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Royal Navy Sub Training in Crisis
Category: Defence
Date: 07/09/2006
Sources have revealed that the Royal Navy's elite Perisher course, which trains submarine captains, is going through a crisis, with very few candidates passing the course in recent years. The contents of the course were classified Top Secret until 2001, when the method of dismissing candidates was revealed. Our Royal Navy source explains:

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"Well, you don't want to make a fuss when somebody gets thrown off the Perisher course. So what happens is somebody sneaks into his cabin and packs up all of his belongings. Then we surface the submarine and make some excuse for the failed candidate to go up on the conning tower. Ask him to adjust the TV aerial or something. When he gets up there, there's a little boat alongside with his bags already aboard. The captain hands him a free bottle of Scotch and says 'Here's some whisky. Now push orff, there's a nice chap.'"

After the revelation that failed submarine captains get a free bottle of whisky, recruiting numbers are said to have soared. However, many claim that the number of people actually passing the course has plummetted as candidates are merely marking time until they receive the consolation booze. It has also resulted in a reduction in the quality of the candidates.

Our source reveals more of the Perisher course's makeup:

"We start them off with an easy test, that any Royal Navy submarine captain should pass in his sleep. The candidate must simply drink a cup of tea while plotting a course to Gibraltar.

"The exercises get more and more difficult as the course goes on.

"In the final, most demanding exercise, the candidate must demonstrate his ability to drink a cup of tea with his left hand, plot a course to Gibraltar with his right hand, select a starter from the dinner menu with his left eye, look through the periscope with his right eye, pat a black labrador dog on the head with his left foot, do the Times crossword with his right foot, press the intercom button to the engine room with his chin, and say 'I'm not bloody interested in reactor core meltdowns, I asked for 30 knots and I'm still bloody well waiting!'

"Hardly anybody has been sticking around to complete the course. They don't see the point, when you are rewarded with alcohol for failing. Why bother going to the supermarket when you can just sign up for one of the hardest submarine commander courses in the world, then get booted out for pretending you can't find Gibraltar on the map."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman denied that there is any crisis with the United Kingdom's fleet of nuclear submarines, saying that "We in the defence establishment remain committed to providing best value service programmes within the paradigm of defensive procurement, notwithstanding our existing commitment to our existing defensive commitments and any other commitment which we may at any time consider to exist."

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