CIS specialisation - an update

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by FlagWagger, Jan 25, 2007.

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  1. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    What does CIS do in the RNR?

    After a relatively short gestation period (compared to GSSR... :wink: ), the CIS specialisation in the RNR recently published its organisation which identifies the three main areas in which RNR CIS ratings will be employed. The three operational areas are:

    1. MCM FSU - a number of teams comprising 2 x Senior Rates, 2 x LHs and up to 6 ABs have been identified; these teams will operate the FSU CIS module supporting MCMV operations.

    2. RFA - several teams, each made up of 1 x SR, 1-2 x LHs supported by 5-6 ABs will provide a dedicated resource to support the RFA in sea-going roles.

    These preceding roles are very similar to that previously carried out by the RNR Comms rating in times gone by. In addition, the RNR rating will in future carry out a new role:

    3. Strategic - Teams led by an Officer of SO2 rank supported by 2 further SO2/3, 2 SRs (CPO and/or PO) plus a LH and AB will support the CIS provision within the MARBATSTAFFS, JFHQ J6 JFCIS/JTNETCEN, DCSA/ GOSCC environments. In this role you're likely to end up wearing green like our GSSR brethren and work alongside the Pongoes, Crabs - an extremely interesting experience! :)

    Appropriate training and ORT is being identified for each team and the intention is that the teams will train together and work together, however flexibility will also be key (rigid flexibility?) and the teams are by no means fixed or indeed permanent.

    An interesting time in the CIS world that will hopefully give our regular counterparts visibility of other non-SPO jobs that the RNR can do!
  2. are you sure you should be publishing this info on such a public forum ???
    what happened to opsec
  3. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    It's been published in an unclassified email to all people currently in the CIS specialisation - one of the problems that we have in CIS is a complete lack of visibility of what we do, this seems the ideal opportunity to let people know that the RNR does more than just SPO teams.

  4. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm intrigued, where is the requirement for this, in any of these areas. We work across all of them and I can't see where COMMARRES has dreamt this up from.

    - JFCIS/JtNETCEN are all FLC driven and JOINT is the key!
    - DCSA/GOSCC - why do they need an RNR input?
    - JTFHQ J6, already have team plus are supported by 30SR!
    - MARBATSTAFF - possibly

    Sounds very much like someone dreaming up a solution and looking for a requirement. In many of these areas they are actively looking to drive down numbers not increase them.

    If the teams aren't permanent how do they gain and keep their systems skills? These areas all tend to use quite specific systems which have a heavy training bill.
  5. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    These requirements have been driven from outside COMMARES - perhaps using RNR to augment these roles could be seen by FLEET as a cost-effective solution to reducing the permanent regular cadre doing these jobs.

    Taking two specific items from the list; I know that there are RNR on FTRS within MARBATSTAFF - could this role in future be a carried out by a combination of regular/FTRS and augmentees rather than a permanent staff? From the JtNETCEN/JTFHQ perspective, I know 30SR support these functions - however they are in the dark about maritime communications and have used RN/RNR in the past in liason roles within the RCP (JV04 - in the JtNETCEN, the RN liason was provided by 1 x S/Lt RNR, 1 x CPO RNR and 1 x PO RNR with a few RN/RNR SO2s performing other roles withjin the organisation).

    By smart use of an RNR rating's non-service experience - many forget that the RNR has a real job that also provides a degree of training and experience in addition to their service role. QUite a number of people in the RNR have civilian computer system admin/design skills that far outweigh those of their service counterparts - the concepts underpinning these roles are the same irrespective of whether your're wearing C95s or civvies.
  6. I understand that the 3 operational areas were identified by the FE. The FSU and RFA jobs are basically old-fashioned Sparker roles and the relevant training is being delivered.

    The "Strategic" role is new and not fully defined yet. The DCSA/GOSC bit is, I think, for familiarisation rather than an operational role (but I could be wrong). The rest of it is likely to draw on civilian skills (if you are a network architect in your real job then military networks are nothing new)combined with a knowlege of maritime comms.
  7. The roles in the GOSCC are support to operations so need both technical skills and an understanding of military operations in the round. The watchkeepers support all military comms and so are made up of a mix of uniforms.

    There is also a small deployable element which is predominantly technician skills rather than sparker but they frequently visit ships as well as land-rovers in the desert.

    JtNETCEN is similar in terms of requirement, standfast the mobile capability.

    The capacity is fixed and needs to be enhanced at times, I won't go into their scaling. Manning is quite heavily dark blue and the GOSCC CO is a greenie Captain.
  8. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm hugely unconvinced.

    The JFCIS/JtNETCEN are Joint capabilities and are manned by FLCs. Given their current locations in the respective Th of operations, they have almost nil maritime input or even requirement (yes, TELIC does but it is in essence still a LAND centric operation). It isn't a particular SR that takes on support of these - in fact it is a Signal Bde on rotation. With the reference to JV, using Reservists to man an exercise is not akin to doing the same thing operationally.

    With an increasing, and sensible, emphasis on Jointery, we should push for Regular and Reserve forces to work on Joint Operations - some were in AFG last year and I enjoyed working with them. They do have limits though, they are useful in very specific niches (IMHO).

    Again with JTFHQ/J6, their Close Support Squadron comes from 30SR (although in time it may rotate back to 2SR). I don't see any need for a maritime input in fact I would guarantee fierce opposition from the RSigs to even that suggestion.

