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Weapons Engineering Officer Subs, or Surface.

mike007

Midshipman
Hi guys, require advice!

I have passed my interview at local AFCO, with the careers officer now registering me for AIB wahoo...

I am going for Weapons Engineering Officer and i want to go surface fleet, after my 3 sponsored years on the DTUS scheme if i am sucessful.

However my careers officer asked me what would my reaction be to becoming a WEO on Submarines, to which i answered i dont have a clue as i havent thought about it. To be honest i dont fancy it but cant actually think of a convincing argument against the idea to tell the posting officer at AIB if i get offered the sponorship on the grounds i join submarines..

Any help, advice, or insight to what being on a sub is like, or why i should or shouldnt go for it.


Regards Mike
 
Never been on a sub myself mate, but then I've never come across any submariners that didn't thoroughly enjoy it either. Well, apart from two. But they are both Chief Tiffs, and one of those has gone back to subs. :)
 

scabz

Lantern Swinger
A boat relies on the WEO's gear once your dived, it's "blind" without sonar and the processing power that goes with it. It's your kit that helps "see" at periscope depth (all the stuff on the masts is WE gear). Sort it when it goes wrong or the CO's upset. You get all the weapons too, & the comms/IT infrastructure/network too, a cracking job for a young officer. What's more, it's all used for real too. The whole job of a submarine is to be sneaky and do sneaky things (operational not decorational)...WESM (deep down, you know it makes sense)....drat, suckered into a bumper sticker....
 

Bawsack

Lantern Swinger
As a WEO on a boat you are more of a day working Seaman officer who just happens to also be responsible for the Weapons department.

You will watchkeep on the periscope, do the occasional bit of plotting as well as run the department and all things that a HOD will do.
 

natg

Lantern Swinger
Could you ask your ACLO for an acqaint on a boat?
That way u can meet and talk to those with the real answers.
 

mike007

Midshipman
sorry for the incorrect terms, lazyness prevailed, boats!... I have been offered a two day taster not sure whether on a frigate or base, but my ACLO said it was not possible to visit a boat during this day. To be honest a visit might be just what i need. Its extremely difficult going into that sort of environment blind, its an environment no-one will have ever experienced. There is two ways it can be taken. As the best job in the world or your navy career in the swanny.

I understand as many have said, for a young officer WEO on a boat the job is a challenging and exciting prospect. The thing that scares me is the lifestyle...

Thanks for input so far.

Regards Mike
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
mike007 said:
I have been offered a two day taster not sure whether on a frigate or base, but my ACLO said it was not possible to visit a boat during this day.

I would guess that this is probably the Engineering acquaint visit to HMS Sultan & HMS Collingwood (Well worth going on). If you ask nicely they may find you a Submariner WEO to talk to while you are there.
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
mike007 said:
I understand as many have said, for a young officer WEO on a boat the job is a challenging and exciting prospect. The thing that scares me is the lifestyle...

Thanks for input so far.

Regards Mike

There are two types of weapons systems in boats, Tactical Weapons System (TWS) and Strategic Weapons System (SWS). TWS is on all classes of submarine (torpedoes etc) but SWS (trident) is only on V boats. If you end up SWS, on a two-crew boat, then during your on crew period you’ll be one in two duties with the WEO. At sea (SWS) you’ll be either one in two or one in three, depending on your captain/number of qualified dabbers etc.

Have you any specific “lifestyle†questions?

:dwarf:
 

angry_mac

War Hero
If you want to meet interesting people with quality tales of derring do, work with a more diverse set of weapons and sensors, see the world, watch the sun set on perfectly calm and beautiful mediterrean whilst sipping from your G&T. Surface fleet it is.
If you want to spend a continous 3 months in a black tube going slowly mad, all youve got to look forward to is seeing Faslane, after leaving Faslane. Going that slow anaemic look, and have no quality 'dits', but bore your contemporaries with how much money youve been unable to spend. Its boats for you.
Seriously though(the previous is just to wind up my submariner chums who probably now have well bit on that morsel)
As a Surface WEO the equipment you oversee consists of:-
Surveillance Radars
Target Indication Radars
Pointing Radars
Weapon Mountings
SATCOMS
HF/MF Communications
SIGINT Equipment
EW equipment
Gyros and Navaids
Internal Comms
Cruise Missiles (Harpoon)
Close In Weapon Systems
Aviation Facilities
Magazines
Sonars

As you can see very diverse, on submarines as the nature of what they actually do, it isnt as diverse,. Plus youll never ever do any watch keeping or seamanship work.
As a WE, having had the option to go submarines in several stages of my career, I have not regretted going to the dark side once. Yes i wouldve earnt more money, but that isnt an issue because you are still rewarded handsomely. I have seen some weird places that youd never get to as a submariner and to be honest if its quality of life you want, stay away from boats.
Submariners are a hardy bunch, and I have a lot of respect for them, having worked in Northwood and Gibraltar with them. Ive been impressed by their professionalism across all branches of their service. Unfortunately this standard of professionaliam isnt in the General Service, although could be if General Service was let alone for a bit.
Finally as a submariner you are pretty limited with where you are going to spend most of your career, unfortunately Faslane. As a 'skimmer' its anywhere where there is a naval prescence.
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
angry_mac said:
Finally as a submariner you are pretty limited with where you are going to spend most of your career, unfortunately Faslane.

That’s not true. If you end up SWS, you do two to three years on a boat as a Lt, inboard till you pick up your half ring, then two to three years as a Lt Cdr. A large number of (SWS officer) inboard drafts are not in Faslane but places like London, Northwood, Bath etc.

:dwarf:
 

angry_mac

War Hero
Yeah your right, suppose I was looking at it ftom a ratings point of view. But as a submariner, surely you are still going to be firmly anchored to Faslane.
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
angry_mac said:
Yeah your right, suppose I was looking at it ftom a ratings point of view. But as a submariner, surely you are still going to be firmly anchored to Faslane.

Three of the four boats (one in refit) are based in Faslane. As an officer (in SWS) you could spend a total of six years (of your career) in Faslane, and the rest “elsewhereâ€, totally different from junior/senior rates.
 

mike007

Midshipman
This is great guys, i am really getting both insights to what life is like. I agree about the difference in "appointments" officers have over ratings. I was told by my ACLO that after a stint on sea i would probably be on shore for a while doing different stuff.

I really cant make my mind up. Hopefully the Engineering acquaint course will give me a real insight, and possibly get hold of a Boat WEO.

Thanks anyway guys
 
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