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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
via the most appropriate method available. This could include any number of modes such as air transportation, road delivery, barge by sea, or loaded directly to fleet units alongside. Where possible, a FLS will operate from a military base node, or a deployed operating base, but in some instances commercial sites and even hotel/residential accommodation can be the most practical option. R2/R5 FLS Cadre The RN FLS model is based on the R2/R5 principal. The regular navy component is the R2, which comprises of a small team of Very High Readiness Logisticians (officers and ratings) whose role is to provide an expeditionary response to a mission. The R2 team can mobilised and set up an FLS within 5 days of activation, sometimes even sooner depending on the area of operation and the level of logistics support required. Where possible and appropriate, the R2 FLS Comd together with key Battle Staff personnel will conduct a recon of potential forward areas before sending in the expeditionary component. The role of the R2 team is to move forward quickly, to establish an FLS and set up secure communications in advance of the arriving fleet. Royal Navy reservists play an important role in the sustainment of a forward logistics site and are known as the R5 component. The Reserve Log team is required to be in theatre and ready to man and operate the FLS within 30 days of notice, or 30 days after the arrival of the R2 team. Once relieved, the R2 team can then move forward to another location, or recover back to home base and prepare for future assignments. Due to the part time nature of naval reserve employment, the size of the RN’s reserve logistics branch is much larger than the regular navy’s R2 team. This is necessary in order for navy reserve to effectively provide the required manpower to support operations and exercises. There are currently eight RN logisticians in the R2 team and around 180 RNR personnel in the Reserve Logs pool. The FLS Cadre is a fleet capability and its functional employer is DACOS Logs Ops, through SO1 Log Plans at Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth. The R2 FLS Comd also works closely with the deployable battle staff for aircraft carriers (Maritime Battle Staff – MARBATSTAFF) and the amphibious task group (Commander Amphibious Task Group – COMATG), both of which are major customers of the FLS capability. The manpower capability of the Reserve Log branch is managed nationally by the SO1 OC RNR LOGS, who maintains a Resource Pool Roster to ensure sufficient personnel are trained and ready to provide follow on support to a deployed FLS. The pool of 180 reserve logisticians is divided into four teams. Each team works through a two year training cycle, which includes a six month period of ‘on-call’ duty. The on-call R5 team will be the first to deploy when required to backfill the R2 component. RNR Logistics personnel in action The RNR Logistics branch consists of both officers and sailors who are trained specially to work in an FLS. The role of the reserve logistician today has changed totally since 1994 when reservists back then had the choice of working in any of the traditional supply categories as a sailor, or the option of becoming a Supply Officer. The RNR Logistics Branch consists of approximately 25% officers and 75% Log sailors. Since 1994, RNR loggies have served with distinction in a vast number of operations and exercises around the world. The past twelve months have been a particularly busy period for reserve loggies. Reserves were at the forefront of the recent TAURUS 09 where R5 worked closely alongside the R2 cadre in a number of ports, in support of an Amphibious TF of twelve ships on a world wide deployment, through the Middle East to South East Asia. OP ATALANTA is the current EU led maritime operation aimed at protecting shipping against piracy in the Horn of Africa and the coast off Somalia. Based in Djibouti, the first R5 team was sent in to relieve R2 in December 2008. An R5 team has since remained deployed working with other allied nations to provide forward logistics support to ships within a multi-national task force (CTF-151). OP ATALANTA is a perfect example of the R2/R5 concept with the reliance of Reserve Loggies used to support the RNs efforts in a high profile international arena. RNR log personnel also provide backfill to permanent Logistics Support Elements, such as the RN FLS-BAH, an element of the UK-MCC in Bahrain. A cadre of 4-6 personnel provide the logistics coordination of PMC to a fleet of 12 RN and RFA units operating in the MEAO. Whilst predominantly RN manned, FLS-BAH does on occasion have RNR loggies assigned to the task. The RNR’s Logistics Branch continues to provide a capability that is vital to the success of the Royal Navy’s mission. There may well be relevance in the way the RN conducts operational logistics that could be adapted to the RANR for the benefit of the Royal Australian Navy. 47 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009