Author Topic: Any current or past Sonar Operators  (Read 12929 times)

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Offline Sonar Mike

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Any current or past Sonar Operators
« on: July 22, 2010, 22:47:30 »
  I would like to know if there are any current or past Sonar Operators that can let me know about the job. On an average day/week or even month, what do Sonar Op do from start to end? How is life has a Sonar Op? Is it stressful for your self and/or the family? I'm leaving for my BMQ in October, just want to be has ready has i can be. Thanks for those who will take time to read and answer my post. :salute: :cdn:
Orangeville, Ontario

Offline trigger

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 00:26:47 »
i'm a sonar op.

in general, these boards have a fair bit on what all the operator types do.  read up on them all, as it's all somewhat common.  but specifically, there really isn't any average day, week, or month to describe.  whether you are at sea or alongside. every day is different, you're a member of the ship's company, so you'll do general stuff around the ship such as paint, store, clean, etc etc. and that is just scratching the surface.

and then there are duty watches.

and the odd parade, and the odd "joe-job"...

and you'll even get to do dishes from time to time when you're really new.  they send jr guys into the cafeteria on a regular basis, both at sea and alongside, which acutally can be ok sometimes...

within the actual trade there are skills that you have to keep up your proficiency so that when you get to sea, you'll know how to be a sonar op.  to that there's no reall shortage of time for training...in the run of a month or year, you'll get plenty of chance to do that on normal working days. nothing serious.

it's kind of hard to describe, but when you get to sea, you'll come to find out that the term "sailor first, tradesman second" really comes into play.  there will be times when you are nowhere near any sonar equipment for extended periods of time.  and during that time you'll be doing "sailor things"  but, invariably, you'll get to run the equipment.

stressful? not really. as for my wife, well, she never likes it any time i sail for any length of time. but she adapts.  no one ever reallly likes to be away but it is what we do. while she adapts, i make the best of the work, the travel, the foreign ports.

good luck and welcome to the trade.  we need lots of people in this trade and have for a while now... i think it's a pretty decent job.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 00:32:14 by trigger324 »

Offline Sonar Mike

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 22:51:48 »
Thanks for your reply Trigger. How many Sonar Ops would you say are on an average shift and per ship? Where would you think I would be most needed, Esquimalt BC or Halifax NS? Both places looks great, so it doesn't matter to me where I end up.

How long have you been on the job? Where are you posted? And was it there you wanted to be posted?

How often are you out to sea over a period of time? What would be the average length, 6 months?

Thanks for all your intel, I appreciate all the info I can get.
Orangeville, Ontario

Offline trigger

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 19:59:53 »
When a ship goes to sea with it's optimal compliment, meaning, full(and this doesn't happen all the time) in a one in two rotation(7 hrs on, 7 off, and then 5 on, 5 off) the sonar section will have maybe 10-12 people in it, in a perfect world, with half of them on one watch(shift), half on the other, rotating every other watch through the day. The section will obviously have people of varying ranks and qualifications, I'm sure you'd expect that...

Where you get posted at first, all I can say is, "it depends".  I'm from Halifax and made it clear when asked about the 1/3 point of my 3's course I wanted to come back home.  If I hadn't have been from here, chances are I'd have said just leave me right in Victoria, as it is nice enough out there and A LOT of guys fall in love with it their first weekend after arriving from basic. But there is never a guarantee.  You'll go where you happen to be needed at the time.  They'll try to send you where you ask for, but ultimately, as they like to tell you, the military's needs come first...one thing though, whatever coast you ask for, you can probably stay your entire career on that coast.  the only thing that might change that is YOU asking for the posting to the opposite coast.  i see that once in a while.

Been in this trade since 03, sailed in 4 different ships here on the east coast since. working in a shore billet for the past year--recharging my batteries so to speak because before that, i was posted to ships and had sailed a fair bit.  I went to sea for varying lengths of time...from a one day sail to three major deployments that had me away sixteen months(not all consecutive), and many shorter sails in between. depending on the ship's schedule and their state of readiness, you'll get to have countless little trips to longer, neverending ones. I can never say that any one trip's length falls into an "average"

Keep the questions coming if you see anything you haven't already.  As far as basic is concerned, everyone on these boards gives their  :2c:  on their own experience. While there is indeed useful stuff there I try not to spout about basic as it's the only truly unique course you do, and you really have to experience it for yourself.

