The end of the RFA?

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wigger
7th November 2009, 20:59
Hopefully this is one of those silly ideas that soon fades into obscurity.(Cloud)

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Navy-workers39-fears-over-RFA.5803981.jp

Regards
Craig

Martyn
7th November 2009, 21:08
Lets hope so! I thought the RFA had increased responsibility with Counter Drugs Ops ect due to the lack of RN ships?

Lets hope that it is rubbish!(Cloud)

ROBERT HENDERSON
7th November 2009, 21:56
I have just read the report and comments, I think the second comment summed it up nicely.
If giving it over to the private sector meant ships under the Red Duster, we must remember that a lot of these ships are manned by foreigners with poor command of English, a totally crazy idea.

Regards Robert

chadburn
9th November 2009, 14:03
Most probably the MOD are looking at the same sort of "package" as the civilian crewed vessel's that operate from Marchwood and their crewing/vessel arrangement's, can't see all the RFA being privatised myself only part, in my experience the decision on what is going to happen has already been taken, the "period of consultation" is just a matter of going through the agreed proceedure as usual. Unfortunatly pen pusher's make these decision's and by the time the error of their decision begin's to show they are long gone. STUFT is going to be very busy in any future conflict.

Klaatu83
9th November 2009, 14:30
We faced the same situation when I sailed for five years with the Military Sealift Command, which is the U.S. equivalent of the R.F.A. At that time most of our ships were old relics left over from World War II, few of which were being replaced. Many of those retired from service were being replaced by commercial ships under long-term charter, principally from Maersk.

James_C
9th November 2009, 14:49
Most probably the MOD are looking at the same sort of "package" as the civilian crewed vessel's that operate from Marchwood and their crewing/vessel arrangement's, can't see all the RFA being privatised myself only part, in my experience the decision on what is going to happen has already been taken, the "period of consultation" is just a matter of going through the agreed proceedure as usual. Unfortunatly pen pusher's make these decision's and by the time the error of their decision begin's to show they are long gone. STUFT is going to be very busy in any future conflict.

There has been repeated talk/rumour for a good few years now that the replacements for the Freighting Tankers, Newbuild Hospital Ship and Forward repair ship (Leaf class, Argus and Diligence) may go to commercial tender - e.g. sailing under the Red Ensign but with British crews and commercial management. Indeed the Flensburger Yard which designed the Foreland Ro-Ros have already drawn up a full set of plans for a Hospital Ship based on their Standard Design.
It was the part privatisation of the RMAS a decade ago set the precedent, effectively a testbed for further privitisation - from little acorns etc.
The balance of the fleet would continue to be operated by the RFA-RN, who would hold onto the 'front line' ships e.g. Fleet tankers (Waves/Rover Replacement), Ammunition Ships (Forts) and Landing ships (Bays).
STUFT as a concept is virtually redundant as although there are nominally 'British' ships available, there are virtually no crews.
Come any conflict where the STUFT concept is raised then you can guarantee there will quite simply be a mass flag out by the owners.
We will never, ever, again see a mass mobilisation of RN/RFA/MN on the scale of which as we did in the Falklands - we simply do not have the ships, the people or the 'will' on the part of the Owners/Govt.

stevo r6 86
9th November 2009, 15:50
cant see the argus or leaf class or diligence going under the red ensign as obviuosly they wont be able to enter the theatre of war which they all need to and carry weapans.

James_C
9th November 2009, 15:56
Well actually they could without issue.
What happens these days is that the crews are signed on temporarily as Naval Reservists - this has already happened, both on UK and US flag ships which are armed defensively.
There were plenty of Red Ensign ships with volunteer crews in the 'thick of it' during the Falklands War.

Burned Toast
9th November 2009, 17:56
(Smoke) Will not Happen[=P]

OLD STRAWBERRY
9th November 2009, 18:11
Never happen.

Graybeard
6th December 2009, 17:40
Looking at the link on the Sunday Independent which was posted on the RFA Association website, it could be all over. Sold for £200 million? When the bankers are apying themselves £1.5 billion in bonuses? I just can't get my head around it. Is it time to march?

See link:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/navy-supply-fleet-to-be-privatised-as-mod-seeks-163200m-cuts-1835048.html

Lancastrian
6th December 2009, 19:40
Steady now Graybeard. As the MoD spokeswoman said -"No decision has yet been made."
When it has been will be the time to man the barricades!

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/save-the-RFA/

Ron Stringer
6th December 2009, 21:03
£200 million? Hardly enough to buy one aircraft for the deck of one of the new carriers. Can't see what all the fuss is about/(Smoke)

GBXZ
9th December 2009, 04:43
The latest is that the Treasury Committee will form a review group. usual suspects, i.e. RN, MOD, Treasury, and COMRFA plus advisors and staff. To investigate the "Business Model" and "Support Requirements". The review group will report the the Minister in mid 2010, just in time (post general election) for the new minister to make the difficult decisions and carry the political blame.
Sir Humphrey would be proud.

Burned Toast
9th December 2009, 15:47
Fishers of Barrow have said they would like to run the older tankers so I have been told?.

Scousegit
9th December 2009, 16:02
But the older tankers cannot go beyond 2018, so what happens then?

Scouse.

stevo r6 86
9th December 2009, 18:20
what happens if they put foreign seamen on which they want to do, with the RFA having to go into war zones they would be mercenaries, what sort of force would we be to having to use mercinaries?

NOT the ruler of the waves we once was :(

Lancastrian
9th December 2009, 19:34
Whatever Fishers may want, they will not be able to employ foreign seamen, as if this ridiculous proposal should ever become reality, they will have to man the ships with Sponsored RNR Reservists as in Foreland Shipping.

(Foreland Shipping Limited was formed by leading British shipping names Bibby Line, Houlder Hadley, James Fisher Plc and Andrew Weir Shipping. The company was established with the express purpose of bidding for the £950 million contract to construct and own six 20,000-tonne ro-ro vessels for service with the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD has agreed a structure with Foreland Shipping under the Private Finance Initiative to allow the company to employ some of the ships in the commercial market whilst ensuring that they are available to the MoD in times of crisis. The remaining ships cover the MoD's normal tasking requirements moving equipment to enable the MoD to meet its normal ongoing obligations. All of the ships are registered in UK and crewed by a British crew who are members of the Sponsored Reserves.)

Lancastrian
9th December 2009, 19:48
But the older tankers cannot go beyond 2018, so what happens then?

Scouse.

The only answer to that is that it is about time we started building some new ones!

Burned Toast
9th December 2009, 20:33
Whatever Fishers may want, they will not be able to employ foreign seamen, as if this ridiculous proposal should ever become reality, they will have to man the ships with Sponsored RNR Reservists as in Foreland Shipping.

(Foreland Shipping Limited was formed by leading British shipping names Bibby Line, Houlder Hadley, James Fisher Plc and Andrew Weir Shipping. The company was established with the express purpose of bidding for the £950 million contract to construct and own six 20,000-tonne ro-ro vessels for service with the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD has agreed a structure with Foreland Shipping under the Private Finance Initiative to allow the company to employ some of the ships in the commercial market whilst ensuring that they are available to the MoD in times of crisis. The remaining ships cover the MoD's normal tasking requirements moving equipment to enable the MoD to meet its normal ongoing obligations. All of the ships are registered in UK and crewed by a British crew who are members of the Sponsored Reserves.)

Wow look at fisherers now British seamen!!!! on the Ex Yellow Perils - PO Tankers, Not a lot.

chadburn
10th December 2009, 10:56
The only answer to that is that it is about time we started building some new ones!

It is as you say the only answer, the question is, why in light of knowing the new regulation's are coming in has this not been done? the answer has to be some sort of Privatisation is on the way whether it be part or full. Most probably it will be a part privatisation based on the same module that is being used on the Marchwood vessel's where vessel's not being used for front line service's will be used on the civilian market but availale if required for Military Duty, as far as the Crew's are concerned their will be no enforced redundancies within the RFA system and they will be transferred under the TUPE regulation's to the new private owner's unless they want to retire or make themselves redundant.

Lancastrian
10th December 2009, 13:15
It is as you say the only answer, the question is, why in light of knowing the new regulation's are coming in has this not been done? the answer has to be some sort of Privatisation is on the way whether it be part or full. Most probably it will be a part privatisation based on the same module that is being used on the Marchwood vessel's where vessel's not being used for front line service's will be used on the civilian market but availale if required for Military Duty, as far as the Crew's are concerned their will be no enforced redundancies within the RFA system and they will be transferred under the TUPE regulation's to the new private owner's unless they want to retire or make themselves redundant.

Speculation. The problem with your theory is that these days all RFAs are fully committed to front line service. Ships equipped and manned with trained personnel for such will not make economic sense on the commercial market.

chadburn
10th December 2009, 16:24
As the more economic D.E.s come in with larger bunker/ store's facilities on board the less RAS is required.

Lancastrian
10th December 2009, 20:12
D.E.s?

rcraig
11th December 2009, 01:03
what happens if they put foreign seamen on which they want to do, with the RFA having to go into war zones they would be mercenaries, what sort of force would we be to having to use mercinaries?

NOT the ruler of the waves we once was :(

The British army has employed mercenaries for years. They are usually referred to as Gurkha's.

And still in tongue of cheek mode, on a subject which is obviously serious to those most likely to be affected:-

DE's, RA's...you RFA personnel are every bit as bad as the MOD (where at one time I was once in the RCT employed as a PSO), and the HSE (with whom I was associated indirectly as a PF), with your acronyms. What are they so that we can understand the debate?

Lancastrian
11th December 2009, 09:21
RAS is Replenishment At Sea but I don't recognise D.E.s.
The Army were worst than most with their signalese PD

Ron Stringer
11th December 2009, 10:55
Diesel Engines?

Marcus C. Smith
11th December 2009, 11:02
Destroyer Escorts?

Marcus

chadburn
11th December 2009, 11:23
Diesel Electric's, from what I read the new Warship's coming on stream will not have the same stability problem's as the Gas turbine vessel's (for obvious reason's), they can carry at least 3mths of dry stores (peace time). It seems that the M.O.D. are hell bent on palming off the R.F.A. I am just indicating my own view that it will be done under T.U.P.E., everything remains as is except the ownership/management of the vessel's and crew's move across into private hands, there will be no enforced redundancies (which keeps the Union's happy) those who want to take retirement will be allowed to do so (depending on their role within the R.F.A.). When the replacement R.F.A. vessels come on stream they will have smaller crew's as the more modern vessel's do. It is speculation on my part I agree, but it is also speculation that the R.F.A. is going to remain as is bearing the amount of pre cursor's that are coming from the M.O.D.

Lancastrian
11th December 2009, 12:00
But if the ships are to remain as they are, pending new ones, what is the point of privatising them? It is well known that Private Finance Intiatives don't save the taxpayer anything in the long run, they are just a means of Government hiding its debts off the books.
Your assertion that the MoD is hell bent on anything seems odd when this review has been instigated by the Treasury.
No one expects the RFA to remain as is. It is already embarked on an process of "Evolution".
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=13817
The Unions are not very happy with the idea so far - http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Union-issues-rallying-call-to.5892630.jp
The Navy seems to favour Gas Turbine-Electric.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/fsc.htm

chadburn
11th December 2009, 17:36
Lancastrian, firstly thank you for the info. In regards to your first question you have answered it yourself but I would add future Pension payments and the burden on the taxpayer (as seen by the Treasury).
In regards to your second comment, the M.O.D. would rather "lose/sell" the R.F.A. than the second Carrier which if they have to make cut's instigated by the Treasury seems a likely option.
Of course the Union's do not want the position to change that is alway's their stance, however given the possibility of job losses being told that if they agree to T.U.P.E. and no enforced job losses they will settle for that as that is the most important factor to them, the "nation's security blurb" by the Union's is to get support from joe public as under T.U.P.E. the crew's would remain the same and the "New" employer's will have been vetted.
Interesting read the globalsecurity piece, I would seem G.T. is the way to go for the smaller fast craft where weight is an issue, but for world-wide deployment and less need to R.A.S I get the feeling that the Navy are going to settle for D.E.

Lancastrian
11th December 2009, 20:05
Well we shall have to wait and see, and as GBXZ states, the wait will be prolonged.
Having briefly scanned TUPE, it seems that someone still has to pay the pensions, and for those with long service, its the Treasury.
Although RAS remains the core business of the RFA, they now take on many other roles which the Navy will be loath to lose, and as someone said elsewhere, why re-invent the wheel? My inside info is that we do have friends in this battle, second carrier notwithstanding.

NickNZ
12th December 2009, 10:44
There are hardly enough DE's (Destroyer Escort's ?? Are all Brits turning Yank?) to warrant having an RFA anyway. If voters aren't careful, the Royal Navy will become a fleet of RIB's, and go home every night.
But seriously, Britain needs a strong RFA to support (in every sense) a strong RN. And both appear to be in danger at the moment. What the hell is the government doing with all the money it is getting (apart from cleaning their moats). Investment is needed NOW, and not in committees, in ships, in adequate numbers, and of adequate power and versatility. The UK is in the same situation now, as it was in 1912,and 1938. Only the threat has changed.
On a per capita basis, I believe the RN/RFA must be one of the smallest Navies in the world?

wilf1969
12th December 2009, 13:28
if it is the end what sort of redundancy package are we looking at (MAD)

Lancastrian
12th December 2009, 16:39
Far too soon to start worrying about that Wilf, but if it comes to a TUPE arrangement, it is all spelled out here.
http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file20761.pdf
(You need to do a lot of scrolling!)

wilf1969
12th December 2009, 17:18
Just read that TUPE link many thanks , need several pints now as my head hurts , CHEERS

hillshepherd
13th December 2009, 08:33
I think the worry must be that there have to be spending cuts across the board and this study is Treasury led. There can be no doubt that the costs of specialist RFA's and the trained crews to man them have risen in time with the ever increasing front line role and range of tasks they are required to do so it will be easy for bean counters to come up with simpler, cheaper models. You can do the same by handing over the RAF to Richard Branson and the NHS to BUPA - ridiculous of course, and it would not work and will not happen. None the less it is very worrying on two counts: the effect upon RFA personnel now; in the longer term the risk the RN would move to protest assets and blue water capability by merging the RN and a finely tuned RFA under the white ensign. I believe that would be very bad for the UK as a seafaring nation and bad for the Merchant Navy.

