THE FOLLOWING WAS RECEIVED
15 JUN 1998
COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPAC INSTRUCTION 1552.16B
Subj: ENLISTED REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMARINE QUALIFICATION
To promulgate requirements for initial submarine qualification and requalification of enlisted personnel. These guidelines apply to all submarines and shall be adhered to in submarine qualifications. Submarine On Board Training (SOBT) has developed Interactive Courseware (ICW) for SSN 688 class ship systems and Interactive Courseware Training Systems (ICWTS) for SSBN 726 class ship systems. This instruction revises the enlisted submarine qualification program to incorporate and require the use of these SOBT products on SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class ships. SOBT ICW and ICWTS are training aids in qualification and do not replace the Ship Systems Manuals (SSM) or the need to physically locate system components and trace out systems on the ship. Trainees should review the SSM with the ICW/ICWTS as well as consult the appropriate division Leading Petty Officer responsible for the particular system whenever the trainee has difficulty understanding system operation and/or components.
The designation of an enlisted man as "Qualified in Submarines" signifies that he has acquired specific skills, knowledge, and experience and has demonstrated proficiency in keeping with the high standards of the submarine force. These standards are maintained through a formal qualification program prescribed by the Submarine Force Commanders and executed by submarine Commanding Officers. The formal qualification program requires that every Sailor who wears the Enlisted Submarine Insignia be a watchstander fully knowledgeable of his watch stations, be qualified in submarine damage control, be generally knowledgeable of the entire ship, and be a trusted member of his ship's crew. Submariners are justifiably proud of the high level of knowledge, skill and reliability traditionally required to qualify in submarines. This standard is maintained through participation in the qualification program by every enlisted crewmember. Attainment of the designation "Qualified in Submarines" is not the termination of the educational process for an individual. Qualification in submarines serves as the baseline foundation for further study of his ship or his watch stations. The specific goals of the enlisted submarine qualification program are to ensure that:
b. Each individual is capable of effectively combating casualties occurring in the equipment for which he is responsible and in the spaces in which he normally works and lives.
c. Each individual is capable of rendering effective damage control assistance in casualty situations anywhere in the ship.
b. Personnel serving in a non-submarine source rating or not assigned to a submarine for duty, serving in a temporary duty status onboard a submarine (e.g. CTs and SEALS), who complete the requirements for qualification in submarines must request a waiver of the eligibility standards from the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) (Pers-403) via the Commanding Officer of the ship on which qualified, info the appropriate Submarine Force Commander. If the waiver is approved by BUPERS (Pers-403), the submarine designator 7 (SG) will be assigned. MILPERSMAN 1410360 applies. These personnel must have at least 6 months of cumulative experience on operational submarines.
The following personnel are considered the minimum necessary to administer the qualification program in an effective manner:
b. Executive Officer - supervise the execution of the qualification program and ensure the maintenance of a uniformly high standard of qualification. He will ensure qualification entries are made in service records and the personnel accounting system.
c. Qualification Officer - coordinate and administer the qualification program, assisting the Executive Officer in all enlisted qualification matters. The Qualification Officer must be an officer qualified in submarines. He will certify submarine qualified personnel to serve as Qualification Petty Officers (QPOs) based on department head recommendations. He will establish a system for certifying all QPOs ensuring they have the requisite knowledge and experience to maintain adequate qualification standards. He will maintain a list of officers and QPOs authorized to sign qualification cards and be actively involved in all aspects of the qualification program. He will formally establish the command's standard that must be attained on a SOBT ICW/ICWTS examination to validate attaining the requisite level of submarine system knowledge. For submarines other than SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class, he will ensure that a detailed qualification guide which lists the minimum requirements for all systems and compartments is maintained, promulgated, and used by officers and enlisted QPOs.
d. Chief of the Boat - will be actively involved in the qualification program and assist the Qualification Officer for enlisted qualification matters. He will ensure that realistic qualification goals are established for each individual.
e. Department Heads - update the Qualified Watchstander List for all departmental watch stations. They will approve the watch station qualification requirements and procedures for personnel qualifying at watch stations under their departmental cognizance, and verify completion of department and divisional requirements. They will recommend to the Qualification Officer those departmental personnel deemed qualified to serve as QPOs for checkouts/walk throughs.
