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Clyde based junior sailors complete submarine qualifying course

10 July 2017
Thirty-nine junior submariners have recently passed-out from one of the most technically challenging military training courses in the world.

The trainees marked their completion of the Submarine Qualifying Course (SMQ) at HM Naval Base Clyde.

There to witness the occasion was Rear Admiral John Weale, Rear Admiral Submarines (RASM), and Gillian and Jamie Molyneux, the wife and son of submariner and George Medal recipient Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux.

The Submarine Qualifying Course provides future submariners with the knowledge essential for joining their first Royal Navy submarine. 

I can see a very bright future for him within the Royal Navy Submarine Service and he has my strongest recommendation for the annual Molyneux Prize.

Chief Petty Officer O'Neill

The course instils the absolute professionalism demanded by the Submarine Service with trainees required to demonstrate an intimate understanding of more than 30 complex engineering systems which operate the nuclear submarine and keep the crew safe.

The event also featured the presentation of the Molyneux Prize, the annual award presented to the best trainee in SMQ across three classes of submarine - Vanguard class, Astute class and Trafalgar class vessels.

Engineer Technician (Weapon Engineer Submarines) (ET (WESM)) Davies was given this year's prize by Gillian Molyneux.

A worthy winner, ET Davies quickly settled into the submarine training environment, achieving the highest overall results in his entry as well as a superior final exam mark.

He also excelled in his oral exam, demonstrating a level of knowledge far in advance of the information contained in his training course - the result of many extra hours of work to master the knowledge.

ET Davies fiancée, Laura, was also there to witness the presentation of the prize.

"ET Davies has been my top student during training and it has been my pleasure to instruct him," said Chief Petty Officer (CPO) O'Neill, SMQ (North) Chief Instructor.

"I can see a very bright future for him within the Royal Navy Submarine Service and he has my strongest recommendation for the annual Molyneux Prize."

Prospective submariners join SMQ (North) at HM Naval Base Clyde for the "dry phase" of their training - the part conducted on shore in both classroom teaching and instruction on board vessels alongside.

Before passing-out, the students have to complete a final exam, oral board and walk-rounds. If successful, the "wet phase" of their training begins where the students complete their SMQ training at sea on board a Royal Navy submarine.

It is only after completing both phases that students become fully fledged submariners entitled to wear the coveted dolphins badge.

In addition to the presentations to the students, Rear Admiral Weale was delighted to present watches to Gillian and Jamie Molyneux on behalf of Elliot and Brown.

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