Mick Spear
13th December 2009, 20:11
if it is the end what sort of redundancy package are we looking at (MAD)

Wilf, take a look here www.cervilservice.gov.uk/pensions. This has put everyone on a downer at the moment. However, it will cost a lot of money to clear us out. I'm confident we will be safe. Those over 50 years of age with a few years service under their belt are probably hoping it does happen. Afetr March 2011 the compensation arrangements will change from a max of three times annual salary to a max of two times annual salary.
Mick S

Mick Spear
13th December 2009, 20:18
Well said Rex. Pity you haven't been invited on to the team (war cabinet) putting our case together.
Mick S
I think the worry must be that there have to be spending cuts across the board and this study is Treasury led. There can be no doubt that the costs of specialist RFA's and the trained crews to man them have risen in time with the ever increasing front line role and range of tasks they are required to do so it will be easy for bean counters to come up with simpler, cheaper models. You can do the same by handing over the RAF to Richard Branson and the NHS to BUPA - ridiculous of course, and it would not work and will not happen. None the less it is very worrying on two counts: the effect upon RFA personnel now; in the longer term the risk the RN would move to protest assets and blue water capability by merging the RN and a finely tuned RFA under the white ensign. I believe that would be very bad for the UK as a seafaring nation and bad for the Merchant Navy.

wilf1969
13th December 2009, 22:26
Thanks for the link Mick , yes everyone is a bit P****D OFF at the moment ,dont know where this is going , another piece of the family silver sold off for F**K ALL.

Pat Thompson
13th December 2009, 23:04
Greetings,

I listened to Gordon Brown speaking about the troops in Afghanistan during his present visit and heard him extolling the high levels of morale in the Army. Perhaps he should have a word with the boys and girls in the RFA and see what they have to say on that topic just now.

chadburn
14th December 2009, 13:32
Unfortunatly the curse of Government privatisation started off with the Conservatives, unusually Labour has just carried on but that's NEW Labour for you and if any intended change of ownership of the RFA takes place a change of Government may not put a stop to it. If you look at the big picture, in the Blue Corner you have the RFA whose sale will bring in some money to keep the Treasury happy, it is unlikely that RFA member's will be made redundant en masse as in Law their jobs are not being made redundant they are being moved across to a new owner possibly under TUPE (no enforced redundancy). In the Red corner you have the possible cancellation of the second Carrier which will throw hundred's out of work throughout the GB which would mean an increased benefit "bill". If you were in Government which would you choose and why?

Lancastrian
14th December 2009, 14:11
If I was in Government, I would keep both the RFA and the second carrier, as of course I would govern with the long term interests of the country at heart.
Anyway your either/or choice is entirely hypothetical as you have not demonstrated comparable costs/savings and just seem to be making party political points.

chadburn
14th December 2009, 17:02
Party political? not me Lancastrian and certainly not my style, the only person in politics I have any time for is Vince Cable (Lib dem) and the chances of the Lib Dems running the country are about as slim as the whole of the RFA being given a cash redundancy package and then starting the same job for the new owner's the next day. As far as costings are concerned, financial costings can be manipulated as I am sure the RFA may yet find out to prove any case, it's the possible cost in jobs if the second Carrier is cancelled that I have in mind.

Lancastrian
14th December 2009, 17:29
I'm sure building 12 nice new RFAs would employ just as many people. But the purpose of Defence, however politicians may view it, is not to keep people in jobs!

wilf1969
14th December 2009, 19:18
(Jester) Funny you should mention the cash redundancy package Chadburn , I served my apprentiship with the MOD 1987-1991 when privatisation was in its infancy and that was the very deal . Finish on a Friday get paid a lump sum and start on a new contract the next Monday albeit with a private contractor on different terms and conditions , interesting times ahead.

NickNZ
15th December 2009, 05:58
Wilf, take a look here www.cervilservice.gov.uk/pensions. This has put everyone on a downer at the moment. However, it will cost a lot of money to clear us out. I'm confident we will be safe. Those over 50 years of age with a few years service under their belt are probably hoping it does happen. Afetr March 2011 the compensation arrangements will change from a max of three times annual salary to a max of two times annual salary.
Mick S

There you go then, couple of years and the RFA will be a goner, and the Yes Men will announce it as another "cost saving" to the tax payer!

dab
15th December 2009, 10:19
Might find out something later today.The defence minister is to make a statement to Parliament regarding where savings are to be made to allow extra money for the front line in Afghanistan. Civillian jobs within the MOD look to be in the firing line!

hillshepherd
17th December 2009, 10:09
More information in the Navy News 16th December - see http://www.navynews.co.uk/news/647-ships-and-aircraft-axed-to-pay-for-war-against-taleban.aspx

hillshepherd
15th January 2010, 11:55
See latest Times for article and telling comments at http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article6988886.ece

tidespring82
15th January 2010, 21:14
The article in the Times is basically a rehash of all those that appeared before Christmas, nothing will happen until the middle of the year, when a decision will be taken by whoever happens to be in power and by that time a lot can have happened.

Lancastrian
15th January 2010, 22:10
The quote that efficiency can be measured by the number of days spent at sea show how little the commercial world understands Naval ops in peacetime.
Or that these days there are no spare ships to go out on charter.

hillshepherd
16th January 2010, 15:31
Looking outside our own village not much comfort either. See Max Hastings in the Spectator at http://www.spectator.co.uk/spectator/thisweek/5704518/the-tory-defence-policy-will-be-simple-cut-brutally.thtml

chadburn
16th January 2010, 16:38
As I indicated earlier on in the debate relying on your Conservative MP to help you is not a good idea, they were the instigaters of privatisation in the Armed Forces which is now rife, a lot of the Companies concerned having Tory MP'(s) on their Board('s). Interesting that Sir Jock wanted a scribe with him in any interview with Mr Hasting's, don't blame him myself it's a sensible precaution in my view. From what I gather there appears to be a case of overcrowding in the village mainly at the Town Hall.

Lancastrian
16th January 2010, 16:41
I like the idea of merging the RAF into the Army!

waiwera
16th January 2010, 17:32
I like the idea of merging the RAF into the Army!

Although the Armed Forces have always been a higher priority compared to other European Nations surely it is time for the UK to recognise it is not a World Power - and in terms if our new found ( lower/poorer) economic status in the World Rankings it must be time to review and to start " boxing at our new weight".
I humbly suggest that an RN of less than 50 ships does not need 50 Admirals! (Or have we still got more than 50?) Or all the large scale "civil service" admin support.
Yes, as an Island Nation, we still need a strong Navy (and RFA) - but why don't we try and do just one thing, and do it well?
For instance Ships like the Ocean, Bulwark and Albion give us a good base for a strong commando/helicopter force so why not scrap the expensive Aircraft Carriers and payload of incredibly expensive aircraft we cannot afford - lets face it with one ship nearly always in refit an aircraft carrier force of just one ship is of little use.
So instead build some more commando/helicopter carriers (like the US one helping the current earthquake disaster). This would give us a flexible core force of say 6 capital ships with frigates and other RN support vessels and the RFA vessels built around this specific role.
Just a thought gentleman "To stir the Pot"

chadburn
16th January 2010, 17:53
W, you have hit the nail on the head with your first sentence, we simply cannot rely on our European partner's to pay a "full" part in any U.N. action, as usual it's left to us and the US to get involved in the "thick of it"

rcraig
16th January 2010, 18:25
I like the idea of merging the RAF into the Army!

It would take it all back to how it started. What a good idea. The very thought of RAF personnel suffering physical discomfort has a touching appeal to it.

Still only leave one fighting force!

Lancastrian
16th January 2010, 19:13
For instance Ships like the Ocean, Bulwark and Albion give us a good base for a strong commando/helicopter force so why not scrap the expensive Aircraft Carriers and payload of incredibly expensive aircraft we cannot afford -


Because as we found in the Falklands, and has long been written in the doctrine of amphibious warfare, you cannot mount an amphibious operation without air superiority and as the Crabs can't reach remote places, and you might not be able to rely on the Yanks, so you need to take your own air defence and airborne early warning with you.

hillshepherd
19th January 2010, 16:19
Go fer it Sir Mark - we are with you ! See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8466961.stm

slick
19th January 2010, 17:12
All,
I see that Argentina's President Kirchner has reiterated the claim to the Falklands and I believe it is now enshrined on the Constitution, I am still trying to work out how soldiers are going to get down there.

Yours aye,

slick

Graybeard
19th January 2010, 23:55
That is an interesting development from Argentina.

We have been unfortunately blessed with two decades of the most unimaginative, self-serving series of political leaders who had/have very little understanding of their own role in the government of the country and the country's role in the world.

What is important is that people keep these arguments alive and kicking hopefully with as little subjectivity as possible.

For instance: the MN taking over the RFA? Lanacastrian mentioned one important aspect of "lessons learned" about the Falklands - air superiority. Remember another? Every merchant ship had an RFA party on board to show them how to do things like RAS, handle communications and replace 25 years of List 1 RNR training and policy (of which I was one) because someone got the legal spects of mobilising the List 1 wrong. The RFA personnel with their expertise fulfilled the role instead. It's what we do.

It's not a question of RFA/MN/RN etc. It's who are best or available or able to fulfil the role to support the RN. And what the RN are required to do. It's never been anything else.

Yes, the DE is more economical fuel-wise. The new Forts are not just tankers are they? Which reminds me an Admiral owes me a fiver - he bet me in the bar at RNC Greenwich that they would be White Ensign! Doh!

These are in fact exciting times as regards the future role of forces at sea. What we all have to do is keep our eyes on those b*******s in Government.

And "Hear, hear" about Vince Cable - the only man who consistantly understood what was happening and made sensible suggestions months ahead of anyone else, most of which were eventually done - too late.

Isn't it amazing what a bunch of useless plonkers we have in charge or available as likely replacements. It happens about twice a century, I think.

Now I'll retreat to my shelter.

Billieboy
20th January 2010, 07:52
Here, Here, Graybeard!(Thumb)

(Applause) (Applause)

Lancastrian
20th January 2010, 09:05
Oh Dear!
Royal Navy flotilla withdrawn weeks before Haiti disaster to cut costs (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6994452.ece&ct=ga&cd=YyFhfjtncmg&usg=AFQjCNHoZtJbSyGez7q5nyNp4g2sul3ufg)
Times Online
Naval sources told The Times that the unpublicised cut marked the first time that ... The force, which usually includes a Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel and a ...

hillshepherd
20th January 2010, 10:27
See the full text of the First Sea Lord's address delivered yesterday 19th January at http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/rn-live/featured/defence-in-a-changed-world-flexible-thinking,-flexible-forces/*/changeNav/6568
It needs careful reading and digesting.

waiwera
20th January 2010, 10:33
Interesting comments from Greybeard.
Re your last - Are you saying no list One RNR's were called up for the Falklands War (due to some paperwork problem) and that was the reason for the List One RNR demise?

Lancastrian
20th January 2010, 12:15
See the full text of the First Sea Lord's address delivered yesterday 19th January at http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/rn-live/featured/defence-in-a-changed-world-flexible-thinking,-flexible-forces/*/changeNav/6568
It needs careful reading and digesting.

Very good, but I do wish he wouldnt call it the Arabian Gulf. Persian was good enough for the Romans and my school atlas.

chadburn
20th January 2010, 18:29
If I remember correctly the "Legal" problem was something to do mainly with Insurance and who was going to be responsible for paying it for "Seagoing" List 1 individual's who were called up, that along with other Employment Law issue's which had not been thought about since 1962 which had changed in the meantime.

Graybeard
20th January 2010, 21:21
Interesting comments from Greybeard.
Re your last - Are you saying no list One RNR's were called up for the Falklands War (due to some paperwork problem) and that was the reason for the List One RNR demise?

No List 1's were called up. I don't doubt Chadburn's reasoning - I think there was more than one problem. As a List 1 officer I was told that mobilisation could only happen in "practical" terms if the UK was under threat from a foreign power - so all the training, etc. that I had received was applied to my job in my ship in the conflict, and very useful too. List 1's role was revised again post '82 - I did a coastal convoy work course (not what I liked at all and not relevant) and I left shortly afterwards. Previously there had been excellent operational and tactical fleet training, which was useful to me in the RFA.

skele
21st January 2010, 22:23
i was on a salvage tug in the 60s . our compant o.t.s, hired a foriegn crew . all spanish ..just a few of us brit trained seamen . they could not understand orders , they new nothing about seamanship .there where a danger to us and themselves ...this cheap labour hire , does not work ..we got rid off them ..and went back to brit trained crews ...it would be a pen pushers bigest mistake of there lives ,to put cheap labour on r.f.a ships ..

Michael one
22nd January 2010, 20:05
I know I've signed a list to question the scrapping of the RFA, the list is ment to go to number 10... it was circulating within the Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society...

Take care

Lancastrian
22nd January 2010, 21:55
The petition is still open - http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/save-the-RFA/

Klaatu83
22nd January 2010, 23:26
A good argument against disbanding the RFA might be to point out that the USNS Comfort, the hospital ship currently working at Port au Prince, is operated by the Military Sealift Command, which is the U.S. counterpart of the RFA. That's why it's "USNS" instead of "USS". An organization like that makes a lot of sense operating ships of that sort because they can do the job with a fraction the number men required for a Regular Navy crew, which means there's that much more room for medical staff, facilities and equipment. It also frees up the Navy men for operating fighting warships, while leaving the auxiliaries to the professional seamen who are able to do that sort of work more efficiently. I know that is the case from my own personal experience. When I sailed for MSC they were taking over some of the Navy's old fleet oilers. The Navy ran them with 360 men, while we ran the same ships with 100. By the same token, I was on a seagoing tug, which the Navy operated with about 100 men, and which we operated with 26.

Lancastrian
30th January 2010, 14:15
Some sensible reporting from Nautilus -Miinister to meet on RFA "value" worries. Questions raised in Parliament over review of 'business delivery model"



Nautilus is to meet defence minister Kevan Jones to discuss concerns over a new round of value for money' testing of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The talks are being arranged after the Union protested to armed forces minister Boh Ainsworlh over the move lo review RFA operations in response to Treasury demands for 10% cuts in MoD budgets.
In his response to the Union, Mr Ainsworth said he agrees with Nautilus that the RFA makes a 'significant contribution' to supporting the armed forces. But, he added, 'we need to ensure that this successful relationship continues to deliver the best value for money.'
The minister assured the Union that the review will be undertaken 'with no preconceived outcomes'.
General secretary Mark Dickinson welcomed the offer of ministerial discussions about the proposals and the scope of the review.'We are confident that the RFA can yet again demonstrate its unrivalled efficiency and professionalism, but it is important that ministers understand our concerns about the dangers of taking a simplistic short-term approach to the way the RFA is operated.
'There are also good grounds for challenging the need for such a review in the first place, when an in-depth report carried out only two years ago confirmed the efficiency of the RFA in very clear terms.'
The review has prompted questions in Parliament, and asked by Liberal Democrat Mr Colin Breed if the government planned to privatise the RFA, Mr Jones said the review is examining (the RFA's 'business delivery model to establish if there is scope to enhance efficiencies and deliver greater value for money. The review will consider a number of alternative models'.
Reports suggest that as many as 20 companies — including Maersk, James Fisher, Serco and
the VT Group — have expressed an interest in carrying out work presently undertaken by the RFA.
Nautilus is warning ministers to resist short-term savings that could have a detrimental long-term impact on the RFA's operations. The Union is also stressing the strategic importance of protecting the RFA's status as one of the biggest employers and trainers of British merchant seafarers.
Questioned by Dover MP Gwyn Prosser, Mr Jones said the review will include an assessment of the 2006 Flexible Global Reach Future Manning Strategy, which concluded that the current arrangements are efficient

AGAMEMNON
3rd February 2010, 18:07
Ministers may also need to be reminded that during the 80s & 90s, the RFA was the major trainer of MN personnel. We trained through all the years the industry did next to nothing, and saw them poached away. Even after the advantages acrued from the "tonnage tax", the accompanying training package never amounted to much. If the RFA goes, kiss goodbye to British MN training!

geoffakelly
28th February 2010, 20:50
That is an interesting development from Argentina.

