28th May 2006, 14:34
I spent many years in RN Comms but was never aboard any RFA vessels in my time.
I wonder if any of you serving or ex RFA folk could bring me up to date.
Do RFA vessels still have Radio Officers. I am thinking about how the demise of the MN R/O affected the RFA service.
I would appreciate your comments. Thanks for your time.
28th May 2006, 16:41
RFAs still have one Comms Officer in charge of the department, but the operating is now done by Comms Ratings. These are either recruited and trained from scratch or are ex RN.
The GMDSS changes affected the RFA almost as much as the MN as most of the Radio Officers were obliged to transfer to the Systems Engineering department (Electrics & Electronics) or take early retirement but I'll leave one of their number to fill in the detail.
29th May 2006, 12:25
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my post.
16th September 2006, 10:45
I'm a Comms Rating in the RFA (ex-RN). There are different sized comms complements on different sized ships, but most of them have a SCO (Senior Comms Officer), CPO or PO, LH, and CR's. When you join the RFA (Comms) you're sent on a 16 week comms course to HMS Collingwood, but you can skip this and get fast-tracked if you've just recently left the RN. Once you've completed and passed this course you're then sent on a GMDSS course. On completion of this you get your first ship, and whilst on there you have a couple of workbooks to do, which on completion, will get you rated up from CR2 to CR1. From there it's basically upto you, if you want to progress up the ladder to LH, PO, CPO.
16th September 2006, 12:59
Thanks for that. It is interesting to read how things have changed even since I have been away. It seems like only yesterday but the reality is that it's 20 years. I wonder what it is like in RN comms now. I believe it has totally changed since my time. Thanks again for your time.