R M A S - End Of An Era - Ships Nostalgia
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R M A S - End Of An Era

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  #1  
Old 3rd March 2008, 13:00
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R M A S - End Of An Era

The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service, the final incarnation of an unbroken history of service and support to the RN since Nelson's day, comes to an end on 31 March 2008. Flag lowering ceremony will take at Round Tower, Portsmouth 1200 31st March. A slow steam-by by RMAS vessels is planned at Devonport and I imagine the Clyde and Kyle of Lochalsh will do something similar. 'Tis a sair fact.

From 1st April the whole shebang will be contracted out to Serco-Denholm. As part of the 15 year contract they will provide a huge newbuild programme -rumoured to be as many as 26 vessels and craft of varying sizes. Farewell guys.
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  #2  
Old 3rd March 2008, 13:17
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The "powers that be" have lost all sight of reason, they have lost sight of all dignity, trust, obligation, dedication and reduced it all to a contract. In Britain there is a greater contract, it is being killed off by those with no vision and no heart.
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  #3  
Old 3rd March 2008, 14:20
Ted Else Ted Else is offline  
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I certainly agree with that comment Treeve - shame on them all!!!
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  #4  
Old 3rd March 2008, 14:38
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Sorry to hear that, Waighty. It may not surprise you to know that Serco also has (or at least had) contracts with the Australian Defence Force to provide "a range of base support services, including weapon ranges, aircraft refuelling, security, fire and emergency response, environmental services and hospitality services."

As a private company, I assume they tendered for the right to provide these services and will be given a certain amount of funds to do so. Any money they save will therefore be profit for the company - almost a cast iron guarantee of cut-price services as the company owes it's loyalty to its shareholders, not the country.

I'm not sure if Serco still has these contracts in Australia as Chubb is presently providing security guards for the local army and airforce bases in Brisbane. Maybe Serco have sub-contracted their own services out! Wouldn't be too hard to be a foreign spy would it?

My son completes his basic army training this week and has to pay $6 for catering for each person he has attending his march out parade - business is business!

John T.
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Old 5th March 2008, 07:27
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Rmas

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Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Sorry to hear that, Waighty. It may not surprise you to know that Serco also has (or at least had) contracts with the Australian Defence Force to provide "a range of base support services, including weapon ranges, aircraft refuelling, security, fire and emergency response, environmental services and hospitality services."

As a private company, I assume they tendered for the right to provide these services and will be given a certain amount of funds to do so. Any money they save will therefore be profit for the company - almost a cast iron guarantee of cut-price services as the company owes it's loyalty to its shareholders, not the country.

I'm not sure if Serco still has these contracts in Australia as Chubb is presently providing security guards for the local army and airforce bases in Brisbane. Maybe Serco have sub-contracted their own services out! Wouldn't be too hard to be a foreign spy would it?

My son completes his basic army training this week and has to pay $6 for catering for each person he has attending his march out parade - business is business!

John T.

Thanks for the sentiments chaps and John T for news re Serco in Aus - I didn't know they were so embedded in the defence world, world wide.

I was part of the team back in 1996 that tried to keep the whole service intact; my bit was navaids and moorings and was kept in-house ,as was freighting but the port services (the biggest chunk of the organisation) - tugs, barges etc. was lost to Serco-Denholm. 12 years downstream and they've got the lot.

Still, we can look at the photos of the glory days.
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  #6  
Old 5th March 2008, 08:47
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It was the Best job that I ever had. Here at Portland,We had a great team, great ships and a wonderful Friendship that to this day and forever is sadly missed. still, occasionally I meet some of the Guys around town and have a good old natter and "swing the lamp" a bit. Although getting older, the memories still bring a twinkle and perhaps a tear to the eye of all of us. I personally have never recovered from the demise of the naval base but at least We have the memories.
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:33
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Year on

I hear that SERCO is not doing so well, they claim that they are losing money. so they say to thier workforce. They certainly took the MoD to the cleaners, the MoD in the end went to them and said this is all we can afford what can you give us, just prior to signing the contract. They have all but given the moorings to Briggs, and the mooring contract is very much in arrears according to the last contact I had with former colleagues a few months ago.
Well the old saying goes you reap the seeds you sow. After over 33 years service with the PAS and then the RMAS, I was sad to see it go, the problem with it was senior management and political intrigue within. The RMAS died in 1996, what was left afterwards was called the RMAS but it was another animal.
What is needed is a good author to write about it and the people in it, because some of the stories I know make the Para Handy stories seem tame, it had some real characters in it.
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  #8  
Old 2nd March 2011, 11:18
richie69 richie69 is offline  
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ref old strawbs message !!! i totally agree with him. it was a sad day in august 1995 when portland rmas was put to grass. after more than 27 years service i and my colleages were laid off without so much as a thankyou. still thats what we expected from the plonkers in charge. luckily i am now retired and please myself what i do. ( no one to get you up after lunch time headown ) regards to all. richie69 ( little ole )
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Old 8th March 2011, 16:28
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I think the writing was on the wall for the RMAS after the Falklands conflict and the cost of sending R class tugs down was compared with the cost of commercial tugs.

It was a travesty that Admiralty mis-practice, such as not fitting auto pilots to many of the ships, meant you needed large crews to operate the ships and as a result had larger cost's than our commercial competitors.

The first tilt at privatisation was the range support activity at BUTEC, Kyle of Lochalsh 85-86 and fortunately the job stayed in house only because there was a worry over retaining the personnel and expertise. There were many changes to the way the job was carried out to reduce cost's but eventually Kyle went to SerCo with the remnants from the surgery of '96.