We have been unfortunately blessed with two decades of the most unimaginative, self-serving series of political leaders who had/have very little understanding of their own role in the government of the country and the country's role in the world.

What is important is that people keep these arguments alive and kicking hopefully with as little subjectivity as possible.

For instance: the MN taking over the RFA? Lanacastrian mentioned one important aspect of "lessons learned" about the Falklands - air superiority. Remember another? Every merchant ship had an RFA party on board to show them how to do things like RAS, handle communications and replace 25 years of List 1 RNR training and policy (of which I was one) because someone got the legal spects of mobilising the List 1 wrong. The RFA personnel with their expertise fulfilled the role instead. It's what we do.

It's not a question of RFA/MN/RN etc. It's who are best or available or able to fulfil the role to support the RN. And what the RN are required to do. It's never been anything else.

Yes, the DE is more economical fuel-wise. The new Forts are not just tankers are they? Which reminds me an Admiral owes me a fiver - he bet me in the bar at RNC Greenwich that they would be White Ensign! Doh!

These are in fact exciting times as regards the future role of forces at sea. What we all have to do is keep our eyes on those b*******s in Government.

And "Hear, hear" about Vince Cable - the only man who consistantly understood what was happening and made sensible suggestions months ahead of anyone else, most of which were eventually done - too late.

Isn't it amazing what a bunch of useless plonkers we have in charge or available as likely replacements. It happens about twice a century, I think.

Now I'll retreat to my shelter.

i think you will find the ships in the falklands ALL had RN partys on board...i should know i was on three MN ships down there and all had RN partys..

Andrew Craig-Bennett
28th February 2010, 21:46
The only person who can stop this happening is President Kirchner of Argentina.

My money is that she will pike out and refer her claim to the UN and the RFA will then be privatised.

The thing to keep an eye on is the replacement of HMS ENDURANCE; she is completely knackered and the FCO have already advised the PM that a replacement is essential, but no replacement is forthcoming and she will be withdrawn shortly (have we been here before?)

Never, ever, underestimate the lobbying forces lined up behind this idea - the remaining UK companies (Swires honourably excepted but they long ago decided that they were not part of "British Shipping" anyway) all think it is a splendid notion that will secure their futures.

So that's "The Industry Consultation" taken care of.

Nautilus will do their best but will get nowhere, because a Union lobbying on a Defence issue is hard to take seriously even when they are right.

The likes of Fishers, whose board appears to consist entirely of ex-Chairmen of the Chamber of Shipping, have sadly underestimated the formiddable lobbying power of Maersk, who will scoop the pool from under their noses.

Maersk have already convinced the Government that if they don't gut Trinity House and the Northern and (espescially) Irish Lights in order to further cut light dues they will cut out direct UK calls (this is twaddle, but the Government dont run container ships) and Maersk will say that they will pull out of the UK if they don't get the RFA to play with.

The "need British crews" argument will be demolished in Whitehall by reference to the presence of HK ratings on RFAs during the Falklands.

And the clincher will be that the surface Navy will be tiny anyway. We are looking at a Navy of six destroyers, two cancelled or sold carriers a couple of minesweepers and some coastal launches for catching illegal immigrants.

QED.

Lancastrian
1st March 2010, 01:01
The only person who can stop this happening is President Kirchner of Argentina.
She is certainly helping our cause.
My money is that she will pike out and refer her claim to the UN and the RFA will then be privatised.
Put your money where your mouth is!

The thing to keep an eye on is the replacement of HMS ENDURANCE; she is completely knackered and the FCO have already advised the PM that a replacement is essential, but no replacement is forthcoming and she will be withdrawn shortly (have we been here before?)
Endurance is no longer significant in the Falklands issue and has no bearing on this thread.

Never, ever, underestimate the lobbying forces lined up behind this idea - the remaining UK companies (Swires honourably excepted but they long ago decided that they were not part of "British Shipping" anyway) all think it is a splendid notion that will secure their futures.
Its votes that count just now, not lobbying.
So that's "The Industry Consultation" taken care of.

Nautilus will do their best but will get nowhere, because a Union lobbying on a Defence issue is hard to take seriously even when they are right.
The have already got a Minister back tracking, see latest Telegraph.

The likes of Fishers, whose board appears to consist entirely of ex-Chairmen of the Chamber of Shipping, have sadly underestimated the formiddable lobbying power of Maersk, who will scoop the pool from under their noses.

Maersk have already convinced the Government that if they don't gut Trinity House and the Northern and (espescially) Irish Lights in order to further cut light dues they will cut out direct UK calls (this is twaddle, but the Government dont run container ships) and Maersk will say that they will pull out of the UK if they don't get the RFA to play with.
So who cares? They have already sacked their British Officers.

The "need British crews" argument will be demolished in Whitehall by reference to the presence of HK ratings on RFAs during the Falklands.
No it wont. HK crews were done away with as a result of 82.

And the clincher will be that the surface Navy will be tiny anyway. We are looking at a Navy of six destroyers, two cancelled or sold carriers a couple of minesweepers and some coastal launches for catching illegal immigrants.
You forget the Amphibs and it will now cost more to cancel the carriers than build them.

QED.
Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis.

Lancastrian
1st March 2010, 01:08
i think you will find the ships in the falklands ALL had RN partys on board...i should know i was on three MN ships down there and all had RN partys..

You are mistaken. Many managed with only RFA assistance for RAS and Communications.
How did you manage three ships in such a short period? (April - June 82)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
1st March 2010, 10:51
Lancastrian, I certainly hope that you are right but I caution against being overly optimistic here.

The privatisation has very little to do with the value of the existing fleet, which is difficult to value anyway, as specialised ships don't always find a ready sale.

(The "Forts" for example, with their semi-warship features, were very, very expensive to build, under Naval contracting rules, with special features that are only of interest to another naval end user with compatible equipment. Otherwise they are very expensive product tankers with an uncommercial GT.)

The object of the privatisation is to shift the cost of replacement off the PSBR, and to cut the numbers of Government employees. It's a "private finance initiative". Seen in this light, the argument for doing it (which I don't for a moment agree with) becomes very compelling in Whitehall.

I fear that votes have almost nothing to do with this; most voters have never heard of the RFA and will just assume that anything with the word "Auxiliary" in its title cannot be very important, and might be some sort of part time Dad's Army thing. That this is a million miles from the truth is something that we all know, but we are not Joe Public!"

My point about HMS "Endurance" was not related to the Falklands issue and I did not express it well - my point is that it is a straw in the wind - the ship urgently needs replacement and the FCO, who don't always agree with the MOD, have said so because of Britain's other interests in the South. She's a ship which is mainly there to show the flag and the flag does need to be shown, as other nations will swiftly move in to any perceived vacuum, but there political will to replace this "one off" ship is lacking.

If the MOD cannot find the funds to replace the "Endurance" , they are not in the best position to win a battle over the RFA.

I hope this does not happen but I feel it is best to know the strength of the forces lined up in favour of doing it.

Lancastrian
1st March 2010, 12:14
I am not overly, but cautiously optimistic. Whilst the general public have never heard of the RFA and think its a dyslexic air force, it is these days better known than it was, especially in certain maritime constituencies including one in the east of Scotland.
It should be known by all by now that PFIs are a con.

Graybeard
2nd March 2010, 00:59
i think you will find the ships in the falklands ALL had RN partys on board...i should know i was on three MN ships down there and all had RN partys..

I am sorry. My statement to which you refer is quite correct and has been acknowledged as one of the RFA contributions to the "conflict" over and above the expected logistics support. One such member of an RFA team on board Atlantic Conveyor lost his life when she was sunk.

Some ships had RN parties on board too, for further specialist support in aviation and other more military and covert requirements, plus the NPs on the repair ships.

The Falklands was a truly multi-service and combined ops experience. The full story of the RFA in WW2 has yet to be properly published - RFA masters acting as logistics and POL managers on assault beaches for instance. After the war we went back to our more traditional roles and the civilan stores officers retained their management role.

After the Falklands, the RFA became self-managed, with its own uniform executive instead of being an extension of the civilian stores departments. The cost may be to lose that status in this crazy "privatisation" cost-cutting exercise. 100 years of steady development lost in an instant.

Please keep an eye on that process and wonder how the change might improve support to the RN, not just in logistics but those unexpected requirements, when the RN ask "Can you?" and the RFA says "Ready for anythng".

Graybeard
2nd March 2010, 01:12
In the above post you make an interesting quote about the protracted demise of Endurance. The RN's attitude to that ship, and the circumstances of her damage, is very interesting. The previous Endurance was seemingly a much-loved ship, even though she was a conversion from a commerially designed and built merchant ship, designed for ice service.

The almost still current Endurance does not have that love towards her, and is described as a vulnerable design, with huge open spaces, and poor internal water-tight subdivision - a bit like a batch 2 Type 22 has also been described to me by more than one person who sailed on them. Interesting how quickly they left the fleet.

Endurance's future is not just about money. It's about whether she is really what the RN want for that mission, and whether they believe they can operate her safely. Her accident record would raise eyebrows. Sometimes a ship is just not right.

That's as I hear it anyway. I'm sure many will say I'm wrong.

Graybeard
2nd March 2010, 01:29
Lancastrian, I certainly hope that you are right but I caution against being overly optimistic here.

The privatisation has very little to do with the value of the existing fleet, which is difficult to value anyway, as specialised ships don't always find a ready sale.

(The "Forts" for example, with their semi-warship features, were very, very expensive to build, under Naval contracting rules, with special features that are only of interest to another naval end user with compatible equipment. Otherwise they are very expensive product tankers with an uncommercial GT.)

The object of the privatisation is to shift the cost of replacement off the PSBR, and to cut the numbers of Government employees. It's a "private finance initiative". Seen in this light, the argument for doing it (which I don't for a moment agree with) becomes very compelling in Whitehall.

I fear that votes have almost nothing to do with this; most voters have never heard of the RFA and will just assume that anything with the word "Auxiliary" in its title cannot be very important, and might be some sort of part time Dad's Army thing. That this is a million miles from the truth is something that we all know, but we are not Joe Public!"

My point about HMS "Endurance" was not related to the Falklands issue and I did not express it well - my point is that it is a straw in the wind - the ship urgently needs replacement and the FCO, who don't always agree with the MOD, have said so because of Britain's other interests in the South. She's a ship which is mainly there to show the flag and the flag does need to be shown, as other nations will swiftly move in to any perceived vacuum, but there political will to replace this "one off" ship is lacking.

If the MOD cannot find the funds to replace the "Endurance" , they are not in the best position to win a battle over the RFA.

I hope this does not happen but I feel it is best to know the strength of the forces lined up in favour of doing it.

Your argument about "British crews" and the HK crews on certain RFAs in the Flaklands is curious. The Hong Kong crews were the last in a long line of Hong Kong and other locally recruited crews from the days of "station ships". They were kept on longer than most because they were efficient, experienced (up to 40 years of continuous individual service) and filled a dearth of British crews available 'til the post '82 government-sponsored decline of the MN.

Because of politics, in every sense of the word, and the well-known future "dumping" of Hong Kong (Mrs T just did not understand what HK was all about), it became prudent to change the HK crews for UK crews who were suddenly available to replace them as their MN jobs dried up.

And those UK crews knew the risks too, being aware of the RFA in the Falklands, some of them on STUFT ships. So, it turned out very well for all concerned, including the RFA; just not for the time-served HK seafarers.

The current UK crews of RFAs are highly-trained, totally dedicated and part of a remarkably professional and small logistics service, which like all our armed services, punches above its weight and is prepared to take on diverse challenges in the national interest.

Service, duty, risk, loyalty, and sacrifice. I wonder how those keywords relate to PFI?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
2nd March 2010, 02:40
My point is just that it may be pointed out that an RFA or something in that sort of role need not have a British crew.

The attraction of taking the RFA off the national balance sheet may prove irresistible. I certainly hope not but I suspect many of us here are old enough to know that the British Government has no time for anything to do with shipping.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
2nd March 2010, 02:43
(Mrs T just did not understand what HK was all about),

I know. I was there.

Lancastrian
2nd March 2010, 10:00
My point is just that it may be pointed out that an RFA or something in that sort of role need not have a British crew.

Anyone who pointed that out, or who believed it, would clearly not have the faintest idea of what the RFA's role is!
"Something in that sort of role" is not what the Navy wants or needs.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
2nd March 2010, 10:48
That's my point!

Does one voter in ten have any idea of what the RFA's role is?

What is needed is a big public awareness campaign.

Lancastrian
2nd March 2010, 11:30
We are doing our best, but big campaigns cost money and of course the serving RFA cannot be seen to criticise it's paymasters.
http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php/rit

Encouraging bit from Lloyds List - BRITAIN’S Ministry of Defence now appears to be softening its stance over the possible sale of the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary, according to trade union officials who discussed the issue with a junior minister earlier this week.
Any backtracking on the issue is likely to disappoint numerous shipping concerns who are openly keeping a... (You have to pay for the rest of the article!)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
2nd March 2010, 12:11
We are doing our best, but big campaigns cost money and of course the serving RFA cannot be seen to criticise it's paymasters.
http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php/rit

Encouraging bit from Lloyds List - BRITAIN’S Ministry of Defence now appears to be softening its stance over the possible sale of the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary, according to trade union officials who discussed the issue with a junior minister earlier this week.
Any backtracking on the issue is likely to disappoint numerous shipping concerns who are openly keeping a... (You have to pay for the rest of the article!)

Good for you.

