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RASing/Seamen Spec's - the view from the other side

Scud

Badgeman
Having just come back from a trip involving quite a few RAS's with various different FF/DDs, I have to say I've been slightly surprised at the lack of knowledge displayed by those on Pusser's finest at the moment.

It seems to us watching from the other side (and backed up by bar conversations) that FF's/DD's seem to just have the one Seaman Spec who does absolutely everything during a RAS, with the deck gang being essentially just a manpower pool. For example, seeing 8 sailors struggling with a crate of 4.5in because they couldn't quite figure out that you had to take the brake off a palette truck, or the bloke tailing the winch unable to figure out how and when to take up or check away on the outhaul.

I appreciate the recreation of the Seaman spec branch is an attempt to combat this, but would be interested to hear responses as to how it looks from the side of our 'customers'.
 

TheCommunicator

Lantern Swinger
Scud said:
I appreciate the recreation of the Seaman spec branch is an attempt to combat this, but would be interested to hear responses as to how it looks from the side of our 'customers'.

I don't think this is the case, the new branch is merging the Specs with the tactical side of the Communicators. This will mean that ras parties are identical to those now but during a RAS the extra specs will be manning the bridge and signal deck in addition to the PO and LS who are already carrying out the RAS. The "Deck gang" as you call them will remain the mixture of Logs, ME and Warfare it is currently but the Warfare will probably be replaced by ET(WE) (WEMs in old money)
 

Gino

Badgeman
Scud said:
Having just come back from a trip involving quite a few RAS's with various different FF/DDs, I have to say I've been slightly surprised at the lack of knowledge displayed by those on Pusser's finest at the moment.

It seems to us watching from the other side (and backed up by bar conversations) that FF's/DD's seem to just have the one Seaman Spec who does absolutely everything during a RAS, with the deck gang being essentially just a manpower pool. For example, seeing 8 sailors struggling with a crate of 4.5in because they couldn't quite figure out that you had to take the brake off a palette truck, or the bloke tailing the winch unable to figure out how and when to take up or check away on the outhaul.

I appreciate the recreation of the Seaman spec branch is an attempt to combat this, but would be interested to hear responses as to how it looks from the side of our 'customers'.
In the Canadian Navy, we have maintained a seamanship specialist trade called Boatswain since 1960, and I have always been surprised when I learn that other navies have done away with this. They are the experts in operating and maintaining all seamanship/RAS eqpt, small boats, rigging, ship's husbandry, small arms, demolitions, stand watch on deck and are in charge of parade training. Although all sailors are seamen first, having this body of (approx 15 in a FFH) of specialists in a ship goes a long way toward ensuring that dangerous evolutions, like RASing, are conducted in the safest and most efficient manner possible. If the RN is reintroducing a seaman branch, I'll bet you have discovered the truth in this to your dismay.
 
Scud said:
FF's/DD's seem to just have the one Seaman Spec who does absolutely everything during a RAS, with the deck gang being essentially just a manpower pool..
In some cases you are not wrong, they can drag people in from all over the place to make up numbers on a ras, like any team in any evolution it takes training to get it right, maybe you witnessed a new team ..
Also, RN matelots have many jobs to do and doing a ras is a small part of that, as opposed to the merchant "navy", who specilise in doing such tasks.
 
B****dy RAS's - some of you guys had it easy getting it on board - we dusties spent the rest of the time putting it away.

And the night ras's were the pits !! we were still beavering away when everyone else, but the night steaming watch, were zedding merrily - and we still had to turn to at normal time.

As for pallet trucks? didn't have them, in our day we had brawn ! - unless the ras party were the smallest guys on board, and generally the youngest too!

I think the most popular RAS was the naafi beer drop (in more ways than one!!) - quite a few cases were 'damaged', and the canman occasionally allowed a few cans to be supped.
 

poshbloke

Newbie
Lingyai
Why do you think RFA seamen just do one thing all day? We've got about 15 jobs too. They don't just get employed to do RAS's and that's it!

And what's the meaning of the brackets around Navy??
 
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