AWFP Training proposal.

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by trehorn, Nov 7, 2007.

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  1. Comments in another thread coupled with experiences of others and myself have led me to propose the following.

    Proposed Career Path for AWFP Ratings from NE to AB1.

    The training route from NE through to AB1 is proposed as follows;

    Year 1 Basic NE training at HMS RALEIGH
    Year 2 OG518 and OG547
    Year 3 BSSC and a 1 week posting aboard a RN warship in port.
    Year 4 2 weeks acclimatisation training in Cyprus.

    Years 1 and 2 and the 1st week of year 3 are obviously self explanatory. The second week of year 3 would involve the ratings joining a functioning RN warship which is in port. They would spend the week working with the QM/BM/UDS.

    The benefits of this are seen as follows;
    1. Ratings would be able to join ships either alone or in smaller groups (each rating being placed in a different watch). By deploying in small groups as opposed to full teams it would eliminate ORT being cancelled (FOTS TANKER!!!) due to insufficient numbers to make the training viable.

    2. It would provide on the job training as part of a real DF on a real ship. I.e. they would be working in a functioning watch system, making real pipes, completing the QM’s log, dealing with visitors, patrolling the upper deck and guarding the gangway – All work which an AWFP rating is expected to do.

    3. There would be no requirement for RNR instructors as the ship would already have a SPO qualified duty SR. Apparently sourcing RNR instructors able to oversee training is proving difficult?

    4. Accommodation/meals etc would be provided on board ship. It is easier for a ship to provide an extra meal or two than it is to arrange victualling for 10 ratings in a shore establishment or on board ship.

    5. It would give the ships a spare hand if required. This would be particularly useful to smaller ships.

    6. It would also give experience of real FIRE-ex, MOB-ex, SPO-ex, DC-ex. These are undertaken regularly on board RN ships and are something that RNR do not receive enough practice at in a realistic environment.

    7. We would be working side by side with the RN on a ready made platform with a ready trained and functioning DF team. This in turn would make the RNR more usable and flexible to the RN. As opposed to sending out a team of six or twelve to one of the survey ships or RFA’s which cannot accommodate a full team, RNR would be able to augment the RN DF force already on board.

    8. Organisation and co-ordination of this training would be considerably easier as there are less areas for the deployment to fail.
    ORT is frequently cancelled (at the last minute) for any one of the following reasons;
    1. Senior rate withdraws.
    2. Accommodation becomes unavailable.
    3. Too many attendee’s drop out.
    4. The training platform becomes unavailable.

    In this instance all you need is one willing RNR rating and a ship in port willing to take them for a week.

    I may be mistaken but at present in the RNR there is no structured training available which provides the following;

    1. Making pipes over the main broadcast. i.e. what to say, how to say it, when to make a pipe, who to pipe etc.

    2. Completing the QM’s log. What to write, how to write it, where to write it, when to write etc.

    3. Realistic training experience on being on duty on the upper deck for hours at a time.

    While there may be individual instances where in unit Classroom instruction is given relating to some of these areas there are no structured opportunities available to put these into practice. Therefore the first time a rating finds themselves having to make pipe while deployed operationally they are unsure of the procedures. Most RNR ratings have never manned a gangway, made a pipe over a main broadcast, searched or even logged in a visitor, patrolled a warship, taken part in a SPO-ex/FIRE-ex/DC-ex on a real ship.

    Each rating would join the ship with their task book containing a section detailing the duties that they must take an active role in during their time on board such as items 1, 2 and 3. Upon completion of the task book the rating is certified as AB1.

    It is not intended that the above be used as regular ORT opportunity but more of a qualifying period prior to advancement.

    Most of the above are simple things, but they are things which are not taught it is assumed you either already know them or would soon pick them up. Not the most exiting training i'll grant you but more useful than much of what we do!

    I do apologise if any of you fell asleep while reading this.

    Constructive thoughts are welcome;
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Not picking holes, just trying to be constructive & have to say it makes sense up until "Year 4".

    What's the logic on this- or was it intended as a bit of a light-hearted jape?

    If it's the latter, it's a recognised management ploy in order to get something less contentious accepted by the masses.
  3. Call me old fashioned but a hell of a lot of this could be done in unit on drill nights. Run your building like a ship. Get your people used to the idea. Go back to the age old concept of the "stone frigate". Call the front door the "Gangway". I am sure your building has a broadcast. Then, and I guess this will have to be done centrally, arange week ends on board an alongside warship. This may not have to be in a dock yard, there are port visits all over the country.