My employers subscribe to, and I used to write a column for, Lloyds List and I know David Osler, so I think I can do this:

From Lloyds List, February 15th:

Privatisation of RFA ‘not on the agenda’, union told
David Osler - Monday 15 February 2010

THE UK Ministry of Defence appears to be softening its stance on the sale of the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary, according to trade union officials who discussed the issue with a junior minister last week, writes David Osler .

Any backtracking on a sale is likely to disappoint the numerous shipping concerns that are keeping an eye open for any possible deals that might emerge.

Danish giant Maersk, which already undertakes similar work for the Military Sealift Command in the US, is known to be keen on an involvement.

However, the extent of possible private sector involvement in the provision of six new refuelling tankers is unclear, although some sources still expect a tender to be issued shortly.

The meeting between officers’ union Nautilus International and junior defence minister Kevan Jones came after last year’s announcement that the RFA was to undergo a full-scale value-for-money review, just two years after a similar exercise concluded that the RFA did represent value for money.

“We met [Mr Jones] and MoD staff responsible for this project. We went through a long list of concerns we have about the possibility of back-door privatisation of the RFA,” said a Nautilus representative.

“We felt we got a very solid assurance that privatisation is not on the agenda, and that the review is not going to drag on. [The MoD] plans to complete it within two or three months.”

The RFA is one of the last bastions of UK seafarer employment, and seafarer unions are insistent that it remains part of the public sector.

Some sections of the political right concur, albeit on national security grounds.

The official line is that no decision has been taken for or against any sell-off.

However, the government is openly seeking to sell assets to meet the UK’s growing public sector deficit.

“The RFA cannot be immune from the mass appraisal of every budget because of the economic situation,” the Nautilus representative said.

“But we felt [Mr Jones] was pretty positive, and that he is conscious of just what a job the RFA does and its roles and responsibilities. You simply can not transfer a lot of that stuff into the commercial sector.”

The Conservative Party has pledged to hold a full strategic defence review if it wins the impending general election. Party insiders indicate that full privatisation of the RFA cannot be ruled out under a Tory administration.

R736476
3rd March 2010, 13:32
No doubt those in authority will also review the safety management record of any contender for provision of services in support of the British armed forces.
The following makes interesting reading:
http://www.emsa.europa.eu/Docs/accidents/20-429.pdf
The full report takes a bit longer to read.

GBXZ
26th March 2010, 06:40
I read in the Daily Telegraph that the MOD are to spend 120M for the progressing of the new type 26 warship(s). This announcement was politically inspired just 8 weeks prior to a general election, and it provided the usual responses from unions, ship builders etc. Now the question is if the RFA is to have new tankers then what better time to announce the contracts than before the general election. Because if they don't announce before the election then they certainly won't order them after the election.

Lancastrian
26th March 2010, 17:46
Interesting interview with Cdre Bill Walworth in the latest Nautilus Telegraph (not yet online) in which he states "Although the questions about the RFA's future fleet will not be resolved until the defence review is completed, progress has been made on the long-awaited project to replace the ageing fleet tankers. Potential contractors are being assessed, with the aim of delivering the first new ship in 2016."

GBXZ
27th March 2010, 00:52
Will Gunline publish the interview?

Lancastrian
27th March 2010, 12:17
Dont know but it will be on the Nautilus website from 1 April.
http://www.nautilusint.org/Resources/Pages/Telegraph.aspx

Us paid up members get to read it first!

Lancastrian
31st March 2010, 12:19
Naval chief is positive about RFA's future role (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Naval-chief-is-positive-about.6193045.jp&ct=ga&cad=1:1:0&cd=uAfMyqhmqIg&usg=AFQjCNHAmyMJmOy1Lm30gvMsmS7PjUANWQ)
Portsmouth News
Thousands of RFA workers have signed petitions since The News revealed in the autumn that the service was facing potential cuts. But Cdre Walworth has said ...

hillshepherd
31st March 2010, 18:23
The Downing Street response to the Save The RFA Petition can be viewed at http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page23016

OLD STRAWBERRY
31st March 2010, 19:33
Hanging it out Rex, I feel sorry for Lads who will by the look of it have to wait another year perhaps until some pennypincher make a decision. Especially the Lads in theatre who are wondering whether or not their Lordships think they are worth every penny they earn. The indecision must be worrying for them.

Lancastrian
31st March 2010, 19:45
The Downing Street response to the Save The RFA Petition can be viewed at http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page23016

Dont bother looking, it says precisely nothing! But what did we expect? Written by some Downing Street functionary who wouldn't know the RFA if it bit him.
I'm still waiting for a response to my smoking petition!

LouisB
9th June 2010, 22:19
Because as we found in the Falklands, and has long been written in the doctrine of amphibious warfare, you cannot mount an amphibious operation without air superiority and as the Crabs can't reach remote places, and you might not be able to rely on the Yanks, so you need to take your own air defence and airborne early warning with you.

The problem with air defence in Operation Corporate Lancastrian was not only due to not having enough aircraft or effective airborne surveillance. Quite a few of our own systems didn't work as anticipated including the armies Rapier point defence equipment and shipbourne iff systems interference. More up to date ew radar that could differentiate sea and land clutter far better would have allowed earlier deployment of chaff to (possibly) have saved Atlantic Conveyor. The various boards of enquiry make interesting reading if you can stick with them. I know I'm saying a lot of 'what ifs' but some criticism can bring improvement.

Kinnie
10th August 2010, 17:24
Quote from "Defence Management"
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary needs its new MARS programme like a thirsty sailor needs a beer and the Royal Navy should remember that, without those auxiliaries, enduring operations and strategic military effectively disappear.
Full article HERE (http://www.defencemanagement.com/feature_story.asp?id=14621)

McCloggie
10th August 2010, 18:23
I am somewhat surprised that we have seen little activity on this thread, especially since at the weekend there were reports in the press of the "Navy" losing 3 amphibious warfare ships and these I would imagine would be the RFA manned Bays. Whatever, it is sad, stupid and will probably cost more at the end of the day.

In answer to some of the other comments made on this thread:

Despite what others say, there most certainly were RNR List 1 deployed in 1982. Whether they were officially mobilised or used under existing contracts I can not say but I know for certain that RFA Officers who happened to be List 1 RNR were utilised in non RFA ships. Similarly, I know for certain that other List 1 Officers were utilised in MN ships but, as I say, they may have been "selected" as preferred crew from civilian empoyers.

In some ways what has been said about List 1 training in the 1970/1980s is correct - all based on past experiences and for a MN Officer joining the RNR it must have been difficult not to wonder where the RN were coming from and in what decade they lived. I know. I had a foot in both camps.

As far as Argentina goes, I was in Patagonia and Ushyia for Christmas 2008. Believe me - every car and every shop has a "Malvinas Argentinas" sign! Argentinians seem to regard Patagonia as their last fronteir and in some ways they are correct - it is still a wild and beautiful place - as it takes special people to live and make a life there, but they believe 100% that the Falklands are the Malvinas!

McC

Kinnie
10th August 2010, 20:11
Yes but RFA personnel who were not RNR were also deployed in STUFT. It never made much sense to be both RFA and RNR.
Whatever they stick in their back windows, they are wrong.

Archie NS
11th August 2010, 01:14
You'r lucky here in Canada we have two replenishment ships on the East Coast both are not accepable in any Euopean or US jurisditions as they are single hulled ships, to replace them will be twenty years up the road. The ship building industry here is dead, better to buy from oversea's!!!

NickNZ
15th August 2010, 11:24
Surely if teh Japs can get 'assistance ' from various agencies to build aircraft carriers (see the International Navies forum), Canada can get similar "assistance" with the building of some much needed oilers to replace Preserver and Protecteur?
WW2 may have ended 65 years ago, but that, and NATO requirements/needs sould be considered. After all it would not only be the Canadians taht benefited from either some recently retired, or new build vessels? This is not charity, it is for the common good.

Thats another Story
4th September 2010, 13:11
RFA Wave knight driving along the dock road LIVERPOOL this morning wave knight is in the breakers dock. i guess another one bites the dust shame.john

Satanic Mechanic
4th September 2010, 14:13
RFA Wave knight driving along the dock road LIVERPOOL this morning wave knight is in the breakers dock. i guess another one bites the dust shame.john

SURELY NOT - I only built it a 8 years ago!!!!!!!!!!


no sniggering - it was one of my better ones

Pat Kennedy
4th September 2010, 14:36
RFA Wave knight driving along the dock road LIVERPOOL this morning wave knight is in the breakers dock. i guess another one bites the dust shame.john

John,
She is alongside in South1 Canada dock and has been there for a while. I was told by someone from Lairds that they were working on her. She is still showing on AIS, and when MOD send vessells for demolition, they normally take that sort of equipment out of her.
As SM said, she is relatively new and I cant believe that she is for the breakers.
regards,
Pat(Sad)

blobbybluey
4th September 2010, 14:43
why is anybody getting excited about this so called news,its a contiuation of "privatise everything" started by thatcher.every other public utillity is gone why not r.f.a after all how many applauded the sale of gas electric ,ba and on and on.r.f.a is no different.or is it a bit too close to "home " for some,as it is all millitary training is set to be sold off by october including a base in south wales built under p.f.i which will cost taxpayers 3 times the original price over the next fifteen yrs,if theyre selling off millitary training for gods sake why not sell off r.f.a non jingoistic answers only please.

Satanic Mechanic
4th September 2010, 14:49
why is anybody getting excited about this so called news,its a contiuation of "privatise everything" started by thatcher.every other public utillity is gone why not r.f.a after all how many applauded the sale of gas electric ,ba and on and on.r.f.a is no different.or is it a bit too close to "home " for some,as it is all millitary training is set to be sold off by october including a base in south wales built under p.f.i which will cost taxpayers 3 times the original price over the next fifteen yrs,if theyre selling off millitary training for gods sake why not sell off r.f.a non jingoistic answers only please.


If it removed Bath out of any design issues I would personally buy shares

tiachapman
4th September 2010, 14:54
Another Crackpot Idea From This Crackpot Pot Lot In Power//.

Thats another Story
4th September 2010, 17:08
pat she is in the scrap berth i could not see any work going on on her the last naval vessells that were there in that dock were scrapped all kinds of heavy demolitin machines around her i will be going along the dockroad again in the week and have another look. john

Satanic Mechanic
4th September 2010, 19:32
pat she is in the scrap berth i could not see any work going on on her the last naval vessells that were there in that dock were scrapped all kinds of heavy demolitin machines around her i will be going along the dockroad again in the week and have another look. john

John - aye have a wee look at that on the way past please. I would never rule anything out but I would be shocked if she was getting scrapped at 7 years old

Dickyboy
4th September 2010, 19:48
Selling off another piece of the family silver comes to mind. Once it's gone it's gone forever.
Looks as though even the defence of the realm has a monetary value these days.

Pat Kennedy
4th September 2010, 20:27
There would be something seriously amiss if they can contemplate scrapping a ship which was only comissioned in October 2002.

Thats another Story
4th September 2010, 20:57
pat i am going to the memorial tomorrow and pass her again if anybody is about i will ask just seems funny nearly every ship that uses that berth is next in line for scrapping. i hope i am wrong even the paintwork seems abit tatty for the RFA?

Graybeard
5th September 2010, 09:00
Yesterday I visited RFA FORT ROSALIE (FORT GRANGE in my mind), the ship I served on in the conflict in the Falklands. Many of the ship's company were stationed around the ship to show us how to stay safe within the boundaries. They were very communicative, happy to answer questions, proud of their Service, worried about the future and very, very knowledgable about the strategic, tactical and political issues and measured and realistic in their responses.

The Service has changed dramatically since I left in 1989 and the RFA leaders and our country can be proud of the professionallism and knowledge (through training?) of the new Service people. My ex-RN companion was gob-smacked by his experience yesterday, having spent more time on RFAs in the 70's and 80's than on RN ships.

The people of the ship in general seemed to think the future of the RFA, if it happened, would be spear-headed by the Wave Class, the Old-Fort Class, perhaps one New-Fort Class which were described as inefficient, over-the-top expensive, budget-draining, nice to look at but ineffective. I listened in awe at reasoning and realism from the people at the coal face. I think WAVE KNIGHT's berth is just a breathing space.

I know that we must do nothing but fight and make a noise to ensure the future of this amazing new RFA service, and extend my thanks to the ship's company for their hospitality.

OLD STRAWBERRY
5th September 2010, 10:33
Yesterday I visited RFA FORT ROSALIE (FORT GRANGE in my mind), the ship I served on in the conflict in the Falklands. Many of the ship's company were stationed around the ship to show us how to stay safe within the boundaries. They were very communicative, happy to answer questions, proud of their Service, worried about the future and very, very knowledgable about the strategic, tactical and political issues and measured and realistic in their responses.

The Service has changed dramatically since I left in 1989 and the RFA leaders and our country can be proud of the professionallism and knowledge (through training?) of the new Service people. My ex-RN companion was gob-smacked by his experience yesterday, having spent more time on RFAs in the 70's and 80's than on RN ships.

The people of the ship in general seemed to think the future of the RFA, if it happened, would be spear-headed by the Wave Class, the Old-Fort Class, perhaps one New-Fort Class which were described as inefficient, over-the-top expensive, budget-draining, nice to look at but ineffective. I listened in awe at reasoning and realism from the people at the coal face. I think WAVE KNIGHT's berth is just a breathing space.

I know that we must do nothing but fight and make a noise to ensure the future of this amazing new RFA service, and extend my thanks to the ship's company for their hospitality.

Well said.(Applause)

Thats another Story
5th September 2010, 19:39
pat i am going to the memorial tomorrow and pass her again if anybody is about i will ask just seems funny nearly every ship that uses that berth is next in line for scrapping. i hope i am wrong even the paintwork seems abit tatty for the RFA?

i past the dock today wave knight is not being scrapped she has moved over and turned and there is work going on good news. john

Pat Kennedy
5th September 2010, 20:14
i past the dock today wave knight is not being scrapped she has moved over and turned and there is work going on good news. john
You were just winding everyone up, admit it!
regards,
Pat(Jester)

Thats another Story
5th September 2010, 20:22
no pat the way it looked last week with all the machines around her i though she was next for the chop they have moved her around to another berth and work is going on. i went to the pierhead today very moving remembrance service i had a good yarn with an old salt in his 90s he was on the old aeneas that was sunk in WW11.

Pat Kennedy
5th September 2010, 20:35
no pat the way it looked last week with all the machines around her i though she was next for the chop they have moved her around to another berth and work is going on. i went to the pierhead today very moving remembrance service i had a good yarn with an old salt in his 90s he was on the old aeneas that was sunk in WW11.
john,
I was talking to a Cammell Lasird electrician a few days ago, and he told me they were doing some work on her, but he didnt elaborate.
Then when you said she was at the demolition berth, I figured that maybe they were stripping gear out of her.
regards,
Pat(Smoke)

chadburn
6th September 2010, 17:25
Are they not doing "mods" to her to get around the new legislation? as I seem to remember a previous vessel mentioned on this site that had undergone some change to her system's which all seemed to be a bit hush hush.

