Construction Complete on Unique Submarine Escape Trainer at SUBASE New London

Story Number: NNS071102-13Release Date: 11/2/2007 4:18:00 PM
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By Robert Howland, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Project Engineer

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Mid-Atlantic has completed construction on a one-of-a-kind Submarine Escape Trainer at the Naval Submarine School in SUBASE New London, Conn.

At the core of the new $18 million facility is a 20-foot diameter, 40-foot high, 84,000-gallon pool atop escape trunks, called the Lock-out Trunk (LOT) and the Logistics Escape Trunk (LET), that simulate conditions a submariner would experience during an escape from a submerged submarine. Also within the four-story pool tower are diving support equipment, pool operation equipment, and two recompression chambers.

"A key component of the success of this project was the extensive involvement and assistance from the Naval Submarine School's N4 Engineering and High Risk Training Department during the entire project," said Robert Howland, the project engineer from NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic's New London Public Works Department. "They are the professionals who will use this facility and they know exactly what is needed to sufficiently train these sailors."

The pressurized training unit is intended to train for escape from a disabled submarine with current escape immersion equipment that is in the fleet. The facility is designed to be compatible with the Navy's Seawolf, Los Angeles, Trident and Virginia class submarines. The training facility will familiarize submariners with realistic escape procedures, marking a significant improvement over the unpressurized simulator currently in use.

The contract was awarded on Feb. 14, 2005, as a Design Build Contract to M. A. Mortenson Company of Minneapolis, Minn. and Kling Architecture & Engineering of Philadelphia, Pa., as the Architecture and Engineer.

Mortenson completed construction in August 2007. Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center is now installing the LOT and LET trunks and relocating the existing recompression chamber and other government furnished equipment for the facility. The tank will be filled in July 2008 and the facility will become operational in December 2008.

Upon completion of the pool operating system testing, the N4 Engineering and High Risk Training Department staff has approximately four months for staff training and certification before the facility can send the first class of students through this Navy training course.

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