Royal Australian Navy Concludes Black Carillon 2018 Submarine Rescue Exercise

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has successfully completed the “Black Carillon” 2018 submarine rescue exercise which tests Australia’s submarine rescue system in a series of scenarios designed to replicate a real-life submarine rescue emergency.

The exercise was supported by JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, which supplied the submarine rescue systems to the Navy.

The Black Carillon exercise demonstrated the capability of the fully-integrated system that JFD provides to the Australian Government which includes a submarine rescue vehicle (a “mini” submarine with pilot and crew), a transfer-under-pressure chamber and a hyperbaric equipment suite to ensure that submariners receive the best possible medical treatment once they are back on the water’s surface.

This was the first exercise to incorporate the RAN’s new hyperbaric equipment suite (HES) which entered into service in July 2018, testing the fully integrated submarine rescue capability for the first time. This means for the first time, the entire crew of a Collins Class submarine – up to 88 submariners – can be treated simultaneously.

The exercise was unequivocally successful in demonstrating an industry-leading step-change in advanced submarine rescue operations, further safeguarding the lives of submariners. It encompassed the entire rescue operation which included mobilisation and preparations, the deep dive mating exercise, aeromedical evacuation, transfer under pressure (TUP) and decompression, as well as the demobilisation of the entire system.

A major element in testing the rescue suite this year was a continuously run ‘Rescue Exercise’, which aimed to test the complete system from the submersible through the hydraulics bellows into the transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber where any initial triage of patients could be undertaken. They then move to the new recompression chambers for simulated treatment depending on the symptoms being exhibited. The exercise, which commenced at early light at 0530 on 19 November and finalised at 1508 the 20 November, involved the launch and recovery of the submersible as in a real DISSUB scenario and necessitated the split manning of all control points of the suite to cover 24 hour operations. JFD worked seamlessly with the RAN medics and doctors to achieve all exercise objectives.

This year, using HMAS Sheean (SSG 77) as the “target” submarine and together with rescue and intervention ships, MV Stoker and MV Besant, JFD was able to conduct a series of simulated rescues in varying depths of water to demonstrate the flexibility and unrivalled range of its submarine rescue system.

Sheltered practices were successfully carried out in 20 metres of water (a key capability that is not available from other global submarine rescue providers), before moving onto mock rescues at depths of 135 metres with the remotely operated vehicle conducting surveys and dives in excess of 375 metres simulating the survey and material check of a disabled submarine.

“I was exceptionally impressed with what you achieved in the exercise and it was clearly evident that a strong sense of teamwork had been developed,” said Captain Geoff Wadley, RAN, Commander Submarine Force. “Speaking to international observers, they were unanimous in their praise for the exercise and the value they all got out of it, a job exceptionally well done.”

A major element in testing the rescue suite this year was a continuously run ‘Rescue Exercise’, which aimed to test the complete system from the submersible through the hydraulics bellows into the transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber where any initial triage of patients could be undertaken. They then move to the new recompression chambers for simulated treatment depending on the symptoms being exhibited. The exercise, which commenced at early light at 0530 on 19 November and finalised at 1508 the 20 November, involved the launch and recovery of the submersible as in a real DISSUB scenario and necessitated the split manning of all control points of the suite to cover 24 hour operations. JFD worked seamlessly with the RAN medics and doctors to achieve all exercise objectives.

“Throughout our long and well-established partnership with the RAN, the James Fisher Submarine Rescue Service (JFSRS) team has pioneered and driven continual innovation to ensure the submarine rescue capability is as safe and comprehensive as possible. The annual Black Carillon exercises allow us to test the full capabilities of the JFSRS service, and we were particularly pleased to receive full operational verification from the RAN on the new HES system and advanced TUP capability during this most recent exercise”, said Toff Idrus, Managing Director of JFD Australia.

“During 2018 the JFD and RAN teams have completed a record three operational deployments to sea in a single calendar year, a testament to the long standing partnership in providing the most advanced submarine rescue capability that will ultimately drive the highest standards in protecting lives at sea.”

Black Carillon 2018 was conducted over a period of more than three weeks in November 2018. As a comprehensive operation, the exercise included all assets that would be required in the event of a real rescue operation, including RAN Rescue Gear Ship MV Stoker, Collins-class submarine HMAS SHEEAN and RAN Escape Gear Ship MV Besant. MV Stoker and MV Besant are operated by DMS Maritime.

HMAS Sheean (SSG 77)
HMAS Sheean (SSG 77), the fifth of six Collins-class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy.
MV Besant in Cockburn Sound during Exercise BLACK CARILLON 2016.
MV Besant in Cockburn Sound during Exercise BLACK CARILLON 2016.
The Rescue Gear Ship, MV Stoker, sails into the Port of Fremantle.
The Rescue Gear Ship, MV Stoker, sails into the Port of Fremantle.
The submarine rescue vessel LR5 is launched off the work deck of MV Stoker into the basin at Fleet Base-West for a systems test run during Exercise BLACK CARILLON 2016.
The submarine rescue vessel LR5 is launched off the work deck of MV Stoker into the basin at Fleet Base-West for a systems test run during Exercise BLACK CARILLON 2016.

JFD



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