JFD facilitated these exercises across the globe against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, with one exercise taking place in Australia and two in the UK. In the event of a Distressed Submarine (DISSUB), any delays to a rescue operation can have catastrophic consequences, so it is vital that regular Submarine Rescue System (SRS) and Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) exercises take place. This enables equipment to be proven and personnel familiarised, giving the best possible chance of an efficient rescue operation should a real-life incident occur. In February, UK trials took place for the recently manufactured 3rd Generation DSRV (Deep Search and Rescue Vehicle), the third built by JFD within the last 12 months. This included the Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs), a local Dock Dip at the King George V Dock in Glasgow, and Harbour Acceptance Trials (HATs) at JFD’s site in Fort William. An Operations team, as well as the support shore and afloat team ensured the safety of these trials.
In March, a team of JFD’s experienced Submarine Rescue Operators undertook a seaborne operational training exercise in Australia on board Mothership (MOSHIP) MV Stoker. The exercise included a fully timed mobilisation of the rescue assets, ROV system, LR5 SRV certification dive and hyperbaric training with Royal Australian Navy Medics. The mobilisation time was achieved in 57 hours, this compared with the standard 72 hours is a significant achievement and testament to the experience and dedication of the JFD team. At the end of March, JFD deployed the full NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) to SD Northern River, for undertaking exercises off the west coast of Scotland.
Ben Wright, Head of Capability – Submarine Escape and Rescue, JFD said: “It has been an exciting and operationally busy start to the year for JFD, with three consecutive submarine exercises taking place across the world. Not only that, but JFD achieved some significant operational milestones for our customers, including beating timed mobilisation targets in Australia. It is the breadth and depth of our expertise to plan and safely execute exercises globally, whilst navigating various international Covid 19 Government restraints, that makes JFD a world leader in the submarine rescue domain. Our personnel have extremely specialised expertise and having enough resource available at one time to support exercises intercontinentally is very unique. This further reinforces our confidence to deliver an effective rescue in the event of a real-life emergency. We are proud to support these trials as we continuously strive to set new standards of safety and protect submariners.”
JFD is an established provider to 80 countries and 33 navies worldwide and supports multiple submarine rescue systems in service globally. At the forefront of the submarine rescue domain, JFD delivers assured submarine rescue readiness (98%+) to navies around the world, including a proven and tested submarine rescue capability to the Royal Navy and NATO partners. JFD’s unique expertise and capabilities make navigating exceptional challenges, like multiple consecutive exercises, possible. JFD is continually striving to improve global submarine rescue and our practical and global experience, reinforced through regular exercises, enables us to lead the way within this specialist and critical area.