HMAS Stirling recently hosted an international contingent of submarine rescue officers who were ‘taught and assessed’ on the planning and coordination considerations in the event of a stricken submarine incident requiring rescue.
The Submarine Coordinator Rescue Forces Course, was attended by Royal Australian Navy students and 12 international students further enhancing mutual cooperation between submarine operating countries.
Participants from Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Republic of South Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam ensured the global reach of the course came to the Western Australian Navy base.
German Navy Submarine Flotilla One Commander, Manfred Grabienski, augmented his knowledge of the mobilisation and employment of the submarine rescue system operated by James Fisher Defence.
“Working together with submariners from several nations during the Coordinator Rescue Forces Course represents the continuation of already existing international cooperation in the submarine business,” Commander Grabienski said.
“With this course, the Royal Australian Navy ensures a common understanding among the international community in the field of submarine escape and rescue and promotes the worldwide sub-rescue network,” he said.
Navy’s Staff Officer Grade 2 Rescue Operations, Lieutenant Commander Guy Burton said that the inclusion of international participants provided everyone with a greater in-depth understanding of the various submarine rescue systems around the world.
“The first week primarily consisted of presentations and discussions relating to global rescue systems, concepts and considerations for rescue planning including medical aspects and hyperbaric treatment," Lieutenant Commander Burton said.
Participants conducted visits to the James Fisher Defence facility and the two dedicated rescue support ships, MV BESANT and MV STOKER located at Fleet Base West.
“The course is the only one in the world that provides specialised training in this sphere of submarine rescue operations and attendance on the course is eagerly sought by countries near and far," Lieutenant Commander Burton said.
“Uniquely, it is a course that a student hopes to never put into practice, but it provides a student with the tools and an understanding of the diverse requirements for coordinating a submarine rescue force.
“The second week presented the students with several rescue scenarios of differing complexity including location and type of submarine around Australia, and the South East Asia region.”