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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 45 Fleet Supply awards – Supply Excellence award and the Silver Platter The Fleet Commander annually acknowledges the exemplary performance of Fleet Units with a number of awards covering a multitude of maritime warfare and related disciplines. Supply Departments, big and small, are recognised for superior performance with three awards in two categories. The first award, the Supply Excellence Award, which is open to the Supply Departments of Major Fleet Units is awarded to the Unit that provides the highest overall standard of supply services at sea. Selection of the winner is based upon the results of all assessments conducted by Sea Training Group during the year, including Departmental Management Audits, Sea Checks, Mariner Safety Evaluations, Work Up Evaluations, Unit Readiness Evaluations, Mission Readiness Evaluations, Silver Platter Assessments and Financial Management achievements. Not all ships receive the benefit of comprehensive assessments and evaluation by the Supply Sea Training Group team every year, and subsequently for some units, not a great deal of objective data can be provided to make an overall assessment. Does this mean you are out of the running? Not necessarily. If you, and I am directing this comment to Supply Officers and Supply Senior Sailors at sea, think your department is pretty strong and worthy of serious consideration, and you are not in line for any sort of formal assessment during the year, then make an approach to the Supply Sea Training Group and invite some or all of us down for a Sea Check or Sea Look, or as the FWOWTR likes to call it, a Look See. If we can fit you into the formal program we will certainly do so. For Fleet Base West units the twist for you is that you will have to fund the travel unless it can be undertaken in conjunction with a programmed formal assessment of another FBW based unit. The Supply Excellence Award was first presented in 1996 to HMAS BRISBANE. Subsequent winners have been HMA Ships SUCCESS, HOBART, ARUNTA, TOBRUK, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA, MANOORA, DARWIN, KANIMBLA, NEWCASTLE and KANIMBLA. In December last year, the Fleet Commander announced that the 2008 winner was HMAS MANOORA with HMAS PARRAMATTA as the runner-up. Well done to Mick Slattery and his team for an excellent across the board effort throughout 2008. The second and third awards are the Fleet Food Service “Silver Platter” Awards. These two awards, one for Fleet Units with a catering team (Cooks and Stewards) of four personnel or more, and one for Fleet Units with a catering team (Cooks and Stewards) of three or less, are awarded to the two ships, or ship and submarine, that provide the highest overall standard of food service management. This award recognises the importance of providing high standard meals backed up by efficient and effective catering services because of its impact on the morale of seagoing personnel. The Fleet Warrant Officer Cook has the lead in the evaluation process and he is focused, amongst his other Sea Training Group duties, in generating formal and informal assessments of the food service standards on all ships. Whilst he will undertake many of these assessments himself he will also use the Fleet CPO Cook, the POCK in the Submarine Sea Training Group in the West, and the CPOCK in the Minor War Vessel Sea Training Group based up in Cairns to undertake assessments. He also has a very good BY CmdR a. daVidSon, Ran FLEEt SuPPLY oFFiCER spy network out in the Fleet. You can certainly guarantee that other members of Sea Training Group, from COMFLOT down, will provide frank and forthright comments about the standard of food services they encountered whilst embarked. It is important to note that whilst the focus is primarily upon the efforts of the Cooks and the Stewards, the standards achieved in Junior Sailors Cafés and Senior Sailors Messes are important. Therefore the I/C Café, the Café Hands and the Messmen, are all part of the mix in achieving high standards of food services. Don’t expect to win the Silver Platter if the Junior Sailors Café is a hygiene risk. The Catering Institute of Australia, at the invitation of the Fleet WOCK, also plays a role in the final assessments, when it can be coordinated, and their input provides important benchmarking for Navy catering standards. The original Silver Platter award was instituted in 1983. In 1986 a second award was instituted for Minor Fleet Units. In 1988 a third award was instituted to recognise the unique catering challenges in submarines. A rationalisation was conducted a couple of years ago, reducing the number of Silver Platters awarded annually to two, based upon the size of the combined Cook/Steward complement. Running through the awards since 1983 I note that HMAS STALWART was the original winner in that year, and having been a Phase 2 Midshipman in STALWART in the first half of 1984 I can certainly vouch for the quality of food services delivered in that ship at that time. The winners of the Fleet Silver Platter Awards for 2008 were HMAS TOOWOOMBA with HMAS PERTH runner up in the Majors Category, with the Assail Two Crew winning the Minors Category award, with the Ardent Four Crew the runners up. Noting that a trophy exists to recognise superior performance in the delivery of food services within the Submarine Arm, the Submarine Squadron continues to present this award and the winner for 2008 was HMAS FARNCOMB. When it comes down to making the final assessment for the award of the Gloucester Cup, good results in both the Supply Excellence Award and the Silver Platter will make a significant contribution towards putting your ship in the running for this prestigious award. About the Author: Commander Tony Davidson joined the RAN in 1981. His sea postings include Deputy Supply Officer of HMA Ships YARRA and DARWIN, and Supply Officer of HMA Ships DERWENT, HOBART and ANzAC. Shore postings have included Officers Mess Manager at ADFA, Secretary to the Chief of Staff, Naval Support Command Headquarters, DSO HMAS CONAWARRA, SO2 Logistics Plans at HQAST, RANLO at US PACFLT Headquarters, SO1 Current Ops at JLC and XO HMAS CRESWELL. CMDR Davidson posted in to Fleet Supply Officer position in December 2008.