An innovative industry outplacement program is reaping benefits for the technical sailors of the submarine force.
Navy is working with the Defence Material Organisation and industry partners to provide opportunities for sailors to develop deeper technical knowledge and skills.
Up to six personnel can participate in the up-skilling program at any one time with each outplacement lasting for three months.
Manager of the Marine Technician component, Warrant Officer Marine Technician Submarines Christopher Garner, explained that the benefits to Navy are many.
"Outplacement provides exposure to intrusive maintenance routines carried out by industry specialists with the dual benefit of enhancing individual trade capability whilst improving Navy's ability to repair systems at sea where contractor assistance is limited," he said.
Personnel gain the skills to become more proficient in an area of interest particularly where this relates to current or future postings. It is also useful for consolidating the wide cross section of skills where deep level maintenance would be useful in task book progression.
Able Seaman Marine Technician Submarines Zach Wells recently completed an outplacement with a mechanical fitting department.
"It provided a level of insight into mechanical systems that simply can't be gained through the Navy workplace alone," he said.
"The tradesmen were great and I was able to improve both my technical skills as well as increase my understanding of submarine construction and systems," he said.
Able Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Prabhu Chandrappa is currently undertaking outplacement with an industry partner but working within Navy's own Submarine Training and Systems Centre at HMAS Stirling.
"I have been involved in the installation, maintenance and operation of both the hardware and software components of the combat system," he said.
"This experience will really help me get the most out of the combat system when I post back to sea."
Placements with a range of companies including Raytheon, Thales and ASC have been coordinated. Raytheon and Thales provide positions for Electronics Technicians to work on combat systems, sonar and communication whilst Marine Technicians join ASC refrigeration, electrical, diesel, hydraulic and mechanical fitting departments.
An outplacement opportunity at ASC Adelaide to assist with HMAS Farncomb's combat system upgrade program is also on the cards for Electronics Technicians in the future.