    I guess I am just a little shocked and possibly embarrased at the idea that it will take four years to get some one trained up to fill in a log make pipes and stand still with a weapon in the poring rain and keep them enthuisiastic!
  4. Our unit doesnt have a broadcast.

    your last comment implies that it will take four years to train someone to fill a log and make pipes.the first year is basic which everyone has to do. The second is branch qualification which everyone has to do. The first week of the third is a BSSC which everyone has to do. The second week of the third is bring it all together.
  5. Cyprus was announced a few weeks ago on the big bang weekend.

    Acclimatisation training.
  6. "Our unit doesnt have a broadcast. "

    Well install one!
    In days gone by when it was considered a good idea to be able to read morse we installed a mast head signal lamp on the drill deck. We did not have to go to sea for the training!
    I realy don't think all these plans, should be on an open forum any way.

    You are corect in your assumption. You were talking about 4 years not me. As I said before how on earth can you keep people interested if it will take 4 years before they can consider themselves a realy useful sailor. What are we trying to do? Provide a weekly evenings entertainment for Britain's youth or suport the Navy?
  7. Couldnt agree more..we frequently put guys on the gangway (gate) sometimes with weapons (no rounds of course) just to get use to flow of trafic through a gate, holding a weaopn for extended periods of time, checking ID, cursory vehicle searching etc etc...make shift gangways with scenario role playing to test peoples reactions, conflict resolution all done within unit.

    I dont think the problem lies with a structured career path i.e. this must be done in year one, this must be done in year 2 etc etc, I think the difference is made in between the years and what you do at your unit on a drill night and weekend training!. People say you cant get anything done in two hours, personal admin has to be done blah blah blah.....its bollocks.

    I have noticed there seems to be a gulf between the levels of training and experience amongst the regions and units with good practices not being shared or adopted....Many of the points you have raised are just not an issue at our unit, mainly due to excellent PSI's and a couple of keen trained SPO Managers also people passing on operational experience and a good well organised training plan..backed up by a command structure that are prepared to listen....not just for AWFP but for all other areas NGT, NBCD (CBRN as is now)etc etc.
  8. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Having been out of the GSSR / AWFP loop for some time, is there not a career plan laid out in the relevant BR (BR61?) that maps out the route from NE to WO1. The original RNRTM that established GSSR included a scheme not too dissimilar to yours (it did however omit Cyprus!).

    Unfortunately, while proposals such as yours may seem relatively sensible, once the proposal gets into the COMMARES / FLEET system, the bureacracy associated with the preparation of an auditable process (training needs analysis, training design, training delivery, training records, etc) assumes nightmare proportions :( Try and have a word with one of the National / Regional AWFP WOs - they may be more prepared to discuss the realities of the situation than people in SO1 / SO2 jobs.
  9. What I do think would be useful is if the 518..basic wepaon handling was incorporated into NE training at Raleigh. Its only a three day course in the RN and thats filled with more standeasy's than you can swing a stick at..!!

    Especially as there is an NMT school and range on site at Raleigh.!

    Many branches now have APWT etc etc as a part of the training matrix or as an adqual.... The ultimate aim is to get people to TPS and OPS as soon as possible. I could only see this as a plus!
  10. There is also the rumour that all members of the RNR will be weapon trained in the near future and deployed on out of branch responsibilities and deployments.
  11. Chaps,

    While i agree that without a doubt many of the things in there could be done in unit the fact of the matter is in many (not all) cases it isnt happening. One of the reasons this came to light is that some people who have been deployed have not been confident or in some cases had any idea how to do some of the items listed. Not just from my unit but from the whole national AWFP branch.

    I'm not debating how long it should or shouldnt take to get to trained strength. some people can get there in 18 months if they have the time and the courses fall right for them.

    Whilst i would love to turn up at the unit on Thursday evening and install a broadcast system i neither have the authority, knowlege or funds to do so.

    We undertake SPO ex-s as do most units. What i'm talking about is realistic training in a realistic environment seeing how its done day to day. as opposed to being deployed as part of a team for six months and then learning how to do it. Now that Cyprus may be brought into the frame the first time people will be getting to sea these days is year five (based on two weeks ORT a year) unless deployed operationally.

    One week doing the job would, in my opinion at least, give people a much better grounding for progression and doing it with RN as opposed to RNR would give us the chance to see how it is done.
  12. All sounds pretty good that does Trehorn, except for:

    Can't agree with this though - what's the point of acclimatisation if you're going to return to the UK after the 2 weeks
  13. Perhaps in year five the poor things could go to Faslane to be reaclimatised in the UK
  14. Trehorn

    the various issues you identify are generally gained on the job, so you've come up with the right answer inasmuch as the value of actually doing the job on a running ship. The opportunity would also help give some insight into the RN, although I'd question whether one week would offer a great deal of that.

