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RN manpower crisis - what can the RNR do?

Sparkplug

Lantern Swinger
Following on from the OPV thread, what if anything can the RNR do to alleviate the RN manpower crisis? I am not thinking of constant deployments, or of trying to replicate the RN branch structure, but surely it should be possible to provide a pool of personnel for what might be turned general duties* aboard ships in UK home waters so that people can get harmony time or attend career courses?

I am thinking of things that would probably need totally rethinking the current RNR set up, but with up to a thousand new people being recruited....

* Surely Sea(Res) could do seamanship stuff, ships's husbandry, upper deck sentry etc, Loggies could be used by the Logistics department, CIS could augment the MCO watchkeepers, etc. The RNR has only recently started having Engineers again, but could qualified or experienced Engineers/Technicians/etc from Civvy Street not undergo some familiarisation training and do work under the supervision of of the ME/WE departments? It seems odd that the RNR cannot utilise the skills of somebody who works for Rolls Royce or Babcock on propulsion systems, or somebody who works for BAE Systems or Thales on sensors/weapons?

Why can the RNR not be used to add value to ships in the same way the Air Branch provides personnel to add value to Naval Air Squadrons? What sense does it make to expand RNR numbers in branches that exist to support deployed ships at a time when those ships are declining in number?
 
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instinct

Lantern Swinger
Following on from the OPV thread, what if anything can the RNR do to alleviate the RN manpower crisis? I am not thinking of constant deployments, or of trying to replicate the RN branch structure, but surely it should be possible to provide a pool of personnel for what might be turned general duties* aboard ships in UK home waters so that people can get harmony time or attend career courses?

I am thinking of things than would probably need totally rethinking the current RNR set up, but with up to a thousand new people being recruited.

* Surely Sea(Res) could do seamanship stuff, ships's husbandry, upper deck sentry etc, Loggies could be used by the Logistics department, CIS could augment the MCO watchkeepers, etc. The RNR has only recently started having Engineers again, but could qualified or experienced Engineers/Technicians/etc from Civvy Street not undergo some familiarisation training and do work under the supervision of of the ME/WE departments? It seems odd that the RNR cannot utilise the skills of somebody who works for Rolls Royce or Babcock on propulsion systems, or somebody who works for BAE Systems or Thales on sensors/weapons?

Why can the RNR not be used to add value to ships in the same way the Air Branch provides personnel to add value to Naval Air Squadrons? What sense does it make to expand RNR numbers in branches that exist to support deployed ships at a time when those ships are declining in number?
I would say they are slowly getting like that. I did CBRNDC Cover on a P2000 that otherwise wouldn't have been able to leave the wall (small fry I know). I know people that have helped on BOST's on 23's as extra manpower and people on FTRS's as Seamen on OPV's that are short on them. I believe a bunch of people are going to go out to a 23 to take it home while some regulars fly home for leave.

Dont forget that you still have a load of regulars that think the RNR are a bunch of useless w*****s that cant be trusted with a chipping hammer. The head shed seem against anyone doing anything unless they have done the regular length one no matter the fact that they are often 3 day course squeezed into 2 weeks.

The engineering branch is only for ex regulars at the moment. Where that will go in the future i have to admit i have no idea.
 

Sparkplug

Lantern Swinger
I believe a bunch of people are going to go out to a 23 to take it home while some regulars fly home for leave.

The RNR used to do that all the time. Not too long after the Raleigh course I found myself aboard a homebound Type 42, doing seamanship and part of ship tasks despite not having having done the seamanship course.

Dont forget that you still have a load of regulars that think the RNR are a bunch of useless w*****s that cant be trusted with a chipping hammer. The head shed seem against anyone doing anything unless they have done the regular length one no matter the fact that they are often 3 day course squeezed into 2 weeks.

Not helped by the RNR heirachy in my opinion.

The engineering branch is only for ex regulars at the moment. Where that will go in the future i have to admit i have no idea.

Behind the curve compared to the Air branch.
 

instinct

Lantern Swinger
The RNR used to do that all the time. Not too long after the Raleigh course I found myself aboard a homebound Type 42, doing seamanship and part of ship tasks despite not having having done the seamanship course.



Not helped by the RNR heirachy in my opinion.



Behind the curve compared to the Air branch.
Well the RNR does go full circle depending on whos had the latest good idea. Not helped by the Sea Res Branches jaunt into thinking its the Royal Naval Division circa 1915 so sod all the seaman stuff.

I wouldn't be surprised. Hopefully the increasing of the RNR's importance will help but they are anything but flexible.

I would say the Airbranch is its own little world and has almost no contact with the rest of the RNR so not much get transferred across. But the engineering branch does appear to be shaped in the Air Branches image.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
Its a good idea = the issue is twofold. Firstly getting the RNR to have sufficient currency that they are of credible value onboard. This takes time and training - trying to get RNR on training courses can be a challenge.

