Training Authority-Submarines was recently recognised in the 2016 Navy Safety Awards.
The Authority, part of Training Force and based at Fleet Base West, took out the Category Three Award for a ‘Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Hazard’, with its Submerged Signal Ejector training rig.
The system, consisting of a barrel and breech, is designed to fire explosive ordnance pyrotechnics such as ‘red’ and ‘green’ indicator grenades from a submarine.
Manager Training Administration at the Submarine Training and Systems Centre Commander Gavin Reeves said while it was not an overly complex system, the operator was forced to use the equipment in a cramped position in order to load and fire the pyrotechnics.
“Due to its location on a submarine, the ejector is not conducive to practical training with only one person being realistically able to operate within the confined space available,” he said.
“The training rig has been designed so that the space where submariners load the ejector can be expanded for use in initial training, and then contracted to the same size as in the workplace during assessment.
“Additionally, as the training rig has been placed in the centre of the training space and all panels have been removed, students and trainers have an unobstructed view of the equipment in operation.”
The training rig is a fully working, full size model found in all Collins class submarines, and features the capability for instructors to simulate faults in order to test submariners’ skills in a range of environments.
“This allows assessors to truly reflect the range of potential ‘danger scenarios’ that may occur in the workplace,” Commander Reeves said.
While the training rig is submarine-specific, the concept of providing a training solution to a common issue from the Fleet by adopting simulator based training has proved to be effective both financially and in the delivery of enhanced training outcomes.
Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Michael Noonan said the training rig and the initiative shown by the members of the Authority deserved recognition through the Navy Safety Awards.
“The Authority’s manufacture of this training rig, that permits realistic training to reduce the risk of an accident at sea, is an innovative solution that directly benefits the safety of our Navy people,” he said.
This training is now undertaken by all submariners prior to undertaking their first at-sea training phase.