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    Nuclear Power Training Unit First – Three Royal Australian Navy Officers Graduate the Program

    Nuclear Power Training Unit First – Three Royal Australian Navy Officers Graduate the Program

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Alex Echols | Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adam Klyne (left), Lt. William Hall (middle), and Lt....... read more read more



    Story by Kellie Randall 

    U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

    MT. PLEASANT, South Carolina – Three Royal Australian Navy Officers graduated the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) Charleston today, marking a significant step in Australia’s goal to operate conventionally armed, nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).

    Lt. Cmdr. James Heydon, Lt. Cmdr. Adam Klyne, and Lt. William Hall started at NPTU in July 2023, becoming the first cadre of Royal Australian Navy personnel to go through one of the Department of Defense’s most rigorous and demanding training pipelines. They previously graduated from the prerequisite Nuclear Power School in July 2023.

    “I was really looking forward to putting the concepts and theories that we learned at power school into operation at the prototype training,” said Klyne. “Operating a nuclear reactor was thrilling, humbling, and allowed us get that hands-on experience we need to safely operate the Royal Australian Navy’s future SSNs.”

    NPTU trains officers, enlisted Sailors and civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance of surface ships and submarines in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear fleet.

    “NPTU is where our nuclear operators put the knowledge and theories they learned in power school into actual power plant operation and watch standing capabilities,” said Adm. Bill Houston, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. “It’s here that our students learn to safely and competently operate the plant in both normal and potential casualty situations.”

    The three Royal Australian Navy Officers’ will next report to Submarine Officer Basic Course (SOBC) in Groton, Connecticut where they will undergo the same training given to U.S. Navy officers entering the submarine force. After completion of SOBC, they will be assigned to a U.S. Navy Virginia class submarines to continue their training and qualifications.

    “Our progression through the schools in South Carolina, and next in Groton, bring us closer to our ultimate goal of serving aboard not just SSNs, but Australian-flagged SSNs early next decade,” said Hall.

    Initially announced in September 2021, the AUKUS trilateral agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States is a strategic endeavor aimed at strengthening the security and defense capabilities of the three nations that also promotes stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia will acquire conventionally armed SSNs for the Royal Australian Navy under Pillar I of AUKUS via the Optimal Pathway announced by the leaders of the three partner nations March 13, 2023.

    The Optimal Pathway for Australia’s acquisition of nuclear powered submarines began this year with an increase in the number of U.S. SSNs visiting HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. As early as 2027, U.S. and UK SSNs will begin extended rotations to Australia to accelerate the development of Australia’s workforce, infrastructure, and regulatory system as part of the Submarine Rotational Force – West (SRF-W). With congressional approval, the United States intends to sell three Virginia Class SSNs to Australia starting in the early 2030s with the potential to sell up to two additional hulls if needed. These efforts will maintain Australia’s submarine capabilities as it builds its fleet of SSN-AUKUS, a UK designed nuclear-powered attack submarine that will incorporate technologies from the three partner nations and built in both the UK and Australia. The Royal Navy intends to take delivery of the first SSN AUKUS in the late 2030s followed by the first Australian-built SSN-AUKUS in the early 2040s.



    Date Taken: 01.12.2024
    Date Posted: 01.12.2024 17:59
    Story ID: 461803
    Location: MT. PLEASANT, SC, US

    Web Views: 800
    Downloads: 1