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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
45 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 The course drew together an eclectic bunch, all of us with many varied backgrounds and experiences; including a Lawyer, a shipping agent, a shipping operations manager, a hospital CEO and more. For me as the only ex PN member of the group, I had already gained a broad experience of the logistics requirements of ships. However, it was inciteful to watch the different thought processes and strategies used by each member of the group as we tackled various challenges during the role playing of difficult scenarios that arose during the course. We all successfully passed the course and left HMAS CAIRNS brimming full of confidence and enthusiasm, armed with our new OPLOG work experience journal. All of us were eager to tackle the OPLOG challenges ahead. Exercise Talisman Sabre 2009 (TS09) provided me with my first OPLOG deployment and a chance to put into practice my new skills and to gain valuable experience by supporting operation units. My deployment consisted of three componenents; a) Phase 1. I was based at NHQ South Queensland (NHQ SQ), for the first harbour phase of the exercise where foreign participants USS Mustin and HMCS WINNIPEG were to visit; b) Phase 2. Placed me at HMAS Cairns to action logistic requests (LOGREQs) and make preparations for the arrival of the RAN ships coming to North Qld ports; and c) Phase 3. I went to Townsville during the final harbour phase of TS09 to provide support to the RAN ships visiting this port. Brisbane On 3 Jul 09, the foreign ships HMCS WINNIPEG and USS MUSTIN arrived into Brisbane. Command on both ships were given a comprehensive update of services provided by the OPLOG officer and information was also provided by agencies such as local police, AQIS, customs and the ships agent. I also made sure that the ships companies knew how to get to the Gold Coast and its many attractions as well as the nearby Breakfast Creek Hotel. Whilst the ships were alongside in Brisbane, I conducted daily visits to organise such things as training facilities at Enoggora Barracks for HMCS WINNIPEG’s programmed fitness tests and attended to any other adhoc requirements that arose. I also attended daily security briefs presented by QLD police onboard USS MUSTIN. One of the more difficult issues that arose was USS MUSTIN’s request for a large supply of Tamiflu, only hours before sailing, due to a possible case of swine flu onboard. I was able to obtain the medicine locally and deliver it to the ship minutes before they sailed. A sailor from HMCS WINNIPEG was hospitalised during their port visit and had to remain in hospital when the ship sailed, due to the seriousness of their injuries. I facilitated the sailor’s transfer from Royal Brisbane Hospital to the local military hospital, and then his flight back to Canada. Cairns During this phase of my deployment I reported to the Cairns Port Services Manager. As he is the admin authority for all North Qld ports, I commenced working on LOGREQs from HMA Ships TOBRUK, MANOORA, BALIKPAPAN and BRUNEI in preparation for their visit to Townsville. STS YOUNG ENDEAVOUR was also due to come in to Townsville and therefore support preparations for her were included. USS MUSTIN was planning to visit Townsville but this visit was changed at short notice to Mackay which required additional planning and arrangements with the Port Authority. Townsville My visit to Townsville commenced with an early morning inspection of the wharves that were going to be used by the RAN over the next few days. Thankfully, I had a Warrant Officer Bosun to assist me in checking and correctly positioning fenders and bridge markers prior to the Ship arrivals. Berthing parties and Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) operators were also briefed on the schedule of events for the day. Once the gangways were in position for each ship, contact with the Deputy Supply Officer was quickly established. This allowed me to give a situation report (SITREP) on all shore services and deliveries that had been arranged for them. I also briefed the XO on port maintenance projects and movements that were scheduled during their time alongside. Smooth operations in provisioning and connection of services allowed the crews of each ship to get ashore in good time. Conclusion The development of the OPLOG PQ has enhanced Navy’s capability by using specialist military personnel to provide logistic support for operational units. Logistics companies were used to provide fresh provisions and victuals. Through their local knowledge and buying power they were able to provision the ships with great value for money. Every other service was ordered and organized individually and were all provided at very competitive rates. The exercise provided a good training opportunity and enabled me to complete a significant portion of my Work Experience Journal (WEJ). It was also a good opportunity for an ‘OPLOGGY’ to contribute to TS09 in a meaningful way. It has been a thrill for me to return back to the Supply Branch after leaving it as a LSWTR in 1990 when I headed to HMAS CRESWELL to commence a career as a Seaman Officer. Every member of the Supply Community that I have met since my return to the branch have been welcoming and enthusiastic in helping me get up to speed with the many facets of the stores ordering and management system. I look forward to continuing my new role in the Supply branch and being a part of this unique community. An ‘Oploggy’ is Let Loose in Queensland I was fortunate enough to be among the six Naval reserve officers selected for the inaugural Operational Logistics (OPLOG) Officer Course in April 2009 at HMAS CAIRNS. BY LEUT TONY GILMOUR, RANR