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Maritime Logistics Community News : December 2008
NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008 37 short period depending on how much leave is available. An opportunity should exist where the incumbent SO could clear for example, three weeks leave and also work in a part time capacity at FHQ, ADNPR(SU) or HMAS STIRLING. Experience has shown that each of these areas have small, short term projects that could be completed by these officers. It is not anticipated the SO would work at the same location as their relief, but at a location that could facilitate short term project work. Posting extension. During a two year posting at sea, a SO will accumulate 14 weeks of leave in addition to the leave they bring with them to the unit. Most SOs do not clear this leave during their posting due to the time constraints between operational commitments. Potentially, the posting time for SOs at a fleet unit could be increased by six months without any real additional time at sea. An example of a flexible posting tenure is outlined below. SO joins the ship with a current leave balance of 20 days: a. Jan – Jul. MFU conducts operational or overseas deployment for six months. SO required onboard as the posted SO. b. Aug - Sep. The MFU is alongside for three weeks and a further three weeks of weekly running in training area including two small local port visits. SO takes leave and respite for the six weeks, made up of four weeks leave and two weeks work at FHQ. Incoming SO is spared for six weeks operational relief from current employment. c. Sep – Jan. Current SO rejoins ship for the remainder of FAS and then takes two weeks leave over the Christmas period. No relief required as it is less than the minimum four week period. d. Feb – Jun. The MFU conducts a shakedown period, short term sea operational commitments, weekly running, PWO sea week etc. SO remains onboard as they just completed two weeks leave over Christmas. e. Jul - Dec. Ship enters AMP/SMP/FAMP/DRSA. SO could look to take a four week leave opportunity and seeks caretaker SO for this period. This will be followed by a two week Christmas leave period. f. Jan – Mar. WUP, MSE, SATs etc. The SO remains onboard during this period. g. Mar – Jun. Weekly running or running out of home port. SO could look for opportunities for short term leave, perhaps leave DSO in charge if ready – two weeks. At the end of the posting, two weeks leave prior to posting into new job. This fictitious FAS provides an opportunity for 16 weeks leave plus any other smaller leave opportunities during the SO’s posting over a 30 month period. The period also contains two significant breaks during the posting tenure where it is hoped that the SO remains refreshed during their posting and the additional family time has left the incumbent in a more motivated position. Positive Aspects of the Caretaker option The following positive aspects are anticipated for the ship: a. Opportunity for the SO to take leave periods in decent sized lots; b. Confidence in the SO relief as he/she is personally chosen; c. Confidence that the department will continue to run during absence; d. Opportunity for the SO to be with the family during sea postings; e. CO retains corporate knowledge during SO absence; f. Flexibility due to being individually driven on FAS or personal need; g. Opportunity to fully remove yourself from the ship during periods of absence rather than the current ‘on call’ approach; h. No need to job share with another SO; i. Retain overall department direction and mission; and j. Opportunity for external advice (non fleet related) to possible areas of concern or weakness that may not have been noticed before. The following positive aspects are anticipated for incoming So: a. Provides the SU PQ with an operational focus. This will provide even more credibility, where every post charge SO is potentially available to return to sea. b. Provides currency opportunities for officers to return to the tactical level, c. Keeps HCO, NBCD and whole ship awareness up to date, d. Provides additional sea time to attainment towards higher sea going badge (again comes back to credibility of the branch). e. Caretaker role, not process owner. Negative Aspects of the Caretaker option The following points are considered possible negative aspects to this recommendation: a. Only a small number of post charge Supply Officers maybe willing to go back to sea for short periods. b. Releasability of officers to return to sea as a caretaker. c. The ability of the Caretaker to make fundamental changes in the department that may be contrary to the sea going SO who owns the position. This option provides a great deal of flexibility to the current SO at sea as they are enforced to make all arrangements. They can make their selections on who they would like and when and for how long to have a caretaker provided. All arrangements would be made between the SO and their relief and once agreed by all parties (and supervisors) posting action can be initiated by DNOP. This reduces the burden from SO SU/AD who will simply need to maintain a list of volunteer caretakers to be provided to the SO on request. The use of Reserve Officers could also be considered as a Caretaker. Each unit has a number of reserve days that could be utilised in having a Reserve SO facilitate the Caretaker role. This would provide continuity to the Reserve Officer as well as meet the intent of the proposal. If successful, this option would be easily transferred to the other sea going PQs as all branches provide a pre and post sea charge focus. This could again be rolled out further for the Deputy, NAv and PWO level. The current flexible work practice provided by LEUT Ween was raised based on a number of valid facts, demographics and information. The FWO is presented to provide an option based on those facts and assumptions. Finding ways to offer the sea-going environment with more flexibility whilst still providing Supply opportunities and meeting capability needs is a challenge the Supply Community faces. Please send comments, negative or positive to SOPD, LEUT Jodie Wilkinson (Jodie.email@example.com). If you have an alternate idea, please send this in also. Navy is undergoing some incredible changes at the moment. SO 2013 and SU Sailors 2015 study are all examples of the way we as a community can influence the future.