March 19, 2018

Collins submarine HMAS Waller in anti-sub Exercise Ocean Explorer



Pete has added extra links, in red, to the following article. ABC's Defence Reporter Andrew Greene on Australian Collins' class submarine HMAS Waller, March 18, 2018, reports:

"Life on board a crowded Collins-class submarine 100 metres below the surface"

In recent weeks HMAS Waller has been taking part in Exercise Ocean Explorer to improve anti-air and anti-submarine warfare, as well as maritime operations aimed at ensuring shipping lanes are clear and safe.

This month's war games come against the backdrop of growing concerns over Beijing's military build-up in the South China Sea, and the potential for crucial trading routes to Australia to be cut off.
The increasingly crowded waterways to Australia's north present obvious dangers for any submarine or surface ship but Commander Lindsey insists he is not overly worried.

Their world is secretive, often dangerous and at any moment they could be deployed to the farthest corners of the globe to carry out deadly missions.
The men and women who serve on Australia's six Collins-class submarines provide one of the country's most vital pieces of "strategic deterrence" in an increasingly competitive and uncertain neighbourhood.
By the year 2030 the Australian Government is anticipating more than half the world's submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific, a maritime environment that is already getting very crowded.
In simple terms submarines provide four crucial roles for the Defence Force: covert surveillance; delivery of special forces personnel, anti-surface ship warfare and anti-submarine attack.
"The real, true capability of a submarine is that I don't have to announce (my) arrival in any place" says Commander Richard Lindsey, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Waller, one of the Collins-class fleet.
HMAS Waller Captain, Commander Richard LindseyPHOTO: Commander Richard Lindsey on the bridge of HMAS Waller. (Luke Stephenson, ABC)
"If you really want to get down to the baseline, it's about removing that threat, and that's my business".
Commander Lindsey is a veteran of the United Kingdom's nuclear-powered submarines but believes Australia's diesel-electric fleet is world class, and doesn't deserve its "dud-sub" reputation.
"The Collins platform that we see today … is nothing like it was 20 years ago and we need to understand that that platform is improved, and constantly improved throughout," Commander Lindsey says.
HMAS Waller rises to the surface of the ocean
"Any of those deployments or movements that I make, whether it be around Australia or anywhere else are well planned, well considered and I'm well briefed," he said.
"For me it's just about standard operating: well planned, well supported and making sure that we don't make mistakes."
No personal space, six-hour sleeps and months without sunlight
[More on HMAS Waller and Lieutenant Timms] Life as a submariner is full of difficulties and requires extreme resilience but the salaries are usually much higher than other military jobs.
Submariners can typically spend months away at sea, including long periods below the ocean surface without any natural light.
"The biggest challenges of living on a submarine are obviously space," Lieutenant Kaira Wansbury said, the only female crew member of HMAS Waller.
"I sleep, for example, with four of the guys in a small cabin and we only get to sleep six hours a time," the submarine's navigating officer said.
Having a cabin is considered a luxury on board a submarine, which can be at sea for up to 70 days at a time and is home to around 60 people.
Junior trainees sleep among the various torpedoes stored at the bottom of the submarine in an area of the boat which also doubles as a makeshift gym.
"It's not the life for everyone — it's definitely for a small group of people. It does take a bit of resilience," said Able Seaman Anthony Zdjelarevic, 28, a combat systems operator on HMAS Waller.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Russia claimed that one of their Akula Project 971-B "arrived announced" near a US naval base in a recent exercise, although it is still in International waters legally speaking. I am not sure how believable is their claim.
KQN

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Is commander needed for non-nuclear submarine? Captain can concurrently serve as commander. Commander room shoud be changed to shower/rest room for female crews.

Regards

Peter Coates said...

Hi KQN

Do you have an open source link about this Akula (Project 971-B) arrival?

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 20/3/18 7:18 AM]

As http://www.navy.gov.au/biography/commander-richard-lindsey indicates ("Captain" which is the highest rank on a ship or submarine) and in this case Commander Lindsey was Commanding Officer of the UK SSBN HMS Vanguard.

I think it highly likely the Captains of UK SSBNs need to have attained Commander rank.

Royal Australian Navy submarine Captains probably need to be Lieutenant Commanders at a minimum.

Lindsey, having attained Commander rank in the UK Royal Navy, was probably talent spotted by the Royal Australian Navy because he wanted to remain an AT SEA submarine Captain (despite his slightly higher age than usual) with the mutually agreed condition that Lindsey retain his Commander rank.

Hence http://www.navy.gov.au/biography/commander-richard-lindsey "Joining the Royal Australian Navy in early 2015 and completing the Collins conversion course, he was selected to Command HMAS Waller commencing October 2015."

Overall the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has usually had trouble retaining enough submarine captains. Hence since 1913 some UK Royal Navy submarine captains have tranferred to the Royal Australian Navy - supplementing Australian RAN raised submarine captains.

Australia's first submarine (AE1) Captain (in 1913) was Lieutenant Commander Thomas Fleming Besant, of the UK Royal Navy (RN). See http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-ae1.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Pete
I read it here, courtesy of google translation
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbastion-karpenko.ru%2F&edit-text=
kqn

Peter Coates said...

Hi again KQN [at 20/3/18 5:18 AM]

I've located an open source link about the Akula SSN arrival, at https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/03/russia-claims-its-nuclear-sub-went-undetected-on-us-coastline/

Russian submarine squadron commander Sergey Starshinov...

"said the submarine went “undetected” upon close approach to U.S. shores without violating maritime borders by staying in international waters. The date and location of the undetected activity was not been disclosed."

Thus Russia (in its own mind) achieved a propaganda "win" by embarrassing the USN.

Cheers

Pete

Ztev Konrad said...

Doesnt the RAN use of 'retired' RN submarine commanders indicate gaps in the Collins class officer training or retention ? Highly qualified is one thing, but his operational posting means a Australian officer misses out on hands on experience on sea duty.

Peter Coates said...

Thanks KQN [at 20/3/18 9:33 AM]

For https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbastion-karpenko.ru%2F&edit-text= the search for Project 971

When compared with https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/03/russia-claims-its-nuclear-sub-went-undetected-on-us-coastline/ it looks like the same/similar event.

I would bet a dollar or two that US SOSUS in the Atlantic picked up the Akula's (Project 971) approach to the New York shore. Naturally the USN didn't reveal this detection to the Russian Navy.

Regards

Pete

P.S. http://bastion-karpenko.ru/ looks like a useful newsletter for morning reading.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev Konrad [at 20/3/18 11:25 AM]

Apparently too few RAN officers have been passing the Dutch Navy SSK "Perisher" Course to become qualified to command all 6 Collins class subs.

Regards

Pete