Submarine tour lengths

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by perksy121, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. Hi! :) I guess I should probably start by introducing myself. My name is Tom, I'm 19 and currently training to be a Merchant Navy Officer. I had always wanted to join the Royal Navy as an officer but when the SDSR came along, the Royal Navy's future seemed very uncertain so I decided to go away and get some life experience and see how it all looks in a few years time. In my quest to find something a bit different to university I found the Merchant Navy Cadet scheme and have dived straight in. A 5 months of navigation training and 4 months of sea time later and I'm loving it but still think I'd like to go for the Royal Navy after I finish my course in a couple of years time.Anyway one of the jobs I'm considering is becoming a Warfare Officer (Submariner) and was wondering how long the average tour of duty is? I was told not more than 3 months by a careers officer a couple of years ago but then have been assured by other serving RN Officers that it's much longer. Any chance anyone could shed some light on this for me? :)
  2. Can you define "Tour". Drafts will be a couple of years (time on one boat), Trips up to 3 months(at sea with out coming in) but often shorter, length of time between leaves about 4 months.
  3. Ah sorry, I meant trips, ok thanks very much :)
  4. All our remaining submarines are nuclear-powered. A patrol in a ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) normally lasts 90 days but a deployment in a fleet 'hunter killer' submarine (SSN) can last up to ten months owing to the severely reduced number of hulls.

    For example, HMS Tireless returned to Devonport in May last year after a 10-month deployment that included 253 days at sea. HMS Turbulent returned in December after a final deployment of 268 days, 190 of them submerged; she was decommissioned just a week ago.

    As Topstop says, you are likely to spend 2-3 years in the same submarine when occupying a complement billet.
  5. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    If you don't want to commit long term perhaps you should visit HMS/m Alliance in Gosport, where the tours only last about 45 minutes (or longer, if the guide decides to spin some dits).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Haha thanks for that, I'll look into it :p well I don't mind being away from home for long periods of time, I'm currently doing my second 3 month trip on a Merchant Ship (I know it's nothing compared to 10 months but I like to think it's a start), just trying to get an idea of what the life in like for a serving submariner. I had a tour of HMS Sceptre just before she was decommissioned but in all the excitement trip lengths was something I forgot to ask

  7. Ooooh I don't know. I had some great tours. I toured the East and West seaboards of the USA, toured the Falklands and had some trips where I can't say where we went or what we might have seen!! Even went on a trip/tour to Portsmouth (yes, on a boat!!) for an AMP.
  8. Having a sense of humour helps somewhat. My advice is don't even think about whimsically wondering how long a patrol or Op is going to take, because you can bet your arse it'll change as the Opdefs on your relieving unit mount up. Go with the flow and spend little then you'll have stacks of wonga when you eventually turn up alongside (that's if your not duty weekend as soon as you hit the wall). On the other hand you could try for the RN Independent Single Submarine Service, where you get your very own boat and go on patrol for as long as the O2 lasts (seen here being trialled by Lt Cdr Samantha Lardbottom RN out on the AUTEC Ranges, Andros Island.) ............
  9. Ah ok will bare that in mind, thanks for the advice :)
    Haha! A fine new edition to the Silent Service I'm sure! Would certainly give the Somali pirates a shock!
  10. Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  11. Haha! well I don't like the look of the guy on the right looking through his binoculars he's certainly up to no good!
  12. MN or RN

    Perksky, Bit of sound advice, stick with your MN Cadetship get established in shipping line circles and then make your decision when you are 24/25.

    Tom. 24yrs RN. (20yrs Submarine Service) 18yrs MN.
  13. Ah ok thanks Tom will keep that advice in mind :) certainly not planning on dropping out of my cadetship, ok one more quick question if that's ok. How is the Submarine Service as a career? Everyone always told me I was mad for considering it but I loved the sense of professionalism, camaraderie and real skill that is associated with the submariners. Am I on the right lines or have I fallen for the careers office propaganda? haha
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  14. One bit not mentioned is if you're on a 10 month deployment you'll get some 5th watch in (as in boats at sea, you're not) but hossifers don't get as much 5th watch as us damn ratings. Skipper dips out (as do some others) and get no 5th watch :glasses8:

    Edited to add re your last question, I was on a grey thingy when I was drafted to boats as a non-volunteer and I tried everything to get out of it. Once I got there I stayed for the next 30 work it out (and yes I am speshul needs)
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  15. Once I got there I stayed for the next 30 work it out (and yes I am speshul needs)[/QUOTE]

    So you got used to the extra money and Subbies on runs ashore and just could not see how you could ever afford to become a skimmer again? Or you just love boats?
  16. Errrrrrrrrrrrr yes definitely and maybe, depended on the running.
  17. Bit off thread but not too far, story that went, a regulator meets a P&O boat coming in from a trip, stands on the trot picking the crew up for dirty 8s, haircuts and all the other things that they deemed so important, before the boat sailed on its next trip the skipper contacts the reg and asks him down the boat for a “word” the boat is singled up and as soon as our hero is down below sails, so he is faced with no dhobi gear or change of clothes for a couple of weeks and becomes as scruffy as the rest of the crew, lesson taught, was this just a dit or was there any truth to it.
  18. Reads like a dit to me.Wishful thinking on someones behalf.I believe kidnapping is frowned upon even by Pusser and even if the victim is a Crusher.
  19. The way I heard it, it was in the tunnel in Faslane..............................

    Therefore, true dit, but nuclear, not a mere submergible.

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