Submariner emerges from the deep

Published on LEUT Kelli Lunt (author), LEUT Jody Gleeson (photographer)

Lieutenant Stefan Zohar, RAN onboard HMAS Farncomb during week two of the Submarine Warfare Officers Course.  (photo: LEUT Jody Gleeson)
Lieutenant Stefan Zohar, RAN onboard HMAS Farncomb during week two of the Submarine Warfare Officers Course.

Just in time for Christmas, Lieutenant (LEUT) Stefan Zohar graduated from the Submarine Warfare Officers Course, a milestone course for submarine officers, designed to develop skills to tactically employ a Collins Class Submarine in a range of different roles as the Watch Leader.

Director Training Authority – Submarines, Commander (CMDR) Matt Hoffman said the course was demanding on students but provided a much broader exposure to submarine warfare than covered in other training.

“The students need to master skills in using the periscope, combat system and Mark 48 torpedo. They need to be able to operate the submarine in a range of different environments and remain undetected from enemy forces,” CMDR Hoffman said.

“One of the benefits of the course is that it exposes submarine officers to a wider variety of capabilities than they may have seen before. As part of the course, visits are taken to Defence establishments across Australia, as well as a two-week visit to Hawaii in order to receive training from the United States Navy submarine force.

The culmination of the course was a sea assessment phase, conducted in HMAS Farncomb off the east coast of Australia. Concurrently, students from the Principle Warfare Officers course were embarked in surface ships maximising the value of multi platform training opportunities.

“The simulation and sea assessment phases proved very challenging, with numerous serials involving multiple air and surface units and environmental constraints that required careful consideration. These serials required many hours of preparation and planning to successfully complete,” LEUT Zohar said.

“A personal highlight was being given the watch on the last night so that I could ‘hunt’ Parramatta and simulate an ‘attack’ on them. This involved use of all the submarine's sensors and a deep sprint. The best thing about this was that it was a serial in which I was, for the first time employed completely as a Watch Leader rather than a student.”