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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 1 a message from the Head of Supply Community Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Supply Newsletter. Much has happened around the management of our community and a number of the articles in the Newsletter will provide you with an update. Like the theme of the recently held Supply Forum in Sydney, this edition of the Newsletter focuses on how the Supply Community enhances Navy capability. New and enhanced capability means change and this word often brings equal amounts of excitement and anxiety. However, the White Paper and Pappas Review about to be released by the Government, the introduction of the Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs) and Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), Joint Project 2077 and SDSS Deployables, not to mention New Generation Navy project offers great opportunities and potentially significant improvements to the way we do business. You all have the opportunity to take the initiative and be innovative for the future benefit of both the Supply Community and the Royal Australian Navy. My challenge to you is not to be ‘a passenger’, rather put your ideas forward and be an active participant in the change program. Six months or so ago I commissioned a study to examine the future of the Writer Category. With the immergence of the Defence Support Group, improvements in ship to shore communications, advances in personnel management applications like PMKeyS and the commercialisation and contracting out of non-core services, some were saying that the future of the category looked uncertain. Although the study is still being completed and the final report will be presented to the SAC in mid May, the early results are suggesting that there is still a definite requirement to have Writers both at sea and ashore, but perhaps with a stronger focus as a human resource specialist. I will keep you up to date on the progress of the Writer category through mediums such as the electronic magazine, the Supply Bulletin. On the training front, we have reinvigorated the Supply Officer training and employment continuum. Our first new breed of Officers under this arrangement will be awarded their PQ in July this year. Their Assistant Supply Officer period at sea has been extended and given greater focus on their roles and responsibilities – they are no longer posted additional. A similar reinvigoration is currently underway for the Deputy Supply Officer’s designate course. However, it is not just the Officers who have seen change and improvements to their career courses. The Stores Naval and Writers training has also been overhauled to ensure we are producing competent and confident sailors. The Professional Development Programs, conducted by distance learning, have been replaced by residential intermediate training programs and all sailor categories are now aligned with a continuum which includes basic, intermediate and advanced courses. They are all augmented by professional skills journals and in some cases, job specific training is provided in the form of pre joining training. Over the course of the past year or so, there has also been quite a deal of work undertaken on the reserve front. Two initiatives include the establishment of the Operational Logistics Primary Qualification for Reserve Officers, which will culminate in the pilot course being undertaken in Cairns in April. These officers, who can be recruited directly into the PQ, will undertake Logistics Planning and Support tasks in Fleet Logistics Support Elements ashore for major operations and exercises, as well as working in single service and joint HQs in shore based or shipboard environments both in Australia and overseas. This PQ will in time take the strain off the traditional SU PQ community and augment the ADF’s overall operational logistics capability. It also leverages off the logistic skills and experience resident in industry. On the sailor’s front, I have commissioned a study into the processes and procedures needed to reinvigorate the recruitment of qualified entry sailors into the NR. We have recruiting targets, methods to assess RPL/RCC, shorter recruit training for reservists, a means of employing and paying our reservists yet over the past five years or so, barely any direct entry reservists have been recruited and the NR has become almost exclusively the domain of ex-PN members. Why is this important I hear you say and why can’t we use ex-PN sailors to fill our vacancies. Well in part, we can and do, but there are also plenty of examples where Supply Branch sailor structures are under stress and we don’t have the numbers of personnel in the PN or Reserve to meet short and medium term operational reliefs at sea, or augment personnel in shore establishments. We clearly need to recruit and retain qualified sailors from all available sources. While on the subject of the Reserve, I want to share with you my vision for the future, which will involve a little bit of a paradigm shift for some members of our community. Traditionally, a career in the Navy was spent mostly in the Permanent Force with a few coming back after a break to be an active member of the Reserve. For those who decide to return to full time service, they are often put through the wringer, reduced in rank, lose seniority, are given the jobs that no one else wants to do and the Navy rarely recognises the skills and experience acquired in the commercial world while out of uniform. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 BY CommodoRE BoB RiCHaRdS, Ran