Kinnie
6th September 2010, 19:53
What new legislation? She is already double hulled. Cammell Laird have a through life maintenance contract for this ship so it is not surprising she should visit from time to time. No need for conspiracy theories or silly rumours.

George.GM
6th September 2010, 22:10
Well said Kinnie. You tell 'em.
Is that CL electrician some kin to "a Naval spokesman" that we often hear quoted in the gutter press ?

Graybeard
6th September 2010, 22:48
Dear George, they are all in the gutter these days. Only some of us are looking at the stars. I'll tell you something, you would have been so proud to see the guys and girls on Rosalie. To have reached that zenith through years of regeneration, meeting each generation's naval support needs, then have it trashed as an opportunistic act to satisfy the wont of a shipowner in difficulties would be like handing the best bits of the BBC over to an Australian tycoon; fashionable but calamitous. Not that I have a strong opinion one way or the other, you understand.

chadburn
7th September 2010, 12:52
When the previous vessel I mentioned came up on this site and the work that was being done on it. Lancastrian warned the contributor to be careful as what he said otherwise he might find someone knocking at his door and effectively closed off any discussion on the matter. As far as there being no difference between RNR and RFA in 1982 again that is another load of old tosh, of course there is. The RFA crew's terms and conditions are fully protected whether they are sat in a Port on the South Coast or in a War Zone, all funded by the Government aka the Taxpayer because that is their job and what they get paid for. For the RNR (who are volunteers) it was a different matter, his terms and conditions would only be fully protected by his Employer (and the subject of the so called"Legal" Issue).
a) if there was a direct threat to GB and or Full Mobilisation was called.
b) if he had informed his Employer that he was an active member of the Reserve Forces and had received a letter from his employer confirming that fact. ( not everyone did this as they feared it would affect their employment prospects)
This was because when the agreement with the Employer's was made it was based on a convential WAR IN EUROPE not a group of Islands in the South Atlantic.
If you were on contract or self employed then you had to make your own arrangements in regard's to your Private Pension Provider/Insurance and any extra premiums you may have to pay for entering a War Zone to protect your family in the event of your Death or Injury. Some Insurance Companies would not even give a quote!, at that time you could not sue the MOD. As to whether some of the "Hurdles" have now been knocked down under the present situation where the Reserve forces are now in wide use to supplement today's Forces I do not know but that is how it was in 1982. R.N.R members were involved in STUFT as I was one of them.

Kinnie
7th September 2010, 17:02
As far as there being no difference between RNR and RFA in 1982 again that is another load of old tosh, of course there is.

Where did anyone say that?

chadburn
9th September 2010, 13:51
Where did anyone say that?

You did, that is why you are the only one who has picked up on it, as I see you appear have "Bastardised/Altered" your wording, a bit like your Discharge Book to "back" your comments. I'll have to start printing your future comments off as an Insurance.

hillshepherd
10th September 2010, 16:48
This very interesting thread is about the future (or not) of the RFA - a matter that is of vital concern for all care about the UK's maritime infrastructure and whether we can sustain and support a blue water navy. So let us not have "blue on blue" which seems to be what is coming across in some comments. The RNR and the RFA are two quite different but important institutions and I cannot see that comparisons or rivalry are pertinent in the present situation. However reading Chadburn's comments it does seem a poor deal for the reservists and surely must be one of several reasons why the RNR declare they have only 58 officers left with a Merchant Navy background.

Coming back to the debate, I do not believe the Navy Board will ever permit their front line combat support to be contractorised any more than the Household Brigade task could be let to Pickford's or Securicor (both excellent companies, I am sure.) If this idiocy persists the most likely outcome is full navalisation of the rump RFA as a protective measure and that would be the worst possible outcome for UK seafaring and the maritime infrastructure.

chadburn
13th September 2010, 18:01
Good comments hillsheperd, in my comment I indicated that I was not aware of the position in today's Reserve Forces , however, it does not seem to have
been improved judging by what I have read concerning an Army reservist called Luke Cole M.C. who was badly injured when trying to save two of his comrades in Afghanistan. He crawled into the middle of an ambush to tend a wounded Soldier and then 2 hours later went back again to drag a dead comrade back (we all know what Tribesmen do to our Servicemen), Because he was a Reservist he will only get £16 PER WEEK PENSION. He has had 13 operations on his wounds since 2007. Being a young lad I don't suppose he thought about extra Insurance, that's if a Company would give him cover.

Pat Kennedy
14th September 2010, 12:43
I noticed this morning that RFA Fort Rosalie is back with us. She appeared in Cammell Laird's yard yesterday afternoon.
I doubt she will be here very long because she only completed a 10 month refit in Lairds in Feb 09.
Still its good to see her again, a lovely ship.
Regards,
Pat

Kinnie
14th September 2010, 16:10
You did, that is why you are the only one who has picked up on it, as I see you appear have "Bastardised/Altered" your wording, a bit like your Discharge Book to "back" your comments. I'll have to start printing your future comments off as an Insurance.

I assure you I have altered nothing. You must be dreaming again.

chadburn
14th September 2010, 23:25
As I said I will take a copy of your word's next time, you do not appear to have any idea what happens in the Commercial side of the marine world and you certainly have no idea about Reservist's and their status, I put this down to you spending your time in the Taxpayer funded "bubble" which may be about to be burst next month.

Kinnie
15th September 2010, 09:31
You are very welcome to frame them and preserve them for posterity!
The only comment I have made on the RNR (#103) said nothing about their status but was a simple statement of fact.
I am delighted to know nothing of the commercial world which is why I confine myself to the subject of the thread.

chadburn
16th September 2010, 15:44
Not really but close, I will put a hole in the corner and use them for something else, not for posterity but for the posterior. Your so called "fact" was an after thought after my #127. As there is very little in the Defence "Kitty" apparently and we are fighting a War in Afghanistan we owe it to the Men/ Women of all the Forces out there to provide the best equipment and plenty of it, our Government should be ashamed that our Forces have had to "cadge" food and ammunition from the American's. If it means selling off the R.F.A. to put something in the "kitty" then so be it. The number of Troops being killed is not acceptable let alone the horrendous number of injured being flown into Birmingham Airport at 2330hrs, these figures are rarely published. It's a matter of priorities with Afghanistan being at the very top. The Army are already laying up their Tanks, The RAF are scrapping their Tornado's.

NoR
16th September 2010, 17:38
I think cancelling these aircraft carriers would be a good idea. We can't afford them and we don't need them. What's wrong with the woolworth carrier idea from ww2?

OLD STRAWBERRY
16th September 2010, 17:55
You cannot sell off the RFA they are warships, yes You can sell off individual ships but the company no and I don't think it will ever happen. These men in the RFA are highly skilled personnel not only do they have full MN (MCA) certification they also have RN certification. The RFA has already been decimated with more to come no doubt. There is talk of the "BAY" Boats being reduced. So I say that they have already had their cut. Whether or not any personnel will be lost I have no idea but it must be realised that the crew members they do have should be re-tained and treasured as there are not many who can "Cut It". People I have known have joined the RFA and have left after one trip. If the Government has any sense they will leave them alone and let them get on with their job and finally put their minds at rest.

Satanic Mechanic
16th September 2010, 18:15
I think cancelling these aircraft carriers would be a good idea. We can't afford them and we don't need them. What's wrong with the woolworth carrier idea from ww2?

Its a nearly impossible one - we can't afford them and certainly can't afford the F35 BUT the political and industrial fallout of not getting them is unaffordable as well. If I was to be honest I would keep these and get shot of the nukes

OLD STRAWBERRY
16th September 2010, 18:29
I am beginning to think that SM is right. Surely We don't need a Nuclear Sub to deliver missiles. Is their cost outweighing their need. It'll also negate the need for Faslane, Rosyth and Devonport Nuclear Submarine Re-fitting facillities.

Satanic Mechanic
16th September 2010, 18:34
I realise some other counties are going nuclear but what we have is a 'cold war' weapon not really relevent today.

There is scope for spreading conventional fleet repair about

chadburn
16th September 2010, 18:49
Possibly some of the "function"(s) of the RFA may well be put out to commercial contract , the highest bidder winning. Present workforce would be transferred to the newly formed "Company" under TUPE, which usually means that any reduction in workforce will be taken care of by those who qualify and want to retire on changeover(depending on the importance of their role) plus a reduction in new recruitment so crew's will not actually lose their jobs unless they want to. The Country (from what we are being told) has very little in the "kitty", budget's and the managing of them are about priorities and at the moment Afghanistan has to be top of the list when it comes where the main money is going, it has to be and we owe it to those who are out there doing a difficult job for us.
As for the new Carrier's one to be built on schedule and the other re-scheduled for a delayed delivery, mind you the last time we proposed calling a Carrier "Queen Elizabeth" the complete project went down the pan!!

OLD STRAWBERRY
16th September 2010, 19:10
So what RFA function would You sell??. They are all attached to the Fleet in one way or another. Perhaps the Army could take the "Bay" Boats but they would still need crewing. If a commercial company did take over, the first objective would be to reduce the crewing, reduce the wages probably take on eastern block crews or even "Flip-Flip's" can You imagine that lot on weapons and damage control, flight deck crews, FDO's etc which is exactly what the RFA boy's do, RFA's need big crew's to fight the ship in theatre . If You do commercialise the RFA, then why not commercialise the Royal Navy what's the difference?.

Satanic Mechanic
16th September 2010, 19:14
Without wanting to get away from the point.

Strawbs, to be fair the Filipino's are the best crew I have sailed with by a long country mile, don't go thinking they are cowboys. I don't mean to appear over sensitive but I am very defensive of them. :)

Pat Thompson
16th September 2010, 20:07
Greetings,

If you realy want to save some money why not privatise Parliament replacing the grotesquely expensive MPs with Phillipinos teleworking in Manila.

borderreiver
16th September 2010, 20:36
You cannot sell off the RFA they are warships, yes You can sell off individual ships but the company no and I don't think it will ever happen. These men in the RFA are highly skilled personnel not only do they have full MN (MCA) certification they also have RN certification. The RFA has already been decimated with more to come no doubt. There is talk of the "BAY" Boats being reduced. So I say that they have already had their cut. Whether or not any personnel will be lost I have no idea but it must be realised that the crew members they do have should be re-tained and treasured as there are not many who can "Cut It". People I have known have joined the RFA and have left after one trip. If the Government has any sense they will leave them alone and let them get on with their job and finally put their minds at rest.
I fully agree . having worked with them many times they are very professional. and in certain areas far better then the RN

Burned Toast
16th September 2010, 21:28
I have also sailed with Filipino crew, they would never in a month of Sunday's replace the crews on RFA Ships.

Ray

Ron Stringer
16th September 2010, 22:41
With all respect, I think everyone (including the Government) is jumping the gun by discussing cuts to sundry sections of the armed forces. There is supposed to be a Defence Review in process.

In an honest society, that Review would determine the need for the deployment of armed forces in support of identified political objectives for the next decade or so. When the politicos have decided what intervention will be required, it will then be possible for the armed forces to determine what forces and equipment will be required to achieve the objectives and how much that will cost.

If the cost proposed is deemed too high, then the objectives would need to be modified and the costs of the resources needed to meet them would be reworked.

Starting with a sum of money identified by the Treasury and saying to the MoD ''Please provide the level of forces and facilities which that amount will cover,'' is pointless. Deciding what can be cut and what must be kept, without knowing what is required to be done, makes no sense at all.

It appears that for the past couple of decades (at least), the MoD have placed orders for equipment without knowing either the political objectives to be met or the cost of the equipment that they have ordered. And they are now many billions in the red but do not even know when the ships and aircraft in development will be available.

What a sorry lot.

Satanic Mechanic
17th September 2010, 01:09
I have also sailed with Filipino crew, they would never in a month of Sunday's replace the crews on RFA Ships.

Ray

realistically its never going to happen anyway, so it is a moot point. I certainly have no intention of starting a 'whose the best crew' arguement, my point is merely that Filipino's are extremely professional and really should be recognised as such.

TARBATNESS
28th September 2010, 21:45
WAVE KNIGHT is in refit and being fitted with PHALANX; she is certainly not being scrapped and will be around for many more years as will WAVE RULER.

hillshepherd
29th September 2010, 09:50
As I said I will take a copy of your word's next time, you do not appear to have any idea what happens in the Commercial side of the marine world and you certainly have no idea about Reservist's and their status, I put this down to you spending your time in the Taxpayer funded "bubble" which may be about to be burst next month.

In the present climate it is often stated that 'the Defence of the Realm is the first priority of any government. Its funding should be the first priority of the Exchequer'. That is why the bank of England was founded and why income tax was introduced - to defend the UK. Everyone in defence today whether in Afghanistan, Whale Island, or on board a warship or an RFA, is a volunteer, and all are paid out of taxation, so it is very unfair to single out one group or arm for contumely. Incidentally it is often forgotten that the RFA was at one time a net earner for the Treasury, earning substantially through chartering, from the end of WW2 up to around 1960. The majority of RFA tanker tonnage (20 WAVES, 12 DALES, 2 SURF Class) was so employed (as the market allowed) in those years, and even new ships post war earned through charter before entering naval service.

This thread started with concerns for the future of the RFA and the discussion has ranged far and wide. As these worries continue I hope all who care about the RFA and the UK seafaring tradition (the island nation thing) will draw comfort from my re-running the dedication which went at the front of the RFA Centenary history:

To deliver world-wide support to customers at consistently high standards including combat support for the Royal Navy and strategic lift for the armed forces. This is the mission statement for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which was established one hundred years ago. The service has developed through two world wars and the Cold War to become the pre-eminent civilian logistic corps at sea, providing a range of combat support services, including substantial platforms for rotary wing operations, forward repair facilities and primary casualty evacuation.



The RFA is simply unique, and the model is much envied, and copied. Over the last one hundred years the men and women of the RFA have combined Royal Naval and mercantile custom and practice to deliver a cost-effective service to its customers, and value to the nation – for as the largest single employer of merchant seafarers, the service helps sustain and promote our maritime infrastructure. The Service is commanded and managed by its seamen and engineers, providing a splendid example of the UK’s seafaring skills in this important maritime year. Today the ships of the RFA are seen world wide, often appearing on our TV screens in both supporting and leading roles in naval operations of all kinds, including disaster and humanitarian relief missions. Little wonder that the RFA has five times received the Wilkinson Royal Navy Sword of Peace, the most recent award being made to RFA SIR GALAHAD for her part in bringing relief to Um Qasr.



