Aim and Objectives

Aim. The Association is a non-profit making unincorporated association whose aim is to perpetuate the common bond between past and present Royal Naval Executive, Seaman and Warfare Officers qualified by completion of the Principal Warfare Officer (PWO), Long Gunnery (‘G’), Ordnance Engineer (‘OE’), Torpedo Anti-Submarine (TAS), Torpedo (T), Long Navigation (N), Direction (D), Communications (C), Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving (MCD) and Hydrography and Meteorology (HM) courses.

Objectives. To develop links with the UK defence business community for the furtherance of RN Warfare.

To develop links with other maritime warfare associations.

To provide guidance, coaching and support to current Warfare officers as they would wish.

 

Introduction

In 1972, the training of the Royal Navy’s Seaman Officers in surface ships as Principal Warfare Officers (PWOs) replaced the Gunnery (G) and Torpedo & Anti-Submarine (TAS) sub-specialist courses.  The main site for these courses moved from HMS EXCELLENT and HMS VERNON, which had long been the respective separate Gunnery and TAS training schools, to a single course at the School of Maritime Operations, HMS DRYAD. 

To preserve the strong bonds between those who had qualified at, and invariably returned to serve in, the parent establishments, both sub-specialisations had held annual reunions at their respective alma maters.  The St Barbara Association (for G and Ordnance Engineer (OE) officers) was formed as a focus for this common bond followed by the formation of the Portobello Association (for TAS officers).  To maintain the beneficial personal relationships formed on course, PWOs (Above Water) (PWO(A)) and (Under Water) (PWO(U)) became eligible for membership of the appropriate Association in 1985.  Annual reunions moved to HMS COLLINGWOOD in 2004 following the formation of the Maritime Warfare School.

Over the years the 2 Associations have grown closer together, holding combined dinners, and this, together with a recent evolution of the role of the PWO at sea – which means that they do not graduate from the MWS as sub-specialists – led to the formation of the RN Surface Warfare Officers’ Association in 2008.

In 2010 full membership was extended to those who have passed the Long N, D, C, MCD and HM courses and a new category called Junior Member was created for those who have passed their IWO course but have yet to pass the PWO Course. Finally, in 2012, the Communications and Signal Officers' Association merged with the SWOA so that all CSOA members are now also SWOA members, although the CSOA continues to exist in its own right.