End of an era.........
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Old 8th March 2011, 17:46
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I should think that there are some not so public public servants who do very well out of these private contracts. For instance it would be nice to know how many ex MoD personnel are employed by SERCO.
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  #11  
Old 8th March 2011, 18:15
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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SERCO are active in non-military areas too. Employees in SERCO run Australian prisons appear to work under inferior operational and financial conditions. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

John T.
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  #12  
Old 9th March 2011, 15:46
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I should think that there are some not so public public servants who do very well out of these private contracts. For instance it would be nice to know how many ex MoD personnel are employed by SERCO.
Whilst the RMAS crews would have gone over under TUPE rules, a lot have now been made redundant.
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Old 9th March 2011, 16:46
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Not really on-topic, but I wonder -- why not go the whole hog and privatise the military as a whole? It should be relatively easy to do that with the Army at least. It's called hiring mercenaries. Gadaffi, apparently, does it.

That way they can be hired when needed and chucked out when not.


*Oh wait -- they have always done that*
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  #14  
Old 9th March 2011, 17:16
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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The brave Ghurka's were of course Mercenaries until their amalgamation a few year's ago.
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  #15  
Old 9th March 2011, 17:33
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Originally Posted by richie69 View Post
ref old strawbs message !!! i totally agree with him. it was a sad day in august 1995 when portland rmas was put to grass. after more than 27 years service i and my colleages were laid off without so much as a thankyou. still thats what we expected from the plonkers in charge. luckily i am now retired and please myself what i do. ( no one to get you up after lunch time headown ) regards to all. richie69 ( little ole )
Hi Rich,
I thought that was You. How are You doing Shipmate. Thanks for Your comments.
Tony S.
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Old 12th March 2011, 16:14
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Hi Tony, hope you and yours are doing ok, did you move from Portland? cheers Ted.
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Old 12th March 2011, 17:07
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Hello Teddy, No I'm still at Portland. I joined the RFA after the Base closed and did six years until retirement at 60. Went on the Prison Ship after that but not on the inside I hasten to add. Cheers.
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Old 13th November 2011, 12:59
kevin barber kevin barber is offline  
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I should think that there are some not so public public servants who do very well out of these private contracts. For instance it would be nice to know how many ex MoD personnel are employed by SERCO.
I was at Devonport when Serco first started there. The commander of the port, Commander David Smith RN, retired from the RN one day and started work for Serco the next - at a very high level of course. I think you will find lots of retired RN officers working for them using all their contacts and inside info
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Old 14th November 2011, 16:34
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I was at Devonport when Serco first started there. The commander of the port, Commander David Smith RN, retired from the RN one day and started work for Serco the next - at a very high level of course. I think you will find lots of retired RN officers working for them using all their contacts and inside info
...And so the nepotism band waggon continues! It was ever thus and probably will always be that way. Still, we had a good run while it lasted but I take a previous contributor's point that the organisation could have cut costs much earlier if the will had been there - auto pilots etc. but at the end of the day I still believe it came down to politics; something large had to be privatised and unfortunately it was us but it sticks in the craw that it was that bloated apology for an MP, Nicolas Soames who announced the result of the original market test.

Last edited by Waighty : 14th November 2011 at 16:39.
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Old 15th November 2011, 15:00
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Originally Posted by kevin barber View Post
I was at Devonport when Serco first started there. The commander of the port, Commander David Smith RN, retired from the RN one day and started work for Serco the next - at a very high level of course. I think you will find lots of retired RN officers working for them using all their contacts and inside info
All true but they are only good for so long as their knowledge is current. And David Smith no longer works for them, with I think all of the original bid team including Mike Tyrell no longer part of Serco Marine Services.

RetiredPMSO
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Old 17th November 2011, 23:31
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Just look at the turn over of the senior staff and it tells its own story, use and abuse. Had DMS(N) been given a free hand to make cuts with some long term security to back it up, the job would still be is some semblance of its old self. We were all pawns in a political game of chess, one that we could never win.
Serco can't make enough money out of the contract, but can't let it die as they will loose too much face ..... and access to government contracts. My feeling is it will slowly wither on the vine until the CP's do what they wanted and have their own locally controlled fleet. Now what should we call it? How about Port Auxiliary Service, has a nice ring to it!
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Old 18th November 2011, 00:44
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absolutely

well said .couldnt agree more.
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  #23  
Old 18th November 2011, 11:19
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P A S now that has a ring to it!
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  #24  
Old 18th November 2011, 20:11
RetiredPMSO RetiredPMSO is offline  
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Just look at the turn over of the senior staff and it tells its own story, use and abuse. Had DMS(N) been given a free hand to make cuts with some long term security to back it up, the job would still be is some semblance of its old self. We were all pawns in a political game of chess, one that we could never win.
Serco can't make enough money out of the contract, but can't let it die as they will loose too much face ..... and access to government contracts. My feeling is it will slowly wither on the vine until the CP's do what they wanted and have their own locally controlled fleet. Now what should we call it? How about Port Auxiliary Service, has a nice ring to it!
It will be one long wither at least another 11 or 12 years to go on the contract. Then I doubt it will ever be brought back in house, if anything it could go to the Dockyard Companies each running there own all encompassing individual yard and services. Lets face it other than the marine services element thats basically what has happened to the Naval Bases.
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