This is the one.

The latest copy of COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPACINST 1552.16.

Thanks to the active duty submariner who took the time to send this.
S. Harrison

28 September 1999



15 JUN 1998



(1) Minimum Requirements For Qualification in Submarines (Other than 688/726 Class)
(2) Enlisted Submarine Qualification Guide (SSN 688 Class Only)
(3) Enlisted Submarine Qualification Guide (SSBN 726 Class Only)
(4) Enlisted Submarine Qualification Card (SSN 688 Class Only)
(5) Enlisted Submarine Qualification Card (SSBN 726 Class Only)
(6) Enlisted Qualification Instruction Disc (688/726 Class Only)

1. Purpose.

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.

2. Cancellation.


3. Background.

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:

    a. Each individual is fully qualified to stand watches commensurate with his rate and rating.

    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.

4. Qualification Requirements. General qualification requirements are contained in MILPERSMAN 1410360.
    a. The normal time limits for achieving qualification in submarines are 9 months on board the AGSS and 12 months on an SSN/SSBN. If an enlisted man has been attached to a submarine for 21 months or has served 15 months on an operational submarine (i.e. not in the shipyard) and has not qualified in submarines, the Commanding Officer will, unless the circumstances of the particular case dictate otherwise, recommend the individual for disqualification and transfer from submarines. An enlisted man must have been attached to a submarine at least 6 months to qualify in submarines, of which at least 3 months shall have been spent on an operational ship. Requests for waivers of these time requirements will be forwarded to the respective ISIC for approval.

    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.

5. Requalification Requirements.
    Personnel designated as "Qualified in Submarines" but who are not qualified in the same class of submarine in which they are serving or those who have not been assigned to submarine duty for periods in excess of one year will be required to requalify. The Department Head will recommend the extent of requalification required; the Commanding Officer will approve the requalification program and time period allowed. It is anticipated that satisfactory completion of the SOBT ICW/ICWTS should satisfy the majority of the requalification programs on SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class submarines.
6. Failure to Qualify or Requalify.
    Procedures to be followed in the cases of individuals failing to qualify or requalify are contained in COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPACINST 1306.1 Series and MILPERSMAN 1410360.
7. Qualification Organization.

The following personnel are considered the minimum necessary to administer the qualification program in an effective manner:

    a. Commanding Officer - establish the qualification policy and act on all cases of extension of time requirements and disqualification.

    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.

8. Qualification Procedures
    a. Submarine qualification procedures for all personnel will normally follow the order outlined below:
        Phase I - General Submarine Orientation

        II - Damage Control Equipment and Casualty Control

        III - Departmental and Watchstanding Qualification

        IV - Ship Construction and Systems

        V - Final Examination

    Enclosures (1) through (3) establish the requirements and discuss the corresponding level of knowledge for each phase of submarine qualification.

    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.

9. Qualification Requirements
    a. Phase I requirements - General Submarine Orientation - each line item checked and signed off by designated QPOs.

    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.

      (1) For submarines other than SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class - Each requirement will be checked and signed off by designated QPO.

      (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.

    e. Phase V requirements - Final Examination - after successful completion of Phases I through IV, each candidate will complete required compartmental walk throughs of the ship by designated QPOs, and a final qualification board. QPOs for compartmental walk throughs will be qualified Duty Chief Petty Officers (DCPOs), Engineering Duty Petty Officers (EDPOs), or enlisted Strategic Weapons Duty Officers (SWDOs) as appropriate.
10. Action
    a. For submarines other than SSN 688 and SSBN 726 class, each Commanding Officer shall issue an instruction governing the enlisted qualification program for his ship. The instruction shall include an appropriate level of knowledge delineating the specific requirements for submarine qualification, shall include the minimum requirements specified in enclosure (1), and shall adhere to the general philosophy and guidance promulgated in this instruction.

    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).

11. Implementation.

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.
"Signed" "Signed"
Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff

SNDL Parts 1 and 2
(COMSUBPAC-003(1), 74(1))