Secondly you need to ensure the person arrives and is able to hold their own, and is given credible work to do. Then you need on their return to keep them trained to a level that they remain credible and can go back.

Finally you need to consider what to do when Person X jacks it in leaving the RN and RNR in the lurch and a looming gap.

Definitely should be looked at, but needs to be realistic about what someone who is a very part time worker can acheive can do in just 2 weeks and whether the cost / training need makes it economical / effective for the output likely to be achieved.
 
Gents, as a reg, I'm not too sure on how the RNR really works, but if we leave the RN early before our 22 or what ever it is the sprogs sign up for these days, don't we have a reserve liability? What's to stop the government from saying "right Mr Smith, you left the RN after 4 years and you said you'd do 22, for the next x amount of time, we're caling you back to help us out!"?
 

instinct

Lantern Swinger
Well the RNR does go full circle depending on whos had the latest good idea.

I wouldn't be surprised. Hopefully the increasing of the RNR's importance will help but they are anything but flexible.

I would say the Airbranch is its own little world and has almost no contact with the rest of the RNR so not much get transferred across. But the engineering branch does appear to be shaped in the Air Branches image.
Gents, as a reg, I'm not too sure on how the RNR really works, but if we leave the RN early before our 22 or what ever it is the sprogs sign up for these days, don't we have a reserve liability? What's to stop the government from saying "right Mr Smith, you left the RN after 4 years and you said you'd do 22, for the next x amount of time, we're caling you back to help us out!"?
A mixture of it being a total cluster when they tried to use the regular reserve in 03(?) and probably understand that the volunteer is worth ten pressed men.
 

instinct

Lantern Swinger
Its a good idea = the issue is twofold. Firstly getting the RNR to have sufficient currency that they are of credible value onboard. This takes time and training - trying to get RNR on training courses can be a challenge.

Secondly you need to ensure the person arrives and is able to hold their own, and is given credible work to do. Then you need on their return to keep them trained to a level that they remain credible and can go back.

Finally you need to consider what to do when Person X jacks it in leaving the RN and RNR in the lurch and a looming gap.

Definitely should be looked at, but needs to be realistic about what someone who is a very part time worker can acheive can do in just 2 weeks and whether the cost / training need makes it economical / effective for the output likely to be achieved.
Id say alot more is capable with instructors that are motivated and understand the way the RNR works. Two OPV's (one for each end of the country) with a nucleus of experienced regular or FTRS reserves (and even part time experianced reserves) could have people trained to exceptional standards! My two weeks Sea time as an AB2 involved a reasonable amount of chipping, a tiny amount of ropework and lot's of playing Call of Duty in the mess. The RNR is an amazing resource but the RN (and RNR Hierarchy) are too inflexible make best use of them.

On the Flip side the RNR at all levels needs to be able to be held accountable if it is acting unprofessionally. But it very rarely is.
 
A mixture of it being a total cluster when they tried to use the regular reserve in 03(?) and probably understand that the volunteer is worth ten pressed men.

But surely a pressed man is worth more than non?

Maybe not use those that leave in a part time way, but called back to do deployments, short engagement style, we all said we agreed to become reg-reserves if we left early, we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if we complain and refuse to work? Otherwise what is the point in reg-reserves at all if the MoD is going to go to America or other foreign navies for loans of personnel?

Another way of doing things maybe is like the marines do with DSSing people into branches / trades that are gapped for x amount of time on the promise that if they do, after that time has passed, they could jump into any branch they want to be in?
 

danny

War Hero
But surely a pressed man is worth more than non?

Maybe not use those that leave in a part time way, but called back to do deployments, short engagement style, we all said we agreed to become reg-reserves if we left early, we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if we complain and refuse to work? Otherwise what is the point in reg-reserves at all if the MoD is going to go to America or other foreign navies for loans of personnel?

Another way of doing things maybe is like the marines do with DSSing people into branches / trades that are gapped for x amount of time on the promise that if they do, after that time has passed, they could jump into any branch they want to be in?

I would like to see the shit storm kicked up if they tried to mobilise regular reserves due to the fact the government has failed to run the service correctly.
 
What's to stop the government from saying "right Mr Smith, you left the RN after 4 years and you said you'd do 22, for the next x amount of time, we're caling you back to help us out!"?
Having had a quick flick through RFA96, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/14/pdfs/ukpga_19960014_en.pdf , it looks to me like they simply can't, unless said ex-matelot has entered into a "special agreement". It doesn't make clear just what a "special agreement" is, though, so if we've got a legal eagle watching, maybe they could chip in.
 

jrwlynch

Lantern Swinger
Maybe not use those that leave in a part time way, but called back to do deployments, short engagement style, we all said we agreed to become reg-reserves if we left early, we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if we complain and refuse to work? Otherwise what is the point in reg-reserves at all if the MoD is going to go to America or other foreign navies for loans of personnel?