The story of the RFA over the last 100 years is one of innovation, endeavour, courage and sacrifice, and we in the RFA Association are delighted to have had the opportunity to help bring this book to print in the Centenary year. It is with great pride that we dedicate the book to the men and women of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, past and present.

OLD STRAWBERRY
29th September 2010, 11:01
Dear Rex, may I say that that is the most wonderful endorsement of the ROYAL FLEET AUXILLIARY that I have ever read and it makes me feel proud to have been a part of the RFA albeit a very small part. This Service cannot and will not be run by a commercial company and I am confident that their Lordships will not allow it to be. The RFA is already taking it's fair share of the cuts with the loss of many fine ships. So with that I will say that the sooner this Defence review has been completed the better so that Personnel serving in the RFA afloat and ashore can get on with their jobs without the Sword of Damocles over their heads. Once again I applaud Your comments Rex and many thanks.

Kinnie
29th September 2010, 11:23
At least the Defence Secretary has got his ducks in a row - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/8031385/Defence-cuts-Liam-Foxs-leaked-letter-in-full.html
"Deletion of the amphibious shipping (landing docks, helicopter platforms and auxiliaries) will mean that a landed force will be significantly smaller and lighter and deployed without protective vehicles or organic fire. We could not carry out the Sierra Leone operation again. "

dab
29th September 2010, 14:46
Rex,
I totally endorse Tony's (OLD STRAWBS) sentiments. Well said.

hillshepherd
29th September 2010, 18:00
Tony, dab, many thanks your kind words. We fought this battle many times during my service, and that at least equipped me to use both pen and sword.
Best wishes Rex

Graybeard
30th September 2010, 00:46
Dear Rex, Sir, spot on. A touch of reality and understanding based on years of service and experience. The rest, sadly, is noise. Can they still make the wrong decision?
The litany of mistakes in only our lifetimes is there to be reflected on. We fought the Falklands without Eagle or Ark Royal and proper fixed wing air support and AEW Gannets. Again today we have a fleet operating without fixed wing support. The "fixed wing carrier" borrows Indian and US Harriers for exercises in operating aircraft.

We were virtually powerless in the FE in 44-45 because of a sadly inadequate "Fleet Train" still more commercial than "naval" even after 5 years of war.

In each case people died unnecessarily.

Let's do it all over again, shall we? Let's learn absolutely nothing from our past. Let's throw away the slow, steady development of fleet support as it is reflected in the incredibly "professional" RFA today.
Let's do away with the carriers and the nuclear deterrent. Nothing will happen.

Except as Rex points out we will be breaking our responsibility to the defence of the realm. And that must not be forgotten.

Pat Thompson
30th September 2010, 08:16
Greetings,

Hillshepherd and Greybeard have got it sooooooo right. If there is one thing we never learn from history is that we never learn anything from history. Cliche yes but appropriate.

hillshepherd
30th September 2010, 08:52
Many thanks Pat and Graybeard. By chance SEAFARER mag turned up this week (Marine Society & Sea Cadets) and in it a wonderful article by Lord Boyce which should be read by ALL, especially in Westminster. This has been flagged up in the media since 2 September and you can get the gist of it from http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=14019 Sadly it does not seem to be available in full anywhere on line so its worth making the effort to get hold of a copy. Also in SEAFARER a book review that will interest you in connection with your remarks about the FE Fleet Train 1944-5 - THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOBILE LOGISTIC SUPPORT IN ANGLO-AMERICAN NAVAL POLICY 1900-1953 (snappy title !). This is by an academic, Peter Nash, and I recall having some contact with him over this project about three years ago, and I think there was some input by the RFA. ISBN:9780813033679, but at £62.50 I think us pensioners will have to wait for copies to appear on amazon !

Graybeard
3rd October 2010, 11:19
Fleet Train 1944-5 - THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOBILE LOGISTIC SUPPORT IN ANGLO-AMERICAN NAVAL POLICY 1900-1953 (snappy title !). This is by an academic, Peter Nash, and I recall having some contact with him over this project about three years ago, and I think there was some input by the RFA. ISBN:9780813033679, but at £62.50 I think us pensioners will have to wait for copies to appear on amazon !

I've just bought the book for £48.78 on Ebay - post Free. I think there are others available. It hasn't arrived yet!

chadburn
3rd October 2010, 12:43
I read in the Sunday Post that the situation that existed in 1982 (my#127) still exists today in regard's to the Military "system" being totally focused on a War in Europe. George Osborne states that "We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russian's on the North German plain. That's not a War we are likely to face" He went on further to say that "We are bound into contract's and that's just a fact of life" (supporting a War in Europe)
We now have a Government which like previous Conservative Government(s) has "privatision" as No1 on it's agenda, anything and everything is up for sale or transfer to Private business either on a Full or Part Ownership basis. Who would have thought that the Dockyard's (with all the perceived Security implication's at the time) would have been transferred out to Private concern's. The reality is that the workforce that worked directly for HMG are more or less the same workforce that works for the present Companies doing the same work.
In regard's to some of the previous comment's. The "arming" of RFA vessel's was allowed under International Agreement on a "Re-active" basis (R.N. vessel's are armed on a "pro-active" basis) that is the difference between the R.N. and the RFA bearing in mind of course the "Rules of Engagement" (even with N.P./M.A.S.F. aboard). There are armed Merchant vessel's already working in the Private Sector. My understanding is that there are a number of Companies who are very interested in the work the RFA do and bearing in mind this Government's "lurch" toward's privatisation the "offers" these Companies are making may be too tempting to refuse bearing in mind the present economic climate. Government's never learn by past history no matter what colour they are, my Father was fighting in the 2nd Afghan War in 1921. What number is this one?

Kinnie
3rd October 2010, 16:03
* First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842)
* Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880)
* Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919)

chadburn
6th October 2010, 17:51
Father will have been in the 3rd Afghan War with the 1st Batt Green Howards and not the 2nd it would seem, I will have to go to Richmond and dig out his Service Record which along with his Medal's are held in the Museum there.

Kinnie
20th October 2010, 20:18
Well now that the outcome of both the SDSR and the VFMR indicate that the end of the RFA is not imminent, (although it is to be trimmed a bit), perhaps we can put this thread happily to bed.
My commiserations to those who favoured commercialisation.
"We believe that the current RFA model is the most cost effective way to support the Fleet. We will
continue to seek ways to reduce running costs." Naval Staff Policy Team.

Burned Toast
20th October 2010, 20:42
Well now that the outcome of both the SDSR and the VFMR indicate that the end of the RFA is not imminent, (although it is to be trimmed a bit), perhaps we can put this thread happily to bed.
My commiserations to those who favoured commercialisation.
"We believe that the current RFA model is the most cost effective way to support the Fleet. We will
continue to seek ways to reduce running costs." Naval Staff Policy Team.

I hope you are right(Thumb) But I still have misgivings regarding this area.
Ray

Graybeard
20th October 2010, 22:30
I hope you are right(Thumb) But I still have misgivings regarding this area.
Ray
I understand that in line with modern management techniques of fear that the RFA is still under notice to walk in the shadow of the commercial option from the people in grey (not those in blue) - nice stuff. A 20% cut in vessels is quite severe. I hope the people feel OK about their futures.

Burned Toast
21st October 2010, 14:42
Just heard news that RFA are in discussions behind closed doors with private shipowners about putting RFA into the commercial sector. Maersk are in pole position.

Ray

NoR
21st October 2010, 15:55
At the risk of upsetting a few folk, I don't think there is much that the RFA do that the commercial sector couldn't do just as well.

Burned Toast
21st October 2010, 16:08
At the risk of upsetting a few folk, I don't think there is much that the RFA do that the commercial sector couldn't do just as well.

You are going to be popular(Applause) But I disagree with you big time(Night)

Ray

Kinnie
21st October 2010, 16:44
Just heard news that RFA are in discussions behind closed doors with private shipowners about putting RFA into the commercial sector. Maersk are in pole position.

Ray

Where did you hear that? It is certainly not what the Commodore RFA has just told his troops HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=308:dsr&catid=2:generalnews&Itemid=7)
I do hope you are not spreading old rumours.

Kinnie
21st October 2010, 16:46
At the risk of upsetting a few folk, I don't think there is much that the RFA do that the commercial sector couldn't do just as well.

You wont upset us as we know you are wrong and there is no point in going over all the arguments again unless you can quote some in depth experience of the subect to support your bald and unsupported statement. Otherwise we don't care what you think.

NoR
21st October 2010, 17:05
I have about 2 yrs RFA experience so my comment isn't completely unfounded. Nevertheless we are all free to differ.

the brit
21st October 2010, 17:49
could someone tell me why we would mothball RFA Fort George a 20 year old ship and bring back into service RFA Fort Austin a 32 year old ship seems like we are going backwards, but i'm sure there must be a method in their madness, could anybody enlighten me as to why this is the case.

markolna
21st October 2010, 18:50
FORT GEORGE and LARGS BAY were scheduled to go to ER for 5 years in 2012 and so their return to service would have been at risk anyway quote from Shaun Jones

Burned Toast
21st October 2010, 18:53
Where did you hear that? It is certainly not what the Commodore RFA has just told his troops HERE
I do hope you are not spreading old rumours.

I have no intention of spreading any rumour when it's of this nature, I can also assure you that the information passed to me are 100% true. It's all about cost. Same as the coast guard vessels and now the Scottish ferries.

Look forward to a full Parliament of con/libs now(Applause) yeah

Ray (old labour)

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 08:26
I have no intention of spreading any rumour when it's of this nature, I can also assure you that the information passed to me are 100% true.
Ray (old labour)

But you still wont tell us where you got this "true" information.

"Nevertheless we are all free to differ." Indeed we are, but don't expect to be taken seriously without producing some convincing arguments.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd October 2010, 08:51
You wont upset us as we know you are wrong and there is no point in going over all the arguments again unless you can quote some in depth experience of the subect to support your bald and unsupported statement. Otherwise we don't care what you think.

Well for starters it would one hell of a lot cheaper - 'MoD' is a by-word for 'hugely expensive'. BP of course famously used their River boats to RAS so a precedent has been set. Plus of course commercial vessels are frequently extremely specialised so there is a very broad knowledge and skill base to choose from.
Now I would prefer we kept the RFA but I think you would be unwise to get too comfy or parochial. I think you might be surprised about the capabilities out there!!!

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 09:10
Bad example SM. The BP Rivers had long been earmarked for emergency use, were built at a time when the Government owned much of the company, and were used primarily to refill RFA tankers and they had RFA personnel onboard.
Cheaper? Most Private Finance Initiatives cost the taxpayer more in the long run.
No-one is getting comfy as Graybeard has pointed out.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd October 2010, 09:13
Bad example SM. The BP Rivers had long been earmarked for emergency use and were used primarily to refill RFA tankers and they had RFA personnel onboard.
Cheaper? Most Private Finance Initiatives cost the taxpayer more in the long run.
No-one is getting comfy as Graybeard has pointed out.


Was still using a commercial vessel though, the point being they had a few RFA personnel onboard!!!!

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 09:30
And would cost no less to operate than an RFA Leaf which was more capable. At the time RFA pay was aligned with BP.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd October 2010, 09:33
And would cost no less to operate than an RFA Leaf which was more capable.

How much does a RFA ship cost per day to operate? - genuinely curious.

NoR
22nd October 2010, 13:42
There is nothing very difficult about RASing.

chadburn
22nd October 2010, 14:40
But you still wont tell us where you got this "true" information.

"Nevertheless we are all free to differ." Indeed we are, but don't expect to be taken seriously without producing some convincing arguments.

We are still awaiting your "true" information Kinnie on the Captain/Master forum so you are hardly in a position to make adverse comment's to other's. To quote yourself "but don't expect to be taken seriously without producing some convincing arguement's"

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 17:20
How much does a RFA ship cost per day to operate? - genuinely curious.

Depends on the ship, they come in different sizes. I am no longer in a position to obtain such information but in the case of a BP River and an RFA Old Leaf, I imagine they were broadly comparable. Operating costs are chiefly wages, fuel, food, port dues etc. Where the RFA differs is in crew sizes for the obvious reason that they are required to perform tasks for prolonged periods at sea whereas all a commercial crew has to do is get the ship to the next port. There is no point in comparing chalk with cheese.

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 17:30
We are still awaiting your "true" information Kinnie on the Captain/Master forum so you are hardly in a position to make adverse comment's to other's. To quote yourself "but don't expect to be taken seriously without producing some convincing arguement's"

Hello Chadders, I wondered when you would pop up. What exactly are you waiting for? I've lost track of that one.

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 17:42
There is nothing very difficult about RASing.

There speaks the voice of experience of a one tripper.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd October 2010, 18:04
all a commercial crew has to do is get the ship to the next port

Ah - the voice of someone pampered by the MoD (Jester), big crews , big budgets, big refits

Satanic Mechanic
22nd October 2010, 18:16
Depends on the ship, they come in different sizes. I am no longer in a position to obtain such information but in the case of a BP River and an RFA Old Leaf, I imagine they were broadly comparable. Operating costs are chiefly wages, fuel, food, port dues etc. Where the RFA differs is in crew sizes for the obvious reason that they are required to perform tasks for prolonged periods at sea whereas all a commercial crew has to do is get the ship to the next port. There is no point in comparing chalk with cheese.

Well lets see - so we would be looking at a Handy size tanker, so lets use a HMD chem/product tanker - parcel carrier with coated and heated tanks -retro-fitted with a Ras deck. Good ships - absolutely solid outfit and a framo system. We could take it up to DP2 if you think that would help.

Filipino crew, Uk Officers and a RFA riding crew. I could give you that for say US$20,000 a day for 2 years, but since its the MoD lets just call it an even $60,000

Kinnie
22nd October 2010, 19:48
Very generous of you but I doubt the Filipinos would be allowed to be RNR Sponsored Reserves. Dont forget the flight deck and hangar, and self defence weapons and ammo stowage, and the trained people to operate them, not to mention the NBCD, communications, amphibious capability etc , and most importantly the ability to put on a good show at cocktail parties.
And do watch out for the radar and underwater signatures.
How many RAS rigs are you offering and for how many hours a day will you man them and the flight deck simultaneously? The Naval Staff will want to know.

Satanic Mechanic
23rd October 2010, 02:16
Very generous of you but I doubt the Filipinos would be allowed to be RNR Sponsored Reserves. Dont forget the flight deck and hangar, and self defence weapons and ammo stowage, and the trained people to operate them, not to mention the NBCD, communications, amphibious capability etc , and most importantly the ability to put on a good show at cocktail parties.
And do watch out for the radar and underwater signatures.
How many RAS rigs are you offering and for how many hours a day will you man them and the flight deck simultaneously? The Naval Staff will want to know.