f. Division Officers/Leading Petty Officers - monitor the qualification program within their divisions to ensure that the desired progress and required quality of qualification is achieved. They will assist and counsel members of their divisions to maintain qualification progress. They will recommend to the department head watchstation qualification requirements both in-port and at-sea.
g. Qualification Petty Officers - QPOs will be specifically certified for each qualification card signature requirement which they are authorized to sign. They will examine and ensure an individual has the required understanding of the area for which the QPO has been designated. QPOs must be submarine qualified on their submarine. It is appropriate that the QPOs designated to certify completion of block signature walk-throughs be the LPO/LCPO of the division responsible for those systems.
h. The MSLPO - coordinate with each mess attendant's LPO to ensure realistic progress goals are established and tracked while the individual is temporarily assigned to the Food Service Division.
II - Damage Control Equipment and Casualty Control
III - Departmental and Watchstanding Qualification
IV - Ship Construction and Systems
V - Final Examination
Enclosures (4) and (5) provide a standard qualification card listing the corresponding SOBT ICW/ICWTS relating to each topic for SSN688 and SSBN726 class submarines respectively.
The initial emphasis of the submarine qualification process is on submarine orientation, damage control, and casualty control. The emphasis of the overall process is on watchstanding. The qualification phases specified above should be followed in order unless an unusual situation (e.g. lengthy overhaul) dictates otherwise. Each unqualified individual reporting on board will be assigned specific submarine qualification goals. The goals will include expected watch station qualifications and corresponding time limits for completion. The final qualification date will conform to time limitations specified in paragraph 4.
b. During Phase III, personnel will complete a basic in-port and an underway watch station qualification prior to entering Phase IV. For example, an unqualified Electronics Technician (ET) (3353) will normally complete qualification as Shutdown Electrical Operator and Reactor Technician prior to entering Phase IV. As another example, an ET (14RO) will normally complete Radio Watchstander and Petty Officer of the Deck requirements prior to commencing Phase IV. For those personnel who do not normally stand operational or ship control watches (e.g. MS, HM), submarine qualification will consist of Phases I and II, departmental duty requirements, and Phases IV and V. All personnel will continue to pursue additional departmental qualifications while in Phase IV, but need not complete more than a basic in-port and underway watch station to satisfy Phase III requirements.
c. The variation in the path each individual takes to complete submarine qualification acknowledges the wide differences found in the training of personnel who man today's complex submarines and allows flexibility to adjust to the different needs of each command. While pathways vary, the basic goals of paragraph 3 will be upheld and overall time limits must be met.
b. Phase II requirements - Damage Control Equipment and Casualty Control - each line item checked and signed off by designated QPOs, tested by a comprehensive written damage control exam, and examined and certified by the Damage Control Assistant.
c. Phase III requirements - Departmental
and Watchstation Qualification - established by the cognizant department
head. Departmental and watchstanding requirements will be in accordance
with the departmental directives and/or the separate ship's qualification
procedures. d. Phase IV requirements - Ship's Construction and Systems.
(2) For SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class submarines
- SOBT qualification ICW/ICWTS modules will be used for all topics of Phase
IV. Personnel will complete the ICW/ICWTS module corresponding to the topic
listed and its accompanying examination. Exams will be taken as a closed
note and closed book exam. Each command will establish procedures and safeguards
to ensure the integrity of the qualification and examination process. An
oral examination will be given by a QPO after successful completion of
the ICW/ICWTS exam prior to the trainee obtaining a signature. If a SOBT
module has not yet been issued for a particular topic, personnel will only
receive an oral exam from a designated QPO. Block signatures will be given
upon successful completion of an oral checkout and walk through of the
related systems by a designated QPO.
b. For SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class submarines, this instruction will govern the enlisted qualification program. An electronic copy has been provided as enclosure (6).
This instruction is effective upon receipt. Personnel who have progressed sufficiently in qualification under the previous system should complete qualification under that system unless the Commanding Officer determines that completion under the new system will be more beneficial to the individuals concerned.
12. Feedback and corrections are strongly
encouraged and should be forwarded to the Force Training Officers: COMSUBLANT
N74 at (757) 836-1157, DSN, 836-1157 and COMSUBPAC N74
at COM/DSN, (808) 474-5680.