by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2013
35 MARITIME LOGISTICS COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2012/AUTUMN 2013 BY LCDR DAVID ZANKER, RAN It's funny how some memories from your childhood just stick with you throughout your life. I have many such memories along with a bunch of useless trivia taking up way too much grey matter. In fact, if I had less of the trivial and more of the useful, who knows where I'd be? I know one thing for sure; I wouldn't be standing in the pouring rain one morning in Darwin NT trying to fit 87 green Army trunks into an already full ship! I remember "most" of the content of my Charge Pusser's Course (despite all that damned trivia) but I don't remember covering the David Copperfield section! Back to the memories... One of my most vivid memories was watching my Dad pack all manner of necessary items into the 1963 Toyota Crown station wagon in preparation for the family holiday. I remember standing back in true awe (before the word awesome was common vocabulary) watching him outdo the skills of the Greek God Mercury as he jigsaw puzzled every piece of "oh so necessary" holiday luggage into the back of the car with Tetris, geek-like precision. I'm sure that the makers of Tetris must have been watching my Dad that day when they came up with the game idea; they just had to wait another 25 or so years for a platform to run it on! HMAS Darwin, configured with an accommodation module in the starboard hangar and (who'd have guessed it?) a Seahawk in the port hangar was Force Assigned to OP RESOLUTE. So where does one store 16 pallets of Humanitarian Aid Stores when the flight deck needs to be clear for helo ops and the forecastle will be required for PII processing? That's where the memories come in and Dad would have been proud, very proud! In all seriousness, the first task was completed weeks before, when the CPOSN and I walked the entire ship noting possible stowage locations and drawing up a first draft mud map. Despite the CPOSN continually claiming that "I reckon we'll get the bulk of it aft of the accommodation module Sir" based purely on his mark one eyeball, I felt that better preparation was required. So armed with the HA content lists and my blank mud map I produced a rough plan of attack to fill the starboard hangar and then overflow IAW my mud map plan. So with the rain pelting down in Darwin for the first time in weeks, I found that due to the unplanned early arrival of the crane there were not "many hands" to make light work! I found myself dogging for the crane operator and pallet jacking HA stores around the flight deck, while duty watch and all available Supply personnel did their "magic" under the experienced guidance of the CPOSN (and his mark 1 eyeball). Pallets were sorted on the flight deck into about 5 main areas systematically titled something like "I don't think we'll use this" through to "We'll need to issue this straight away". Half the Life jackets were pre-identified for stowage on the port waist inside the spray shield for ready issue to PIIs that will be temporarily held on the forecastle waiting processing. As the pallets were broken down and the trunks stowed, the location of each trunk was accurately recorded on a blank mud map for ease of identification. Identification being one thing; access being another. Regardless of planning, we all expected that it was going to be inevitable that a trunk buried deep within the giant Lego like creation would be required at quick notice. In short, all expected high use items such as eating utensils and life jackets were stowed last in positions around our mammoth 3 dimensional jigsaw and trunks with bedding and blankets were stowed high. Toilets and shower fittings were also stowed for easy access. Blankets and mattresses in excess of our OPLIM of 79 long haul formed the foundation and core of our construction. The plan was falling into place. Accurately marking the location of each and every trunk on a blank mud map as we went proved to be a saving grace. The aforementioned deluge from the skies had a less than desired effect on the paper identification / contents labels taped to the trunks, so based on our knowledge of location (my trusty mud map) we were able to re-label our trunks with plastic-coated labels. As you'd expect the CPOSN was right! Apart from 6 trunks containing life jackets stowed on the Port waist forward and 1 trunk with processing apparatus stowed in the esplanade, the remainder of the HA stores including the portable (read useless) toilets were stowed in the starboard hanger aft of the accommodation module. Access to the stores was tight during times when the PII were located on the flight deck and as you'd expect, there were times when we needed access to a trunk that was located in the foundation regions of our creation. In the end, good planning, an understanding of the needs of PIIs, knowing the contents of the trunks and reliable personnel during the stowage process, ensured that we were able to meet all PII after care support requirements with minimum fuss. (Real life Tetris skills helped too). Storing for Operation Resolute It's funny how some memories from your childhood just stick with you throughout your life.