Fair enough, i was only thinking of refuelling - though I am a bit concerned as to the idea that all those attributes you mention are the only the domain of the RFA. They could of course hand the RFA vessels over to commercial management. Like I say I think they are probably safe enough but I still wouldn't be getting too comfortable

Kinnie
23rd October 2010, 09:59
Well your proposal is the Woolworth option which as far as I can make out has been rejected at least for the time being. The RFA has evolved into a quasi military organisation and its role expanded beyond logistics, because thats what its customer, the Royal Navy, deemed necessary. RFA management at present is largely uniformed personnel working ashore, fully integrated with the Naval Command. They can no doubt be trimmed a bit but I can't see how a commercial management would do anything other than satisfy Treasury bean counters and allow recession hit ship owners to get their hands on some taxpayers loot.

Satanic Mechanic
23rd October 2010, 10:52
Well your proposal is the Woolworth option which as far as I can make out has been rejected at least for the time being. The RFA has evolved into a quasi military organisation and its role expanded beyond logistics, because thats what its customer, the Royal Navy, deemed necessary. RFA management at present is largely uniformed personnel working ashore, fully integrated with the Naval Command. They can no doubt be trimmed a bit but I can't see how a commercial management would do anything other than satisfy Treasury bean counters and allow recession hit ship owners to get their hands on some taxpayers loot.

I would imagine that that given how commercial shipping is so cutthroat any involvement would be entirely to satisfy bean counters. The problem of waste is endemic in government departments and the MoD have turned it into an artform. Having worked on the construction of the'Waves' I have seen first hand the sheer insanity of it (really I should be grateful as they damn near paid my mortgage off just in overtime pay). The design department were near psychotic towards the end, production on the other hand were comparing planned tropical holidays.

chadburn
23rd October 2010, 15:24
Hello Chadders, I wondered when you would pop up. What exactly are you waiting for? I've lost track of that one.

As it looks like you have "Selective Memory Syndrome" and therefore to refresh your memory "lapse" there are a NUMBER of us awaiting the FULL publication of your so called re; Captains "Legal Document" to authenticate it, as you are aware being apparently a former member of the RFA, Authentication is very important when something "odd" crops up.
If Members look at the new "SD Victoria" you can see how things are changing, this World Wide capable Civilian manned and Civilian owned vessel has a wide ranging capability from being a platform for "Special Forces" it is equipped with classroom's, operation and briefing rooms, workshops and EXTENSIVE storage areas of VARIOUS KINDS along with a now mandatory Helicopter Deck, (that put's the secrecy, ammunition handling and the need to be "Quasi Military" argument to bed in regards to privately owned vessel's doing Military style work) and she looks as though she has a RASsing capabilty like the my Son's (Civilian manned) vessel, Conserative Governments see word's like "Government Owned" as being not acceptable. As an afterthought I wonder if SD are one of the interested parties as they have 29 new vessel's of "various capabilities" on order?.

George.GM
23rd October 2010, 16:27
SD Victoria. With her three AB's I doubt her "wide ranging capability" would extend much beyond Portland Bill.

Kinnie
23rd October 2010, 20:19
George, you are very welcome take over dealing with Chadder's ramblings as I can no longer make head nor tail of what he's on about.
He seems to think that the replacement for Newton is about to take over the world, so I'm afraid I have had to put him on my ignore list.

Kinnie
23rd October 2010, 20:34
I would imagine that that given how commercial shipping is so cutthroat any involvement would be entirely to satisfy bean counters. The problem of waste is endemic in government departments and the MoD have turned it into an artform. Having worked on the construction of the'Waves' I have seen first hand the sheer insanity of it (really I should be grateful as they damn near paid my mortgage off just in overtime pay). The design department were near psychotic towards the end, production on the other hand were comparing planned tropical holidays.

Yes, I would be the last to defend the MoD's procurement department but that is not the responsibility of the RFA, even if they have a few moles embedded at Abbeywood.
There are hopeful signs that some much needed reform is on the way.

chadburn
25th October 2010, 14:31
Kinnie, ignore list? you sound very much like BD who when faced with being caught in the slips with his action's put a large number of member's names on his "ignore list". As I do not alter my previous postings when I used the word "odd" in regard's to your so called "legal document" I should have used the words " a Spoof".
This Government is very keen to move things into the "private" sector including our forest's now apparently, one of the advantages to them is that if a Commercial Company does not meet the targets set then HMG will claim compensation, at present it is a matter of a smack on the wrist's if the RFA get it wrong.

George, if the wording on the SD Victoria is not to your liking, take it up with the R.N. Press release dept

20-25 years ago there was no doubt that the RFA were more or less the only group that could provide the service that it does, but, in today's world there are plenty of commercial concern's who can give the same service and on gaining a contract from HMG will invest in new vessel's. That does not mean that crew's will lose their jobs (unless they want to make themselves jobless "on principle") the whole outfit will be transferred to a commercial company with the transfer of crews possibly under TUPE.

Burned Toast
25th October 2010, 15:47
Kinnie, ignore list? you sound very much like BD who when faced with being caught in the slips with his action's put a large number of member's names on his "ignore list". As I do not alter my previous postings when I used the word "odd" in regard's to your so called "legal document" I should have used the words " a Spoof".
This Government is very keen to move things into the "private" sector including our forest's now apparently, one of the advantages to them is that if a Commercial Company does not meet the targets set then HMG will claim compensation, at present it is a matter of a smack on the wrist's if the RFA get it wrong.

George, if the wording on the SD Victoria is not to your liking, take it up with the R.N. Press release dept

20-25 years ago there was no doubt that the RFA were more or less the only group that could provide the service that it does, but, in today's world there are plenty of commercial concern's who can give the same service and on gaining a contract from HMG will invest in new vessel's. That does not mean that crew's will lose their jobs (unless they want to make themselves jobless "on principle") the whole outfit will be transferred to a commercial company with the transfer of crews possibly under TUPE.

Under a TUPE agreement(Applause) Will not happen, since when did you get a civil service pension in the Comerical MN(Whaaa).

Ray

Pat Kennedy
25th October 2010, 19:25
RFA Wave knight driving along the dock road LIVERPOOL this morning wave knight is in the breakers dock. i guess another one bites the dust shame.john
John,
Wave Knight sailed from Liverpool at lunchtime and after pottering around in Liverpool Bay for a while, she is currently NW of Anglesey doing 18 knots heading West.
Regards,
Pat

chadburn
26th October 2010, 11:51
Under a TUPE agreement(Applause) Will not happen, since when did you get a civil service pension in the Comerical MN(Whaaa).

Ray

Ray, you will not unfortunatly, it will be frozen as with all ex Civil Service job's which have been privatised (what happened with the Dockyard's?), unless HMG transfer a sum of money to kick start a new private scheme which is unlikely as one of the main aims of privatisation is to reduce the level HMG's of Pension Commitment. The way it is done is that the "new" Company set's up a private Pension Scheme for "former" RFA people. Usually at the point of changeover people decide to retire (by agreement and depending on what they do, this will reduce the manning as they will not be replaced) or take a reduced pension from the old scheme (if they qualify) and carry on working. The sticking point for privatisation will be the Pension arrangement's but we do have a Government that is hell bent on reducing "Government Owned and Run" and it "may" be that you are simply made redundant and have to re-apply for your old job's which could mean that some people may not be re-employed. At least with TUPE you have protection for an agreed period of time and you stay where you are unless you want to put yourselves out of work. As far as RFA leader's giving out the message "We are all in it together" don't buy it, given the chance of being a Managing Director with the new Private Company and all the perks it will have you can bet your boots they will retire on the Friday (with Pension) and be parked in the same place on the following Monday in the MD's spot in order to facilitate the smooth handover of the remaining RFA asset's which of course included's it's employee's.(MAD). Looking at it from outside the RFA bubble the indication's are that it is being "paired down" ready for sale/handover to a private concern.

Burned Toast
26th October 2010, 12:15
Ray, you will not unfortunatly, it will be frozen as with all ex Civil Service job's which have been privatised (what happened with the Dockyard's?), unless HMG transfer a sum of money to kick start a new private scheme which is unlikely as one of the main aims of privatisation is to reduce the level HMG's of Pension Commitment. The way it is done is that the "new" Company set's up a private Pension Scheme for "former" RFA people. Usually at the point of changeover people decide to retire (by agreement and depending on what they do, this will reduce the manning as they will not be replaced) or take a reduced pension from the old scheme (if they qualify) and carry on working. The sticking point for privatisation will be the Pension arrangement's but we do have a Government that is hell bent on reducing "Government Owned and Run" and it "may" be that you are simply made redundant and have to re-apply for your old job's which could mean that some people may not be re-employed. At least with TUPE you have protection for an agreed period of time and you stay where you are unless you want to put yourselves out of work. As far as RFA leader's giving out the message "We are all in it together" don't buy it, given the chance of being a Managing Director with the new Private Company and all the perks it will have you can bet your boots they will retire on the Friday (with Pension) and be parked in the same place on the following Monday in the MD's spot in order to facilitate the smooth handover of the remaining RFA asset's which of course included's it's employee's.(MAD). Looking at it from outside the RFA bubble the indication's are that it is being "paired down" ready for sale/handover to a private concern.

And I have been informed Maersk are in pole position should it happen, A Danish firm manning our replenishment fleet(Cloud) what bloody next with this goverment(MAD)

Ray

McCloggie
26th October 2010, 12:16
A quick question for you.

How many of the current RFA tankers are single hull?

If there are any left, how much longer have they got under currrent regulations?

What is the cost of replacement?

Mr Maersk just happens to make exceedingly good modern tankers!!

McC

chadburn
26th October 2010, 13:08
And I have been informed Maersk are in pole position should it happen, A Danish firm manning our replenishment fleet(Cloud) what bloody next with this goverment(MAD)

Ray

Ray, given a contract and on the strength of it Maersk will build the new vessel's however they will most probably be crewed by the "ex RFA" member's who wish to stay employed (in the ever decreasing job market), that would be part of the Contract terms & condition's. The RFA crew's ARE EXPERTS(Applause) at what they do, however, it's not some form of Black Magic which some people appear to think it is and nobody else can do it, it's all a matter of training as indeed today's RFA member's were trained. I am thinking toward's Serco D as they seem to be "Flavour of the Month" especially if they got hold of Marchwood which I understand is also up for grabs(Cloud).

Burned Toast
26th October 2010, 19:32
I think everyone that has made a comment on the RFA realise the training that is required to become a full member of the crew, when you first join you are shadowed by a regular crew until you are left alone. my reason be what would happen if Maersk do get the contract, It's a Danish company, surely they should be a British company(Applause)(Applause)


Ray

James_C
26th October 2010, 19:42
Ray,
If such a thing were to happen then it'd be the British arm of Maersk which would run it.
Regarding any operator being a bone fide British company, to that you have to ask what British companies are left that have experience in tankers of such size?

Kinnie
26th October 2010, 19:49
And I have been informed Maersk are in pole position should it happen,
Ray

But you still won't reveal your source. What have you got to hide?

Burned Toast
26th October 2010, 22:05
But you still won't reveal your source. What have you got to hide?

Nothing at all very similar to the Captain - Master(Applause) wot you got to tell the lads(Smoke)

Ray

Burned Toast
26th October 2010, 22:11
Ray,
If such a thing were to happen then it'd be the British arm of Maersk which would run it.
Regarding any operator being a bone fide British company, to that you have to ask what British companies are left that have experience in tankers of such size?

Jim

Unless I am mistaken Maersk do not have a British arm, they have a office on Newcastle quayside, but the main office is in Denmark. Recruitment as far as I am aware is done from Singapore. for all nationalities.

Ray

Ray

James_C
26th October 2010, 22:37
Ray,
Maersk do indeed have a British arm - simply named 'The Maersk Company Ltd' which is listed at Company's House.
Their website is www.maersk.co.uk.

Kinnie
27th October 2010, 09:55
A quick question for you.
How many of the current RFA tankers are single hull?
If there are any left, how much longer have they got under currrent regulations?
McC

The introduction of MARPOL Annex 1 Regulation 20 and EU1726/03 limits the commercial carriage of bulk oil to double hulled tankers
The RFA has six single hull tankers which will be exempt from the regulations until they are replaced, or otherwise disposed of.
The Maritime Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme will continue.
(From my usual impeccable sources!)

chadburn
27th October 2010, 12:07
From what I gather they will not be allowed in American water's which is a problem the Canadian's also have, however, the Canadian Government have already ordered 2? new supply vessel's and yet there is still no word from our Government in regards to any order's for new vessel's.
B.T. has kinnie hit the wimps/ignore button yet?

James_C
27th October 2010, 13:14
From what I gather they will not be allowed in American water's which is a problem the Canadian's also have

Of course the massively ironic thing about that is the Americans still have a lot of ancient single hulled tankers themselves, they're also still quite happy to send their older ships abroad.
As usual, one rule for them and another for everyone else!

Burned Toast
27th October 2010, 13:58
From what I gather they will not be allowed in American water's which is a problem the Canadian's also have, however, the Canadian Government have already ordered 2? new supply vessel's and yet there is still no word from our Government in regards to any order's for new vessel's.
B.T. has kinnie hit the wimps/ignore button yet?

No idea(Smoke) but will not lose any sleep if he does(LOL)(EEK)

chadburn
27th October 2010, 18:02
Of course the massively ironic thing about that is the Americans still have a lot of ancient single hulled tankers themselves, they're also still quite happy to send their older ships abroad.
As usual, one rule for them and another for everyone else!

Jim, I wish GB applied these type's of Rules sometimes, the French also seem to be operating from a rule book of their own within the "Common Market"(MAD)

BT, good job kinnie he has never sailed on commercial vessel's (by his own admission) some of the Foreign crew's would have had him run ragged especially on OBO's when loading(*)).

Regard's, Chad

Burned Toast
27th October 2010, 18:49
Jim, I wish GB applied these type's of Rules sometimes, the French also seem to be operating from a rule book of their own within the "Common Market"(MAD)

BT, good job kinnie he has never sailed on commercial vessel's (by his own admission) some of the Foreign crew's would have had him run ragged especially on OBO's when loading(*)).

Regard's, Chad

Chad what's that saying(Smoke) rung more salt water out of my socks(Whaaa) Let them play(Applause)

Ray

jmcg
27th October 2010, 18:54
I thought it was only BD that was a serial ignore button user.

Kinnie

Can you share these "impeccable sources" with us. Not WIKI surely?