    I see the rationale but I think FW is over estimating the ability of people. There is no way on gods earth I would let people manage some of the systems we deploy and support if they weren't full time. Great they may be CCNA, MCSE, ORACLE, MS, SUN, HP gurus' its irrelevant, if they don't have the continual hands on time managing, supporting and developing the systems they are more of a hinderance. That they work in a major multinational corporate and singlehandedly deisgned and built corporate message and HR systems out of matchsticks and still manage to attend the Reserves too is great, but largely irrelevant.

    I like the comment about the SPO teams too, from other (RNR led) threads that doesn't even seem to be a delivered capability.

    I standby for a flame.....
  9. The uniformed element within the GOSCC don't do network management, in ITIL terms they do incident and problem management.

    JFCIS similarly don't manage networks although the JtNETCEN do, since we don't know how people would be employed then we can't say which jobs they can or can't do. But if you look at the team structure for the Strat function, these are not people who will be sitting in front of a terminal and managing the network.

    I'll admit to an involvement, I was part of the team which set up the first JFCIS, of CJCCC as it was at the time, before TELIC.

    And I strongly disagree that Joint means that we, the RN in general, can distance ourselves from the capability, in the current political climate I think that would be a mistake.
  10. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    JV04 was a proof of concept (I understand), e.g. could RNR carry out the Dark-Blue liaison role.

    I am actually in partial agreement with you here, but feel that writing off civvy experience without giving it due consideration is as foolish as the assumption of some in the RNR that civvy experience is all that is required nor do I subscribe to the idea RNR CIS will be able to provide the RN with "IT-Hit-Squads" able to solve all a units IT/IS problems at the stroke of a pen (and clear buildings with a single bound!). Personally, I expect an RNR rating with civilian IT experience to be able to do a meaningful role and provide the services with cheap manpower (i.e. requiring minimal training) - it will however require commitment from both sides to make it work properly.

    I welcome constructive thought-out comments on the employment of CIS ratings; in honesty, its better feedback than I received from anyone in my previous 18 months in a CIS co-ordination role! I'll pass these back to the current incumbents in CIS for their flame generator to process :)
  11. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I think that 600Tp and the network management staffs would disagree. Although in fairness to you a large degree is provided by civilian delivery partners, the uniforms push them to achieve what they require.

    The JFCIS/NETCEN construct is evolving - in HERRICK they are now one, colocated (at last), and working as a plans, ops and projects organisation. The DCSA forward people work primarily in JFCIS Ops because they are delivering, there are also some there on the projects co-ordinating future installations.

    Didn't think I said that in fact I am sure I said the opposite, the RN is in danger of losing out if it succumbs to a "I must fill my core gaps first, before I look at the Joint/CAPPS plot"
  12. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm not writing off civvie experience, far from it. I actually was an RNR for 4 years and have worked in CIS for nigh on 20 years, and have had on many occassions significant involvement with the RNR. I am far from an RNR basher, even though I am strongly opposed to losing the 'R'..... :evil:

    It comes down to the ability to generate a continual capability - that means all the Lines of Development are covered. Let's take JTFHQ or JFCIS; Unless a cadre of individuals could be formed who committed to training with the systems they would be expected to support and regularly achieved that , I just don't think they would be accepted nor would they manage in what are hugely dynamic environments. You also have to factor in that a lot of the infrastructure and technologies we operate are 'obsolete'/'legacy' and there is also a lot of bespoke middleware. Trust me I am up to my neck in it most days....

    It's not that individuals would not be capable, I do not believe that the RNR can consistently generate the people. There are I accept always the die hards, the core, but then you need to get them trained and that will mean pulling them all over the UK even before OPTAG and deployments are considered.

    I think there is far more potential for RNR CIS to emulate RN CIS and operate within that sphere. Perhaps when we achieve a common infrastructure (DII F/FD) that could be when RNR CIS expand because if you can support one, you can support them all.

    There is also another fly in the concept - the 1* '6' community has decided that ICS systems support should be undertaken by three units; 90SU (RAF TCW in new money), USSO (Land trying to take over) and FLEET ISSU (actually not doing a great deal). There is another CIS Support Unit, who specialise in SECRET and A/SECRET deployed CIS support - DCSA Deployable Support Group but they could wither when DII/FD is rolled out, shame as they seem to actually do the job well.
  13. CIS has the opportunity to become a fuller part of the RN CIS teams, through reducing numbers and increasing demands. Listen for the update from MERWEX...

    This is no made up requirement from CMR, with opportunities ashore and afloat, this recently developed sub-specialisation ought to provide plenty of demanding and interesting opportunities.
  14. CIS interests me: is it possible to transfer to this branch, given that I have no previous full time RN experience in it?
  15. Wave Dodger is correct that a part timer is no match for regular staff in operating and maintaining live military systems, but where the civilian IT skills come to fore is in helping the military do those shi**y little system maintenance jobs that the regulars do not have either the time, inclination or ability to perform....

    Tales of woe from Regulars charged with maintaining flat top IS systems shows this everytime. Cdr WE to LH(CIS); "what do you mean my roaming profile has hindered mine and everybody else's log on ? You have done the course man, sort my fricking workstation out by stand easy".

    A couples of weeks at DCCIS does not a IT Admin make. And when Jack gets to sea to use these new skills, skill-fade means he has forgotten most of it !!!

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