Dolphin submarine course 370.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)
The Israel Navy is taking its search for future submarine crew members, who will
operate three soon-to-be operational new generation Dolphin-class vessels, to
Israel’s high schools.
Maj. Yisrael (last name withheld), who runs the
Navy’s high school outreach program, said the arrival of the new submarines and
the need to fill them with new crew members led the navy to begin reaching out
to 11th graders to get them to apply for Navy service.
“To serve in
submarines is unique. Not many have experienced it,” Yisrael said. “The service
is very challenging, and there’s an atmosphere of mutual support. You can be
positioned at a destination and monitor it for days without anyone knowing. The
information you bring serves the entire military.
“You might read things
in newspapers [about events], but can’t say you were there,” he continued. “This
is all-important work but it won’t be publicized and submarine crew members
can’t tell anyone what they do.”
In 2014, the INS Tanin – the fourth
German-made Dolphin-class submarine, will enter the navy’s service. A few months
later, the INS Rahav will join the fleet. The sixth new generation Dolphin is
still being manufactured at a German shipyard.
“This is the second year
that we’re running the program,” Yisrael said. “The students will get a chance
to ride rubber dinghies and encounter the submarines in the deep sea, where
they’ll meet veteran crews. We’re aiming for people who may not have considered
serving in the submarines.”
Fifty-four high school students joined the
five-day program this year, compared to 34 last year. The program, based at the
Naval Instruction Base at Haifa Bay, includes simulators and courses on the
types of submarines in service.
Yisrael estimated that some 30 percent of
those attending the pre-military course will reach the navy’s training course
phase after enlisting.