Burned Toast
27th October 2010, 19:08
Chad what's that saying(Smoke) rung more salt water out of my socks(Whaaa) Let them play(Applause)

Ray

Forgot to mention OBOs what's that, I bet he has never loaded tapioca in Thailand for Europe then hold wash to load crude in Nigeria for Bonnaire(Applause)(Applause)

Happy Days

Ray

jmcg
27th October 2010, 19:11
Forgot to mention OBOs what's that, I bet he has never loaded tapioca in Thailand for Europe then hold wash to load crude in Nigeria for Bonnaire(Applause)(Applause)

Happy Days

Ray

Or a cargo of MEC for Bantry Bay.

J

Kinnie
27th October 2010, 20:18
Kinnie
Can you share these "impeccable sources" with us. Not WIKI surely?

Certainly. Its the Assistant Chief of Staff (Afloat Support) to the Commander in Chief Fleet. Guaranteed to be more reliable than BT's galley radio,
And what are all these grubby commercial types doing in this thread anyway? Enjoy your tapioca talk elsewhere.[=P]
Who is BD?

Burned Toast
27th October 2010, 20:40
Certainly. Its the Assistant Chief of Staff (Afloat Support) to the Commander in Chief Fleet. Guaranteed to be more reliable than BT's galley radio,
And what are all these grubby commercial types doing in this thread anyway? Enjoy your tapioca talk elsewhere.[=P]
Who is BD?

At last showing his true colours(LOL) what's the saying full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green in texas(Applause)(Applause)

Ray(Smoke)

jmcg
28th October 2010, 17:28
Kinnie

You appear to be conferring with persons of high influence and status in circles above your own. Who is this chap? Would not be knowledge be classified and not for general consumption?

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

Burned Toast
28th October 2010, 20:02
Kinnie

You appear to be conferring with persons of high influence and status in circles above your own. Who is this chap? Would not be knowledge be classified and not for general consumption?

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

JMC, Seems to be very quiet on the western front(Applause)

Ray

Kinnie
28th October 2010, 23:26
Kinnie

You appear to be conferring with persons of high influence and status in circles above your own. Who is this chap? Would not be knowledge be classified and not for general consumption?

BW
J(Gleam)(Gleam)

And how would you know my circles? The information is not classified.

jmcg
29th October 2010, 01:07
Certainly above OBO and Ludwig mortals of galley and lower deck departments.

Hope this helps.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

R736476
5th November 2010, 21:12
Been away for a month and now totally lost!! Why should anyone of British nationality give a toss for AP Moller and Maersk?

Billieboy
5th November 2010, 21:27
Seems that there are lots of British cetificates scattered aound the Blue ships these days!

hillshepherd
7th December 2010, 16:24
Wonderful tributes to the RFA in Parliament yesterday 6th December - see
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-12-06a.137.0&s=royal+fleet+auxiliary#g144.1

chadburn
7th December 2010, 17:36
My comment's (#160) were based on the information Lloyd's were (in italics) eventually given/leaked along with the knowledge that there had been an approach to the Commercial Sector and the Treasury are keen to divest itself of "businesses" that are Government owned. I have said it before and I will say it again, the RFA are good at what they do. However, other Commercial companies can also do it.

Pat Thompson
7th December 2010, 19:32
Greetings,

Sometimes Chadburn I really get the impression that you don't like us very much, thanks for saying that we are good at what we do ('cos we bloody well are) but don't for one minute think we are a "commercial company", been there, got the tee shirt but know the RFA does different things differently.

Ron Stringer
7th December 2010, 20:42
Wonderful tributes to the RFA in Parliament yesterday 6th December - see
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-12-06a.137.0&s=royal+fleet+auxiliary#g144.1

My interpretation of that is that a) the commercial enterprises involved were not keen to take on the job (and the ''assets'') under the terms proposed, so will wait until the Government get more desperate for cash and b) the Government have several hot potatoes at the moment and are not seeking to add to the load.

Suggest you give it a few months before you start rejoicing that the RFA has been saved - the pressure isn't on yet and the pain hasn't begun.

hillshepherd
8th December 2010, 08:55
It is difficult to believe that Chadburn and Ron Stringer have read the whole debate that I flagged up. The Commodore and his team have done a fantastic job and derserve their hard won result. All UK seafarers and all who care about British Shipping should rejoice that this asset has been saved, and this wonderful bunch of men and women working in defence deserve the thanks and support of all. Finally I would have hoped that in the spirit of Christmas the axe-grinders would have put away the words and tools of their trade - I for one will be ignoring them in future and I urge RFA colleagues to do the same.

GBXZ
8th December 2010, 09:47
Agreed.

Kinnie
8th December 2010, 10:15
Its quite simple, just go to their profile, and "Add them to your Ignore list". It works wonders.

Ron Stringer
8th December 2010, 12:04
Sorry to have upset you but in my defence I have to state that I have no sympathy at all with those wishing to sell off the RFA's task to the highest bidder, and I have nothing at all against the RFA. If I had any axe to grind it would be aimed at those who prepare and promote the sale of national assets to private owners, enriching those manipulators in the process. Organisations that formerly operated for the benefit of the state, are now operated solely in the interests of their private shareholder (usually outside the UK).

I am eternally cynical about the political machine and do not believe any promises given by any political party whatsoever.

What I was cautioning against was premature celebration of success in removing the immediate threat of privatisation. We have seen many examples of the same or similar sort of promises given and then overthrown when economic pressures increased. The most recent examples were the two new aircraft carriers, to be equipped with whole squadrons of F-35 aircraft, but you may also recall that the Royal Mail and the post offices were repeatedly assured of protection and retention within public ownership. There are many such instances.

It is my opinion, and nothing more than that, that the present conditions are not yet optimal for privatisation of the RFA and that the 'enemy' are simply biding their time until the coming financial crisis before 'the National Interest' card is played and the RFA is sacrificed to save something else that means more to the red-top press and the voters.

I hope I am wrong but my distrust of those who really have axes to grind makes me believe the worst is yet to come.

I am sorry if my opinions upset you; I am not trying to upset anyone, I am just having my say.

bugler
8th December 2010, 13:41
It is as you say the only answer, the question is, why in light of knowing the new regulation's are coming in has this not been done? the answer has to be some sort of Privatisation is on the way whether it be part or full. Most probably it will be a part privatisation based on the same module that is being used on the Marchwood vessel's where vessel's not being used for front line service's will be used on the civilian market but availale if required for Military Duty, as far as the Crew's are concerned their will be no enforced redundancies within the RFA system and they will be transferred under the TUPE regulation's to the new private owner's unless they want to retire or make themselves redundant.

Not sure if the TUPE Regs wil apply, don't forget that many of the EU Regs that our silly pencil necks say we have to abide by, in some cases, they actually do not apply. Also, don't forget that we now have a Government that is hell bent on privatising absolutely everything so that the greedy MPs' can sit on the Board of Directors so as to squeeze even more money. This country is not run by the MPs' and Government of the day, it is run by the pencil necks, who make the decision and then pass it over as if it is the MPs' and Government making the decision. It is highly unlikely that any of the MPs and pencil necks involved actually know what they are talking about when privatising either parts of the Armed Forces or support ships.

Burned Toast
8th December 2010, 14:26
I have been informed that the Government have cancelled plane to have the RFA privatised(Applause)(Applause)(Thumb).



Ray(Smoke)

chadburn
8th December 2010, 17:28
KINNIE, now listen very carefully I will say this only once, your credibility went out of the window when you forged/bastardised someone's? document to prove your point on the Captain/ Master discussion and have not had the gut's to show the full page which we are still waiting for, if you want to use the (Kinnie) "wimp/ignore button" feel free to do so.
I have nothing against the RFA itself, as I have said they do a good job, but there are people on this site who think that the same job cannot be done by a "Commercial" company which is a total fallacy (STUFT made the arrangement's to do so in 1982). The need for RASsing is changing with the newbuild's, the "gas guzzler's" are being replaced with ship's that have larger dry and wet store's capacity and are more economic to run.
One of the sticking point's for a "Commercial" Company is the present Pension Scheme that the RFA enjoy. As with Ron I am just having my say and if you want to stick your finger's in your ear's and run around shouting la'la'la then use the wimp/ignore/blindfold button like Kinnie.

George.GM
8th December 2010, 17:42
Mr C. If the commercial world can supply the RN just as well as the RFA, why did every BP tanker that was used in 1982 have a team of RFA experts on board (deck and communications) to oversee their efforts
And if the same commercial world can carry out the same tasks as the RFA, why did several of their ships refuse to go south in 1982 and those that did demanded double pay.
And today, how would the third world crewed merchant ships react to being sent to a war zone.

Kinnie
8th December 2010, 18:21
As usual the Galley Radio is several weeks behind the curve. See post #163 http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showpost.php?p=463675&postcount=163

chadburn
8th December 2010, 18:35
George GM. In answer to your first question, if the time to train had been available it would have been set up differently but as you are aware there was just no time and Trainer's/Overseer's had to be put on board along with a "Secure" Communication's Party who were familiar with A.C.P's, manual/auto encryption and authentication proceedure's which are not the norm on "Commercial Vessel's".
2nd Question. It is part of your Terms and Condition's that you follow the Fleet into "Harms Way" the same term's/condition's do not apply to the Commercial Sector (Men and Ship's Insurance) again because there was no time other arrangement's had to be made. To some it may have been "distasteful" but begger's can't be chooser's and GB was begging the MN "Commercial" sector in order to put the "Re Taking" Fleet together, without them (as in the last War)
it was highly likely that we could have failed. The extra's did cost the Country but the word from the top was "Do whatever it take's costing's are not a factor".
3rd, question, did you make your protest's known in regard's to the RFA employing a complete Chinese Crew with British Officer's?

Kinnie
8th December 2010, 18:40
"It is highly unlikely that any of the MPs and pencil necks involved actually know what they are talking about when privatising either parts of the Armed Forces or support ships."

The surprising thing is that according to the Hansard link posted by HS at #226, some of the MPs now actually do and at least some of the bean counters were given a visit to a Thursday War on an RFA as part of Cdre Bill's campaign.

Kinnie
8th December 2010, 19:50
Me again. Having been in private communication with Chadburn, it seems that what is bugging him is that he wants to see some complete pages from my Discharge Book. It relates to a prolonged discussion on another thread which I can't find which is probably just as well as I have no wish to re-open that interminable nonsense. I don't suppose anyone is the least bit interested, but just to keep him happy (and hopefully out of this thread in which he is out of his depth), here they are. And now he is back on my Ignore List.

Burned Toast
8th December 2010, 20:13
As usual the Galley Radio is several weeks behind the curve. See post #163 http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showpost.php?p=463675&postcount=163

Seeing that it was yesterday that the decision was made mmmmmmmmm BD.

Burned Toast
8th December 2010, 20:15
Me again. Having been in private communication with Chadburn, it seems that what is bugging him is that he wants to see some complete pages from my Discharge Book. It relates to a prolonged discussion on another thread which I can't find which is probably just as well as I have no wish to re-open that interminable nonsense. I don't suppose anyone is the least bit interested, but just to keep him happy (and hopefully out of this thread in which he is out of his depth), here they are. And now he is back on my Ignore List.

R???????? Name Blank (Applause) vg(Jester)

Kinnie
8th December 2010, 22:16
Seeing that it was yesterday that the decision was made mmmmmmmmm BD.

Wrong again. It was announced on 20 October. HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=308:dsr&catid=2:generalnews&Itemid=7) and HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/attachments/309_RN%20SDSR%20IC%20QsAs%20Pack%20_Final_%20v9.pd f).
And specifically, at the risk of repetition for BT's benefit - "We believe that the current RFA model is the most cost effective way to support the Fleet. We will
continue to seek ways to reduce running costs."

Delighted to see that you have given me a VG but they were of course abolished in 1972.

Boatman25
9th December 2010, 00:11
I have read the posts and I think that Kinnie as a Captain must be far more qualified to comment than Chadburn a Chief Engineer responsible for just engines and only attached to the RN and not really an RN or RFA person

Burned Toast
9th December 2010, 10:57
Wrong again. It was announced on 20 October. HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=308:dsr&catid=2:generalnews&Itemid=7) and HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/attachments/309_RN%20SDSR%20IC%20QsAs%20Pack%20_Final_%20v9.pd f).
And specifically, at the risk of repetition for BT's benefit - "We believe that the current RFA model is the most cost effective way to support the Fleet. We will
continue to seek ways to reduce running costs."

Delighted to see that you have given me a VG but they were of course abolished in 1972.

8/12/10: House of commons 7/12 The Parliamentary of State (Andrew Robathan) for Defence said the following.....no enthusiasm was expressed for either acuiring the existing RFA flotilla-in whole or in part-or
assuming both the capital and operrating risks. On this basis therefor, there is insufficent evidence in favour of changing the current RFA business model, which has served us well for a number of years.

Ray

Kinnie
9th December 2010, 13:22
Yes BT, he was just answering a question posed in an adjournment debate on that day. The decision on the VFM Review was made and announced weeks ago.

chadburn
10th December 2010, 16:14
I have read the posts and I think that Kinnie as a Captain must be far more qualified to comment than Chadburn a Chief Engineer responsible for just engines and only attached to the RN and not really an RN or RFA person

My word's "attachment" were meant as a pun!(LOL) as I did my National Service in the RN (and have been on the receiving end of RASsing), I did not have to as an Apprentice do NS I could have avoided it, but felt it was my duty to do my bit in the Armed Forces, I did not "Leg it" elsewhere. My Draft before Discharge was at FOSNI MHQ where I was involved in a project under the name of "Hornbeam" when I Joined the M.N. I became List 1 RNR and carried on with "Hornbeam" throughout my M.N. Career and trained other's in the system. In 1982 I had just retired from the MN when I was called up for STUFT duties, on various Exercises I was a Boarding Officer dealing with both ships MASTER's and C.E's.
As far as Kinnie's PM to me, he did offer to "flash me" his DB privately but knowing that there were other's on the Site who were interested in the somewhat strange entries I declined his "Back door" deal as I prefer to play it "straight down the middle" and thought it unfair to other's, although he has still not explained who entered the word Captain. He went on to tell me (despite encouraging other's to follow him and put me on their ignore list) HE DOES READ MY COMMENT'S (which was fairly obvious). Double standard's somewhat!!

J.Dowd
18th December 2010, 05:57
I would say that there are many 'blue chip' ship managers out there that could do the job far more effectively than the the present regime. Not something I would tender for or like to get involved with as I suspect that there would be much 'ingrained' bs which would impact on the bottom line.

Kinnie
18th December 2010, 09:36
I would say that there are many 'blue chip' ship managers out there that could do the job far more effectively than the the present regime. Not something I would tender for or like to get involved with as I suspect that there would be much 'ingrained' bs which would impact on the bottom line.

Very wise of you. What is important is the quality of the service of support provided to the RN, rather than anyone's profits.