OMs don't exist any more. Other roles that you could get involved in are boarding party, firefighting teams, Air233 were you'll get involved with lashing a helo to the deck, their are lots of secondary roles that you will find yourself involved with at some point. Some good, some bad, you'll learn quickly whats good or bad.

As far as operating Weapon Systems go, you could find yourself loading ammunition on the 4.5 gun, preparing torpedoes for flight/launch, you could be a close range aimer on GPMG/Miniguns. You wont be sat in the OPS Room firing off missiles.

With regards to going officer, you can now become a Petty Officer within 5-6 years if you are good enough. This will give you a foundation degree in engineering. If you display the aptitude and qualities required of an officer, opportunities exist for you to obtain a commission. The Navy will send you to University to top up your FDEng to full degree status. Getting paid upwards of £34K for going to Uni seems like a good deal to me!

A day in the life of a WE.

You will report to your section head at 0800 usually. He will detail you off to conduct daily checks on equipment, this will involve checking the status of running equipment, engineering standards, compartment cleanliness.

To start off with you'll be heavily supervised until you prove yourself competent, you'll be given low level maintenance routines to carry out, such a greasing routines, cleaning everything, and then cleaning it again!

You will then be involved in assisting the section head in routine maintenance for the rest of the day. This could be anything, but generally your keeping the equipment in operable state.

Alongside you could be duty for the day, so you will have to carry out WE Rounds checking all the equipment regularly. You will have fire and emergency party responsibilities, probably will have some sort of exercise to do, flood, fire, casualty, response force. At sea you will be in a watch rotation usually 4 hours on watch twice a day, conduct WE Rounds.

Usually stand easy at 1000-1030 lunch at 1200-1315 and work till 1600. This can and will change, expect to work late sometimes.

You'll get out of this job what you put into it. Sometimes its boring, sometimes it can be interesting, prepare to work hard, do jobs that seem meaningless with a smile on your face and you'll go far. Its not uncommon for lads to become leading hands within 2-3 years now.
Grog, that was the perfect answer thank you so much! I'm defenitley going to change my application to WE now (if I get high enough on the RT this Monday). I'm not too computer and technologically minded but it's mainly down to the fact I've never really had the oppurtunities I suppose. I hope this won't effect me too much as it's a job I would definitely want to do well in and promotion prospects sound good.

One more question if you don't mind? After completion of WE training at Collingwood (IF I get through everything else) would I be able to choose where I'm posted? I know you (I think) get to choose where your base port is but could I choose what ships? I'd want a preference for either patrol ships in Gibralter, QE class or RFA (Naval detachment but the abbreviation escapes my mind)?

Cheers
 
#11
Be patient, people aren't here to answer your questions immediately, don't spam on threads its annoying.
I know they're not here to answer them immediately. When/where did I say that? Exactly. But after nearly a week it's a bit annoying, it wouldn't be but I have my RT on Monday so need to know this info quick.

It might be annoying, but it got the results I wanted.

So I don't really care :D
 
#12
You can submit a preference but thats all it is, a preference. You will get put where the navy needs you to be. In my experience classes usually get split 50/50ish between Plymouth and Portsmouth based ships, but thats not always the case, it can be any class of ship. After Phase 2, I think you now join an Engineering Training Squadron (ETS) in a base port to get qualified to ET1. So you'll be working on a harbour training ship, which could be T45 or T23. I might be wrong so don't hold me to that.
 
#13
You can submit a preference but thats all it is, a preference. You will get put where the navy needs you to be. In my experience classes usually get split 50/50ish between Plymouth and Portsmouth based ships, but thats not always the case, it can be any class of ship. After Phase 2, I think you now join an Engineering Training Squadron (ETS) in a base port to get qualified to ET1. So you'll be working on a harbour training ship, which could be T45 or T23. I might be wrong so don't hold me to that.
Thank you for the information, it's really helped me decide. Just hope I score high enough for WE on the RT tomorrow
 
#14
bare in mind this only covers General service WE Wrecks wrote one for boats a while back, cannot remember thread.
SM WE, in harbour similar to above but at sea, normally 6 on 6 off watch keeping with little maintenance, your WE trade comes second to your watch keeping role, I used to be planesman & panel operator, all are involved in incidents', be it fire, flood or action anything that puts the SM at risk
Sumo were you a WE? So if I went boats, would there be the chance of becoming a planesman? Are there any other secondary roles that a WE had aboard a boat aside from his WE job?

Cheers,
 
#16
Sumo were you a WE? So if I went boats, would there be the chance of becoming a planesman? Are there any other secondary roles that a WE had aboard a boat aside from his WE job?

Cheers,
WE's (apart from REA's for some reason) watch keep on the Submarine Control Console (known as "the Panel") when they're Senior Rates. As a JR you'll be Fwd Staff as a control room watchkeeper, manning periscope hoists (periscopes don't penetrate the pressure hull nowadays), changing ventilation line ups, changing over and monitoring the fresh water tanks etc etc.
 
#17
WE's (apart from REA's for some reason) watch keep on the Submarine Control Console (known as "the Panel") when they're Senior Rates. As a JR you'll be Fwd Staff as a control room watchkeeper, manning periscope hoists (periscopes don't penetrate the pressure hull nowadays), changing ventilation line ups, changing over and monitoring the fresh water tanks etc etc.
Thanks Wrecker, just wondering what's "REA"? Do WE's get any other secondary roles or is it limited to these? Just done my RT test AFCO said to come back in an hour to get results just hoping I get high enough for WE...:rolleyes:

Cheers
 
#18
REA = Radio Electrical Artificer, they are/were WE's and for some reason were always planesmen.

You'll have enough to do on your own section plus 6 hrs on/6 hrs off watchkeeping as Fwd Staff to fill your waking hours.
 
#19
REA = Radio Electrical Artificer, they are/were WE's and for some reason were always planesmen.

.
System Knowledge was to much for the pinkie faggots, so panel was beyond there reach? was that to harsh:). We had all WE PO as drivers soon as chief panel except for pinkies, and sometimes SCOO, only dive PO on panel was ME FWD staff.
 
#20
You can submit a preference but thats all it is, a preference. You will get put where the navy needs you to be. In my experience classes usually get split 50/50ish between Plymouth and Portsmouth based ships, but thats not always the case, it can be any class of ship. After Phase 2, I think you now join an Engineering Training Squadron (ETS) in a base port to get qualified to ET1. So you'll be working on a harbour training ship, which could be T45 or T23. I might be wrong so don't hold me to that.
Yes, am currently finishing phase 2 and this is pretty much exactly what is happening. Class is split Portsmouth/Plymouth for ETS for ET1 qualification, approx 3 months. Plymouth is 23s only, Portsmouth can be either 45s or 23s, but 45 is more common apparently. After ETS you get put on deployment. This can be based on preference but is more likely that the navy needs you to go on a particular ship. Whether or not that ship matches your preferences is complete pot luck :D
 

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