Just joined the RFA - few questions for you all

Discussion in 'RFA' started by JMWalton, Aug 6, 2014.

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  1. Hello everyone,

    I'll start with a bit about me
    Been qualified for a while now worked on cruise ships , bulkers and ferrys. Currently a 3/E on a ferry . I've wanted to be in the RFA since qualifying however they were not recruiting at the time. I was going to join the navy when I was younger however I was injured so during my recovery I stated my MN cadetship and the RFA seemed like a good balance between the two.

    I have a good idea of what I'm getting into but only what I've read and been told by old rfa members on my ships. So on with a couple of questions
    How militarized is the rank structure as in yes sir no sir? I take it from what I understand there's no saluting or any of that unless returning one?

    How's the social life does the bar tend to be busy or is everyone stuck to there laptops? On that subject is there any internet access or emails?

    I understand that ill be expected to do a couple more fire fighting and damage control courses with a RN twist, this shouldn't be too diffrent from the advanced stuff I've done and the further stuff I've done with Holland America should it?

    What's the joining procedure like mainly so I know for my first ship?

    What's the work load like , he's ect , who looks after what ? Does everyone do everything?

    Any other tips appreciated

    Thanks for reading
  2. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Another engineer asked a similarly worded question from the position of having taken the job last week. I get the impression that candidates and RFA are currently not checking each other out. Desperation?

    Fire fighting and DC courses are the same as and with the RN. No twist. You may do a further week of training in CBRN with RFA Officers & Senior Rates and occasionally RNR and assorted strays.
  3. Thanks for the reply, I did see the other thread however most of the questions arnt answered there and I have researched and talked to ex rfa on my ship thought this was a good place to ask and clarify some things. I accepted the job a week or so ago, just in the process of leaving my current place and was intrested.

    I do indeed think the rfa are on a massive recruitment drive in fact the card I was given said 'RFA manpower recovery program' I would like to point out I'm not just doing this for the job as I'm actually taking a rather large pay cut but it's something I've wanted to do just haven't had a chance.

    Thanks for clearing up the courses so there basically the RN courses should be interesting. What is CBRN? They also offered my a 8week course at BRNC I'm still considering if I want to do that yet I've been there before albeit as a cadet when younger seem to remember lots of shouting and early morning runs haha
  4. Never mind about cbrn I figured it out as soon as ide wrote it.
  5. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    If you are joining as a 3/O E you'll likely be i/c of a Fire and Repair Party Post, depending on the ship ( and how many billets are gapped ) up to 20 RFA and RN officers and ratings. Most officers call the Captain 'Sir'.

    What's not to like about HAL?
  6. I don't think I've ever seen an engineer salute.

    Bar is often busy, but not everyone partakes. Limited Internet access and e-mails through the official admin computer system. The main limitation is on access to things like your personal webmail, Facebook, etc.

    Turn up with your bags, certificates and uniform.

    3/O(E) looks after auxiliaries (pumps and stuff), STP, RO. Weapons too, but there's a course for that and it's quite unlikely you'll be sent on it before your first trip. That job is supposed to be heading for a PO motorman's billet any time soon...

    2/O(E) (at least two of) tends to be generators and main engine. Deck machinery if there is no 1/O(E). Not on watches if responsible for deck machinery.

    1/O(E) does deck machinery.

    C/O(E) is a manager, does a lot of the stuff the Chief would on a commercial ship, but there is a Chief too. Do you have a "Staff Chief" on HAL ships?
  7. Thanks for the replys much appreciated.

    I currently work for a ferry company but worked for HAL for just over a year, it was okay to begin with but there was a lot of pressure from the office on the chiefs and that fell down hill and ended up working flat out everyday shorter and shorter leave and it just led to a bad atmosphere on the ship in the end it was the worst ship I've worked on, that's not to say all HAL ships are like that as I was on a different one for a trip and that was great.

    Nice to know the bar is busy, what do you mean by restrictions on email ect.?

    Thanks for the list of who does what , yes we did have staff chiefs at HAL, seems a similar system except I had a lot more to look after and it was just me 2nds upwards and some 3rds didn't reli do anything. What does STP stand for separators? Trying to figure it out, I've looked after RO plants before though and went on a makers course so that's a bonus there quite simple. I take it you can get a hand off a motorman if a job requires 2ppl ?

    So as a 3E your in sorts like what I call a section on scene commander .

    Thanks again :) big help
  8. You can send private e-mails through the official system, but you can't access personal webmail like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo. Or Facebook. In general you cannot access webpages where you might send information out.

    Sewage treatment plant. You've just reminded me that purifiers are another 3/O job.

    Yes! There are usually at least a couple of daywork MM and several POs.

    IC FRPP is unlikely to get near the scene unless an incident occurs right at his post. It's more about coordinating personnel and equipment/resources which you send off to the scene. Changes a little at Action Stations (or whatever we call it this week) when you have more autonomy, are expected to use initiative, and your immediate subordinates can be IC at the scene of an incident.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  9. Thanks again for the replys,

    Shi# plant makes sense now, how many 3/O is there? I hope not just one or it could be quite busy come intermediate overhauls and what have you especially if they come up at a similar time. What sort of hours/watches do you do?

    Thanks for clarification on the internet, so basically you can only send emails ect through the official computer. Bit of a shame I can't access my Gmail ect. But I suppose that's part and parcel although I don't see what I could send out that would be damaging.

    Do we get involved in the RAS's or any other things around the ship or just stay down below? Could be interesting to do other things.

    The fire fighting / DC makes sense now thanks for the clarification.

    How long have you been in the RFA for now?
  10. This thread could possibly copied and put in a sticky thread there's a lot of useful information in here that would be handy to anyone in my position :)
  11. 2 to 4 depending on size of ship and nature of task. If deployed away from UK one 3/O is usually daywork weapon maintainer, otherwise expect to be on watches unless UMS. Normal 4hrs on, 8hrs off watches, with additional work and exercises.

    Deck engineer and Chief are on deck for RAS, but otherwise no.
  12. Expect to meet two mad Med Techs who will assuage your fear of heights by talking about jellyfish!

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