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17 port and the RFA


What is the relationship between 17 port and the RFA, do 17 port deploy on board RFA ships , i know that the army seaman operate mexiflotes ect, do the port operators become ships company on exercise/war deployment, just to satisfy my own curiosity . cheers all


Lantern Swinger
Does this help then? Only used google to find it...

My contribution;
I met a guy earlier this year serving with the RFA as a deckhand. Chatting to him, he started with RN (moons ago), did 4 or so years on sweepers and after a bad accident to a shipmate, left to join the army maritime bods right up until retirement (thence RFA).

Most matelots don't get as much seatime as this pongo..!


i was reading navy news a couple months back and it was saying that the senior WO on the bay class RFAs is a member of 17 port just wondered what they did day to day???? how they slot in to ships company ect??


jannerpig88 said:
What is the relationship between 17 port and the RFA, do 17 port deploy on board RFA ships , i know that the army seaman operate mexiflotes ect, do the port operators become ships company on exercise/war deployment, just to satisfy my own curiosity . cheers all

To answer your question Yes! Soldiers from 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC have a close relationship with the RFA and do on occassions deploy onboard RFA vessels!

When I was serving on RFA Sr Galahad we frequently had soldiers from 17 port and Maritime onboard when we undertook the Marchwood to Antwerp frieghting run, I've have also sailed with them onboard on the Sir tristram and the Fort Austin and worked wit them in Belize, The falklands and in Cyprus. Whenever the RFA is tasked by the Army, then all cargo is loaded by the stevedores (called Port Operators) of 17 port and maritime regt, they then sail with the ship and are tasked with the cargoes safety, security and integrity during its voyage. At the final destination (if it is a port) they will unload it, if it has to be unloaded offshore then the army seaman navigtors will ferry it ashore on mexefloats and other small craft or transfer it to their own or Royal Marine landing craft, ashore the port operators would set up a beach head und unload it there.

On the Sir boats (Landing Ship Logistics-LSLs)we always had an RLC Warrent Officer (WO2) who was the Ships Warrent Officer-SWO) when tasked by the army, at sea he would keep a watch on the bride and would operate the ships telegraphs.

The RLC seamen are all well trained and follow the Merchhant Navy route of training from seaman class 3 (Watch Rating Cert) Class2 (EDH) Class 1 (AB) with a resonable amount of cross over training with the Royal Navy.

When 17 Port & Maritime Regiment was 20 Maritime Regiment Royal Corps of Transport, the had some quite large ocean going vessels including HMAV Arakan HMAV Ardennes and HMAV St George. when it was the WD Fleet/RASC Fleet/RCT Fleet it actually had more ocean going vessels than the present day RN!

Hope it helps
Regards Tony
Thanks Jack the knife - that helps an awful lot! 35 years served and I knew nothing whatsoever of 17 Port & Maritime Regt and their links with the RFA; I guess every day is indeed a school day!
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