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Maritime Logistics Community News : April 2014
20 MARITIME LOGISTICS COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER 2014 POML-C STUART JENSEN HMAS PARRAMATTA Reform in the Logistics Domain (or changes afoot in the Kitchen) If it is true that the Army marches on its stomach, then it is equally true that the Navy sails on theirs. The preparation and serving of delicious, appealing and nutritious meals to the ship's complement is the major part of the responsibility of the Chefs and Stewards on the vessel. It is crucial to the smooth running of the ship that both front and back of house staff work together as a seamless team across the Wardroom and galleys, ensuring that food is not only cooked well, but also served on a timely basis. Of course, both the Chefs and Stewards are also involved in whole ship evolutions, assisting with fire-fighting, assisting embarkation and long-haul of PII, the Ship's Medical Emergency Team, and putting boats in the water as required, when not busy feeding the ship's crew. One of the challenges we face in ships often facing significant manning constraints, is to 'broaden and deepen' the skills base of all our food service personnel to cover for unexpected manning shortfalls. Since joining HMAS Parramatta on 29 July 2013, I have been actively encouraging a greater integration of the functions between the front and back of house sections. The first step I took to achieve this was by returning a Leading Seaman Cook (LSML-C) to the Wardroom Pantry during lunch and dinner service. While this LSML-C is primarily responsible for the cooking of meals to order, his presence is instrumental in also assisting the Stewards working in the Wardroom Pantry to broaden and deepen their working knowledge of HACCP, meal presentation and 'a la carte' food preparation. This has resulted in significantly increased collaboration on the part of the Chefs and Stewards involved, and a greater range of meal choices available for the officers of the Wardroom. Secondly, the POML-S concurrently releases one Steward each lunch and dinner session to come down and work in the galley, either serving the ship's company or assisting with food preparation, on a rotating roster. This gives the Stewards an opportunity to broaden their food preparation skill base, as well as trying different tasks. I have also encouraged the Chefs and Stewards to work alongside each other for the preparation of salad and sandwich bars. The benefit for the ship when we undertake these tasks is the creation of a larger pool of personnel who are available to assist food preparation, and to generate a pool of trained personnel available to provide redundancy should any Chefs be unavailable for catering duties. As a result of this greater integration between the two areas, some traditional barriers between the sections are being broken down. Another significant benefit of this initiative is the creation of a 'learning environment', where a genuine desire to expand skill-sets beyond core skills leading to greater understanding and appreciation by both sections towards the specialised skills required to carry out their respective roles. With the Chefs and Stewards working together as a combined food services, the overall task of ordering, preparing and serving meals becomes that much smoother. The comments in both the galley and Wardroom comments books at lunch or dinner reflect the work of the Steward or the Chef -- they are doing their bit to ensure the smooth running of the ship and provide capability to Command. Bon appétit! SMNML-S Maddie Timm assisting 'on the line' in the main galley (HMAS Parramatta). LSML-C Merv assisting in the Wardroom Pantry (HMAS Parramatta).