AUKUS project: Australia starts training for submariners

Ten prospective submariners got a taste of the job the day Australia announced its acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

On March 14, the realistic job preview (RJP) was held at HMAS Stirling as the Australian Prime Minister stood with the British Prime Minister and the US President to discuss the specifics of the AUKUS partnership’s acquisitions.

The Submarine Recruitment, Mentoring and Development Team, led by Warrant Officer Jason Steward and Petty Officer Haydn Bonderenko, oversees the monthly RJP.

Warrant Officer Steward says, “We educate candidates with the necessary information to make an informed career choice and include a submarine tour and in-person discussions with serving submariners.”

Direct entry submariners and active duty personnel interested in transitioning to the submarine workforce are given access to the two-day course.

According to Petty Officer Bonderenko, there are numerous prospects for submariners at all stages of their careers thanks to the AUKUS collaboration and the Optimal Pathway to obtaining nuclear-powered submarines.

As a Submarine Rotational Force-West rotating presence member, Petty Officer Bonderenko remarked, “I will be aiming to join the US and UK crews to enrich my experiences in how a submarine is deployed and operated by our cooperating nations.”

Able Seaman Meghan Wightman, one of the potential submariners, stated that she decided to transfer because she thought it would provide a challenge, improve job satisfaction, and give her a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Considering the announcement of the Optimal Pathway for Australia to purchase nuclear-powered submarines, Able Seaman Wightman remarked, “I have started the process to join subs at a fascinating time.

“The opportunities that will arise due to this trilateral partnership are exciting for Australian submariners, both at sea and on land.

“Most significantly, having the chance to be embedded with the UK Royal Navy and the US Navy to support the training and development of our Australian submarine crew and our potential to take on duties within these projects,” the statement continues.

Seaman Blake Lewis, another prospective submariner, said he was drawn to submarines because of their advanced machinery and technology and their significant role in defending Australian interests.

Seaman Lewis expressed his excitement for the future and the changes that would be made possible by the new AUKUS agreement.

It undoubtedly had an impact on my choice to switch work groups.

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