Submarine workers leave for for Pearl Harbor AUKUS training


The first cohort of skilled submarine workers from ASC have departed for Pearl Harbor in the United States to receive training in the sustainment of nuclear powered submarines.

Around 30 skilled ASC Pty Ltd workers are the first to deploy to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to learn maintenance of US Virginia class nuclear‑powered submarines alongside their US counterparts.

The ASC workers from South Australia and Western Australia include mechanical fitters and electricians as well as electrical, mechanical and safety engineers and submarine maintenance and battery crew.

The Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “This is another exciting step when it comes to developing the workforce we need for the AUKUS program which presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australians to take advantage of unique and exciting education, training and career development programs, both here and overseas.

“These highly skilled workers already have decades of combined submarine experience having sustained our Collins class submarines and now have the opportunity to be upskilled by our US counterparts in sustaining nuclear-powered submarines.”

Training people to sustain, build and serve on Australia’s future submarine fleet is widely viewed as a key challenge for Australia.

The start of worker training comes after the first three Royal Australian Navy officers were assigned to US Virginia class submarines based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

They also follow the government’s announcement in March that it had selected ASC as a strategic partner in the sustainment of the Virginia class submarines.

ASC and BAE Systems Australia have also been named as constructors of the SSN-AUKUS vessels which will be built in Adelaide following the acquisition of Virginia class vessels.

In total, more than 100 Australian shipyard workers at ASC are expected to depart by mid-2025 for naval propulsion skilling at Pearl Harbor.

ASC us currently advertising for workers with the promise: “Live, work and learn in the US at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) for 2-3 years, and then return to Australia for a long-term career in the conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarine programme.”

Once they have completed their overseas training – a mix of classroom and on-the-job learning – they will take up key roles in Western Australia as part of Submarine Rotational Force-West, where they will lead the sustainment of visiting US and UK nuclear-powered submarines.

One UK Astute class submarine and up to four US Virginia-class submarines will be involved in a rotational presence through Submarine Rotational Force-West.

Further reading:
First three RAN officers assigned to serve on Virginia N-submarines
BAE Systems, ASC to construct Australian n-submarines

Picture: ASC Pty Ltd

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