By the way, if you have any urge/curiousity/interest of going in the direction of submarines, make it known soonest.  From what I gather nowadays, they are starting to streamline guys off directly into the sub training program.  While I'm not in subs, from what I hear, it's an option that is gathering momentum.

Best,

Offline jocho

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 18:53:55 »
I'm starting my BMQ on october 11th, do you know your starting date ? Maybe we will have our courses for Op Sonar
at the same time!


Offline Sonar Mike

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 20:42:14 »
I'm starting my BMQ on october 11th, do you know your starting date ? Maybe we will have our courses for Op Sonar
at the same time!


Thats cool, I'm starting my BMQ a week later. There is a facebook page called BMQ October 2010 if your interested.

Where are you asking to be posted?
Orangeville, Ontario

Offline jocho

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 16:07:59 »
I tried to found the page on Facebook, without success! For where I would like to be posted, I don't know yet, maybe the courses at BC will influence my choice, but the houses are very expensive!! Have you made your choice?

Offline Sonar Mike

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 17:46:54 »
I rather be in the east coast, but BC would be ok. Here's the Facebook link, hope it works. http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=103094596404828&ref=ts
Orangeville, Ontario

Offline FyroniK

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 23:38:42 »
Greetings,

May I invade this post and ask if there are many postings you can apply for as a sonar op off-ship? such as the shore billet that you had said you were currently at?

Would be nice to know,

thank you :)

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 15:50:00 »
There's a few more spots now that the Ocean OP and NACOP trades merged into the SONAR Op trade.

There's the school, trainers, Whidby, Trinity, etc.

NS
Insert disclaimer statement here....

:panzer:

Offline trigger

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2010, 20:51:30 »
As Shooter names, those are pretty much all of the shore postings that are available WITHIN this trade, in addition to the acoustic data analysis center in Halifax.  The trades he talked about merged a number of years ago into this one, which I guess you could say increased the places ashore where we work, but then again, when the ocean op trade was alive, there were one or two places around that no longer exist...

Just in case there is any confusion, shore postings come after varying amounts of time at sea, ie you wouldn't be ashore without spending some time at sea first, all the way up at each rank/qual...

Offline EpicBeardedMan

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2010, 13:22:26 »
So do you get assigned to a ship after your ql3 and if so how long are you on it for? Like does your butt belong to that ship until you want off or how does it work?
The military isn't really like a James Bond movie where you go for jet training in the morning and then underwater demolitions after lunch.

Offline Occam

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2010, 14:21:45 »
So do you get assigned to a ship after your ql3 and if so how long are you on it for? Like does your butt belong to that ship until you want off or how does it work?

The proper term is posted to a ship, and postings normally vary between 2-4 years.  In most cases you'd be posted to the same ship until you were loaded onto a QL5 course, but that depends on whether they need a body elsewhere or not.

Offline trigger

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2010, 15:20:21 »
So do you get assigned to a ship after your ql3 and if so how long are you on it for? Like does your butt belong to that ship until you want off or how does it work?


You'll go to a ship right after your 3's, yes. Count on staying there for about 5 years. They like to time your 5's right around your 4 year point, and your promotion to LS.  Once your 5's is over with you'll go back to sea and "consolidate" your training. It's then that you will be at that 5 year point.  Along about that time, you've "earned" a shore posting...meaning, if you've had a really busy sailing schedule, a posting ashore gives you a chance to do something a little different within the trade and recharge your batteries. 

My experience is that your "butt belongs" more to your trade and what your career manager decides rather than your ship.  So if you get annoyed with the ship routine at the 3 year point, you're not necessarily coming ashore when "you want off".

Also, like Occam says, you may jump around from ship to ship in that first 5 years when someone else needs you.

That's just for the first shore posting.  There are different circumstances along the way for subsequent ones.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 20:27:07 by trigger324 »

Offline Occam

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2010, 20:00:31 »
Also, like Occam says, you may jump around from ship to ship in that first 5 years when someone else needs you.

Also known as the dreaded "pierhead jump".   ;D

Offline EpicBeardedMan

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Re: Any current or past Sonar Operators
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2010, 01:51:01 »
Oh okay thanks for clearing it up guys, appreciate it.
The military isn't really like a James Bond movie where you go for jet training in the morning and then underwater demolitions after lunch.