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DDM Faculty Research Supports AUKUS Recruitment Efforts

DDM Faculty Research Supports AUKUS Recruitment Efforts

USS North Dakota (SSN 784) transits the Thames River. (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Jason M. Geddes)

This February, the Department of Defense Management (DDM) delivered recommendations to the Commander of Naval Submarine Forces that directly support the trilateral security partnership with Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS). 

Jeff Dunlap, CAPT USN (Ret.) and senior lecturer in DDM, conducted research to support a decision on admitting Australian Sailors into Nuclear Power School based on test performance. 

  • Dunlap compared the two nations’ approaches to screening candidates for job suitability: DoD’s Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) with Australia’s Jobs Opportunity Assessment (JOA).

Why it matters:  As part of the AUKUS project, the United States will sell up to five Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) to Australia, which has historically operated diesel submarines. Australian sailors at all levels of seniority need to be trained and ready to receive these SSNs. 

  • By 2031, over 400 Royal Australian Navy personnel will be training on 20+ SSNs, including officers, nuclear enlisted personnel, and non-nuclear personnel. 

How the recommendation works: Dunlap’s research recommended that Australian Sailors take the Navy Advanced Programs Test (NAPT) prior to attending Nuclear Power School as a predictor of student performance.

  • The NAPT stood out as the most relevant assessment tool for determining the potential for student success.  Dunlap's research found no direct comparison between the US ASVAB, which is based on knowledge gained from education, and the Australian JOA, which is based on aptitude.   

Positive impact: In his role as Commander, Naval Submarine Forces, VADM Rob Gaucher thanked NPS for delivering the product “early, at the right level, with detail to answer critical questions, conveying a clear outcome and recommendation.” 

  • As a result, he said, Naval Submarine Forces are “better able to assess potential candidates and predict success.” 

Dunlap is a former surface warfare officer and acquisition professional that teaches in DDM’s acquisition group. 

  • In addition to engaging expertly with the AUKUS team, he continues to support the needs of the Fleet with his extensive teaching of warrior-scholars in DDM curricula.
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DDM Faculty Research Supports AUKUS Recruitment Efforts