    That said, your training pipeline is far too long, keeping people motivated is an issue. I'm unconvinced that two weeks in Cyp is really justifiable, although I recognise that CMR have recently approved, so it must be a good thing ;)

    However, if the fault is that training is not consistent across units then the answer is to reconcile things there, rather than centralise it. If COs are not delivering continuation training to an appropriate standard then we need to start there, rather than compensate for their weaknesses by adding more hurdles.

    FWIW intruder and bandit exercises in ships are just as artificial as ashore. I was never a big fan of routinised duty watch training, but in a busy ship alongside there is little opportunity to conduct any duty watch training at anything other than the usual time without interupting other activities. More difficult now when the dockyard partnerships have a financial reason to blame ship staff when they fail to meet the contracted delivery milestones.

    In practice the answer is probably to have a closer affiliation with a specific ship, and use the opportunities for weekends as much as possible. I'd argue that a slower drip feed of information and practice in that context is more likely to stick and be second nature when it matters.
  15. Didn't a SR recently announce on a CIS weekend that CIS ratings would no longer be 518 trained?

    I didn't hear it 1st hand but i was told that other SR's were not impressed.
  16. I didnt make this up. It was announced at the big bang weekend in Scotland in early October. Safeguard.
  17. Thanks for the first rational, non-sarcastic response to my proposal. One of the main reasons i came up with this is because i have put my name forward for FOST tanker 3 times to have it cancelled at the last minute. The last time alternative training was arranged at very short notice which, while greatly appreciated, was not much use.

    By sending ratings in smaller groups there is less chance of the training being cancelled due to insufficient numbers, no SR, No platform. The number of ships in port with working duty watch, UDS etc provides more than enough places to train. Turn up with a task book, give it to the duty SR/killick so they know what you need to do/see during the week. My experience of the RN is that if you show an interest they are happy to give you their time and knowledge.

    I agree with the career path being too long. It would be better if the 518 and 547 could be condensed into 1 week, baring in mind that much of the 547 is the same as the 518. Also why can't the BSSC be completed at Raleigh during the 2 weeks initial new entry training. Its always taken a long time to get to trained strength and unfortunately i cant see that changing.
  18. Whilst I like the enthusiastic approach and work you have obviously put in to this Trehorn, and well done for doing so, I would agree with some comments that the training is too long and spread out.

    I am a great believer in condensing training as much as possible to allow for learning subject that are closely linked together and not spend half of your next session going over what you learned last time. There are also many other benefits to intensive training that I'm not going to bore everyone with.

    What about being radical and look at ratings having a mandatory 4-6 week course - subject to the same safeguards as mobilisation - ie it's a requirement not a request/volunteered opportunity which I have gathered on here causes problems for many people.

    If you had a more in depth initial training programme with all the basic fundamentals covered then arguably you would be more use to the fleet much sooner, probably have much better trained and motivated staff and then leave more unit evenings and weekends for specialist/role training.

    Yes I appreciate there is a massive cost implication to the RN, yes I appreciate it is going to be difficult for some people to get time off work and yes I appreciate that unless the training is regularly maintained there is the opportunity for "use it or lose it", but from what little I have gleaned so far, things aren't so great at the moment anyway.

    Just a thought for consideration and views of all.
  19. How about this as a proposal:

    Given that you've all lost the R from you nomenculture how about you adopt RN branch titles such as Seaman Spec, the sub-branch which does gunnery now.

    FP is everybody's responsibility and I think you'll find that everyone from cooks to stokers carry it out in the RN.
  20. Since there appears to be ZERO opportunity to get to sea at the moment i wont be heard complaining if the RNR want to send me to Cyprus for a couple of weeks a year.

    Thanks for some of the input fellas however i would like to stress something one last time.

    I am not saying that the trained strength career path for the AWFP should take four years. What i am saying is that we have to undertake a minimum of 12 days ORT per year. The first year is always Raleigh. The second is branch training. In the case of AWFP this means 518/547. We all have to do BSSC so that is (usually) 1st week of year 3. the other week could be anything from first aid to a week at sea. First aid can be done in unit over weekends. We cant seem to get on the RIB courses. If we get on the GPMG course we cant stay in date for them.

    Why not spend this week on a ship doing the job. My ORT this year has been a complete waste of time. I would have found 2 weeks on board a ship, even alongside, much more useful.

    I 100% agree that it takes far too long to get to trained strength. That is not going to change. What i'm trying to suggest is that as opposed to flogging a dead horse (FOST Tanker), or putting people on ships which do not require AWFP ratings just because they'll take them. why not put them on a ship to do the job they will be expected to do if mobilised. I'm certain that someone who's spent a week doing the job with the RN would be so much better at it than someone who hasn't.

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