As submarine capabilities gain prominence among navies, it has become critical that nations and submarine operators are assured of a robust rescue system, should mishaps or accidents occur.
This was the point made by Head Naval Operations Rear Admiral (RADM) Jackson Chia in his opening address at the inaugural Submarine Rescue Course (SRC) on 28 May, at the Changi Command and Control (C2) Centre. The course, organised by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), will be held from 28 May to 6 Jun.
Over the eight-day course, the 30 participants from seven countries will view medical demonstrations and take part in table-top exercises before going on a sea sortie involving the submarine and rescue support ship MV Swift Rescue and RSN’s Deep Search and Rescue 6 submersible. They will also share submarine rescue concepts and structures, and review the processes involved in a rescue operation.
The course will focus on procedures laid out in the Allied Tactical Publication (ATP) 57(B) on submarine search and rescue, and the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) website.
“The ATP-57(B) is a repository of information on submarine rescue procedures…and we also aim to give a good foundation on the ISMERLO website which is a tool that personnel can use to call for and coordinate submarine rescue operations,” explained Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) Sam Abey, Commanding Officer, 192 and 193 Squadron, RSN. The unit organising the SRC is 192 SQN.
“With these two foundations, a (submarine rescue) practitioner will be able to develop or refine operational plans for rescue operations.”
Course participants looked forward to the discussions in the following days. “This course will expose us to the (submarine rescue) systems available in Asia, Europe and the United States. I foresee a fruitful eight days here as we work together, especially because only Singapore has a full submarine search and rescue capability in this region,” said Commander (CDR) Abdullah Sani Ismail, Royal Malaysian Navy.
“There’s a very definite and serious commitment to submarine rescue, from everything I’ve seen and observed so far,” said Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Keith Davidson, US Navy.
Course participants include naval personnel from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysian, Singapore, Thailand, US and Vietnam.
Naval Today Staff, May 30, 2012; Image: The Republic of Singapore Navy