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Maritime Logistics Community News : Winter 2011
23 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER WINTER 2011 RFA Ships workup and undertake Unit Readiness and Mission Readiness evaluation equivalents through Flag Officer Sea Training. In fact, there are few military skills that the RFA do not hold. Logistic personnel undertake duties as per their counterparts in the Royal Navy, including Ship's Medical Emergency Team and Ship's Standing Fire Brigade. The standard of accommodation onboard is very luxurious. A Leading Steward had their own cabin complete with ensuite. Head of Departments had both a large day and night cabin similar to that of RAN Commanding Officers's. The commissioning crew should expect to have no more than two members to a cabin, with the exception of trainees who should expect four to a cabin. LARGS BAY Capability LARGS BAY is classed as a Landing Ship Dock Auxiliary (LSD(A)). In terms of size, the ship is 16,000 tonnes; double the size of a RAN Landing Platform Amphibious (LPA). It has a cargo capacity equivalent to that of HMA Ships KANIMBLA, MANOORA & TOBRUK put together. The LARGS BAY is capable of carrying up to 24 tanks or 150 light trucks in 1,150 linear metres of space. The cargo capacity is equivalent of 200 tons of ammunition, or 24 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers. The ship has two organic 30-ton cranes to life cargo on and off as required. The ship can operate two helicopters. A portable hanger is being procured for a flight to be embarked for a long period. The ship has bunks for 356 embarked personnel. In an emergency this can legally be increased to almost 700. In terms of power, it has the ability to dynamically position itself (stay in the one spot) through the use of bow and azimuth thrusters. LARGS BAY will be the first ship in the RAN to have azimuth thrusters. Two of these thrusters propel the ship but have the ability to rotate through 360 degrees. These thrusters are powered by high voltage electricity (6.6 Kv) generated through diesel engines. This is termed High Power (HP). There are strict rules for damage control, fire fighting and access to engineering spaces due to the fact that HP has the ability to leap off machinery or switchboards and kill you! (no exaggeration). Special training will be required for personnel working in those spaces. The ability for the ship to be dynamically positioned means that it has the ability to load and unload without the need to anchor or moor. This is particularly useful when there is no useable port or anchorage. This ability was utilised extensively by the RFA in Humanitarian Assistance Operations (HA) after the Haiti earthquakes. The ship has the ability to 'dock-down' (sink the aft end in the water) through ballasting. This allows the stern door to open and LCM8s can drive in and load / unload rapidly. In addition, the ship will have organic Mexifloats (self propelled pontoons) that are infinitely flexible and reconfigurable to suit operational requirements. RFA Support System The RFA run an Integrated Product Team (IPT) that equates to a DMO Branch Staff and System Program Offices (SPOs) combined into one body. The Head of the IPT, a CDRE(Engineering) is responsible to the Operational Head of the RFA (also a CDRE) for the materiel readiness of the Flotilla. The RFA have a Cluster Support Team (CST) arrangement with their prime support contract for the Bay Class with A&P. The CST is similar to the alliance concept as applied in Australia with the ANZAC SPO. The RFA have had a great deal of success with this arrangement. The Cluster with A&P at Falmouth currently includes four Bay Class platforms and RFA ARGUS. A&P provide the RFA with: • Through Life Support to the Bay Class with a contract for five years with five yearly extensions through to end of life for the class. Renewal is based upon meeting Key Performance Indicators in the contract. • A collocated CST in a purpose-built office consisting of twelve A&P staff, six Ministry Of Defence staff and representatives from major suppliers at Falmouth. • Provision of, or access to, all of the skills needed to manage the support of ships. These include program management, program planning, procurement, costing and estimating, commercial management, design, technical oversight and performance reporting. • On-site access to the maintenance management systems, configuration management data, documentation and drawings for the ships. • Access to the industry design capabilities of the BVT Surface Fleet and BMT Defence Services capable of undertaking any naval design task, and under the management of the dedicated Design Manager in the CST. • Agreements, with ship repair yards that can undertake complex work packages in the ships' areas of operation. • Procurement of spares for all unique Bay Class items (70 per cent of the items of supply for the class), including a subcontractor who packages to the United Kingdom DEFAUS 5000 equivalent standard. A&P have a network of subcontractors, with long-term agreements in place for the most important providers. Continued next page ... RFA Largs Bay. Embarked force provided humanitarian assistance to a town in Haiti.