The Army tried to use the Regular Reserves for GRANBY; they got less than one soldier turning up for every ten recall letters sent out. They tried the TA, and got nine soldiers for every ten letters sent out. As a result, the Regular Reserve concept has pretty much died for all practical purposes. It's not even on JPA and the database isn't maintained, apparently (and they can't just look up pension details - data protection laws)

You don't even need to overtly refuse to go: just be so keen about getting back to military fitness that in the runup to your rejoining, as part of your rigorous workout regime you take some of those sports supplements that burn fat and build muscle... and fail your CDT.

In any case, from personal experience of "you may have qualified on that a few years ago but that doesn't count, you've got to start from scratch now", how much do you actually save by dragging someone back after a few years out?
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
My two weeks Sea time as an AB2 involved a reasonable amount of chipping, a tiny amount of ropework and lot's of playing Call of Duty in the mess. The RNR is an amazing resource but the RN (and RNR Hierarchy) are too inflexible make best use of them.

As an AB2 I think they probably got about as much out of you as they could in two weeks and therein is the issue with the Reserve concept in an ever more technically demanding service, you need to train and up skills people to make use of them and that takes time and commitment that the bulk simply can't afford to give up.

How long would it take to grow a MR CPOAWWT? or an MR CPOET(ME)?

Been here before, and no dis-respect to MR, but it takes too long to generate trained personnel you can use. We have to be in it for the long game and I don't think we've worked that out yet.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Following on from the OPV thread, what if anything can the RNR do to alleviate the RN manpower crisis?............. It seems odd that the RNR cannot utilise the skills of somebody who works for Rolls Royce or Babcock on propulsion systems, or somebody who works for BAE Systems or Thales on sensors/weapons?

This certainly happened in the past. I worked for a part of Big And Expensive that was involved in RN T42 and CVS Support. We also 'helped out' on other tasks. As an ex submariner I was once 'selected' to do some mods for the chaps on a boat. A civvy doing mods????

But the clincher and in response to the OP's post is that at one stage I was seconded into a full time RN post within a high profile RN unit. I then travelled the country going onboard RN vessels to do my work. It was a jolly wheeze for me as a sundodger! I was used to staying in hotels!! I was even asked back for a second time and eventually offered a full time post - I had to decline as the money was crap. This was a job that could and should have been performed by a serving WEA RN CPO/WO, so not brain surgerey.

During this secondment I knew what BAE were charging th RN for my services and I know how much I was being paid. There was a slight disparity!

I'd be surprised if it didn't still happen.
 

babygravy

Lantern Swinger
Having had a quick flick through RFA96, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/14/pdfs/ukpga_19960014_en.pdf , it looks to me like they simply can't, unless said ex-matelot has entered into a "special agreement". It doesn't make clear just what a "special agreement" is, though, so if we've got a legal eagle watching, maybe they could chip in.

I think they can if they can argue national security is a risk (which they could say is British Muslims going to Syria, and coming back with IS training)

Essentially, after the big redundancies and mass exodus of matelots that followed, they still in theory have a big pool of manpower they can dip into for free!

On a side note, to those that have left recently, has anyone received letters asking to either rejoin the FTRS, or rejoin the RN for another couple of years for a lump sum of taxed money?
 

danny

War Hero
I think they can if they can argue national security is a risk (which they could say is British Muslims going to Syria, and coming back with IS training)

Essentially, after the big redundancies and mass exodus of matelots that followed, they still in theory have a big pool of manpower they can dip into for free!

On a side note, to those that have left recently, has anyone received letters asking to either rejoin the FTRS, or rejoin the RN for another couple of years for a lump sum of taxed money?


Submariner WE SRs have had letters offering them £50,000 for five years (taxed) the same as serving members.
I have seen a fair number of these videos shredded on facebook laughs and four letter expletives shouted.

I don't see regulars getting recalled for the current threat.
Imagine loving fathers and mothers who proudly served their country being forced away from young children and back in to service. These photos and interviews would not go down well with any political party.
 
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babygravy

Lantern Swinger
I thought they recalled RN ex-regulars for the Iraq invasion in the early noughties? That was when they had better manpower too!

We'll soon see if/when the campaign evolves beyond just air-raids...
 

danny

War Hero
the armed forces weren't publicly held in such high regard as they are now though, there's not even the will to bomb Syria never mind recall people. I can't see anyway it would happen unless there were so serious ISIS attacks in the UK first.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
the armed forces weren't publicly held in such high regard as they are now though, there's not even the will to bomb Syria never mind recall people. I can't see anyway it would happen unless there were so serious ISIS attacks in the UK first.

Different kettle of fish, all sorts of legal/political reasons why we haven't signed up to that as yet.
 
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