Basic Enlisted Submarine School

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Basic Enlisted Submarine School
Established 1982
Type United States Navy Training Command
Location Groton, New London County, Connecticut, USA
Campus Naval Submarine Base New London
Website Basic Enlisted Submarine School
A student at Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS), repairs a simulated engine room leak in the school's damage control wet trainer at Naval Submarine Base New London.

Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) is the U.S. Navy's submarine training school for enlisted sailors. Located on Naval Submarine Base New London (NAVSUBASE NLON) in Groton, New London County, Connecticut, the school is an eight-week introduction to the basic theory, construction and operation of nuclear-powered submarines. The course includes instruction on shipboard organization, submarine safety and escape procedures.[1] This program requires passing a physical and mental screening. As of 2015, BESS is open to female sailors, including current sailors who wish to join the submarine force by completing the two-month program.[2]

High Risk Trainers

The Navy operates four high risk trainers at New London that sub school classes attend in random order.[3] They are:

  • Fire Fighting - Students are instructed in the differences between submarine and surface ship fire fighting and the special equipment used in sub-surface fire fighting.
  • Damage Control - Sailors are required to patch leaks and seal ruptured pipes before their compartment completely floods.
  • Submarine Escape - Personnel learn how to successfully escape from a disabled submarine in 40 feet of water via a realistic trainer.[4]
  • Ship Control - i.e. "Dive And Drive." Students learn how to steer and dive/rise the submarine.


  1. "Basic Enlisted Submarine School Graduation". 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-10-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Copeland, Kevin. "Submarine Force Will Begin Integration of Enlisted Women". United States Navy. Retrieved 2 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Submarine Escape Trainer Completed", 2 November 2007, retrieved 11 February 2014

External links