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RMAS Arrochar offloading a 4.5 gun.

RMAS Arrochar offloading a 4.5 gun.

Refit of HMS York was going to be delayed if the Gun was late getting back to Rosyth, The Authorities were going to hire 2 x large Helicopters plus sevral heavy low loader road transporters and take at least 5 days. We loaded and arrived Rosyth in 40 hours.

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The NAVs were great cargo vessels quite apart from being straight armament carriers and they should have been used a lot more in that capacity if the political will had been there. Before the original market test exercise Ops in Bath tried to introduce the idea of running them on a liner service principle, taking in the various RNADs according to a schedule. Unfortunately PSTO(N) etc couldn't grasp the idea and refused to co-operate, so expensive one-off voyages continued. By using one vessel on the liner service, the other could have been freed up to run any other in-house and OGD service required. The idea was to get two fully operational vessels on the go and show the MOD that these were valuable assets, not to be lost lightly. Still, water under the bridge now...
 

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Hi Waighty, I would not disagree with what you say, but most certainly after the first test, they came political pariahs and where soon got rid off, departments were enquiring for over a year after Arrochar went to use her.
 

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Hi Waighty further to your comment on use, when I was in Arrochar from 1993 to finish, at the start we were organised by a lady in PSTON Bath HQ, she was in constant contact to discuss loads from the various depots, I had phone numbers of all the relavent people inm the depots and I often sailed before the signalled programe from RMAS HQ, this worked well until after the privatisation of 1996. After 1996, we had our own RMAS Manager in Portsmouth, he objected to having no imput into our programming and he took it over from PSTON Bath. The upstart was we did less PSTON work, the Arrochar carried on working for the Army in the run down of the Ammo Dumps in Germany, whilst Kinterbury carried on doing a certain noise trials based on Gibraltar. Trouble came when a cutback of about£250000 was demanded by the Authorities of RMAS which meant a vessel had to go, the Army wanted to continue using Arrochar but would only pay after a job, the Navy wanted it upfront annually so Arrochar went 2 years after a major refit where mechanically she was rebuilt to new condition. Also Arrochar was the only NAV which had was designed to carry 7 x 20t weight containers on her hatches and carried extra fixed ballast to carry the containers with 2 inchs of ice over her. The Kinterbury was only allowed 20t spread evenly over her entire main hatch only, plus shortly after Arrochar was sold out she had a refit in Devonport where over 2 million £ was spent to get her mechanically upto Arrochars spec.
 

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By the way Waighty I forgot to mention, PSTON had cuts as well, one was major cuts in the lorry fleet or cut the NAVs from Bedenham and get rid of one of thier Jetty gangs. As the Lorries where PSTON people and the gang could be redeployed, the NAV's lost. So where we could load over 195 missles in Ernisettle and sail at end of play overnight for start of work in Bedenham, they used upto 22 lorries shuttling these out of date and supposed missiles instead. The dangerous Goods road rules where only 2 per lorry with a dummy lorry following 20m behind with no civilian traffic in between, the dummy lorry to act as a buffer if there is an accident and the load spilled, because if the missiles broke there was a possibility of RF setting of the IED. But Mod make the rules for all ammo movements, so I expect it has now been changed.
 

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Hi Nodes,

Thanks for the detailed info, a lot of which I didn't know but the fact that Depts were still asking about using Arrochar came as no surprise.

However I certainly knew the ladies at PSTO(N) in Bath, they came over to Foxhill for a visit once and one of them had a skirt so short it would have been better called a wide belt! It was good to meet them though and it cheered up a lot of guys in Ops! Some time later I met the one with the short skirt when she was working on the checkout at Sainsburys in Bath - some change of career that!
 

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