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Deck Operations: merging Boatswain, Steward and the visual signalling part of Naval Communication (f

Lumber

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ModlrMike said:
Yes, NPFAO is not necessarily a full time job, but there's more to NPF. You have the warehouse manager, and three bar managers as well. There's more to NPF than just handling the money, someone has to handle the stuff, and they probably shouldn't be the same person.

We have three bar managers, a warehouse manager, an NPF Clerk, an NPF Manager, and an NPF Admin Officer. The LogO doesn't technically fall within the NPF org, but because he's the NPFAO's direct supervisor in all other matters, he takes a bit of the buck, and then the buck stops with the CO.

All of these are secondary duties. However, as the NPFAO is a Class-A member, it's sort of become their "full time" job at the unit, because they don't have time for much else. They're new, so half their time is spent learning, and the other half doing, so maybe it won't be the only thing they do after they've figured it all out.
 

mariomike

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Halifax Tar said:
So deck apes, signalers and waiters all smashed together... This makes sense.  I smell empire protection...

:)
 

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Halifax Tar

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Having found out a little more info on this it actually isn't that bad. 

It's still very much just a concept and under review or study so this is all just an idea so far.

Basically the idea looks like this:

1) food service tasks will go to the Cooks (e.g. Wardroom pantry will be staffed by a cook);

2) NPF accounting tasks will go to the FSA (new fin clerks) - ship board FSAs will need a sub-specialty course for ships' NPF, but the FSA community is already going to be trained in general NPF accounting;

3)  the SYO will have to take more active role in hospitality and protocol (the wise ones already do);

4)  an expanded cafeteria party will take on responsibility for the Wardroom (under the supervision of the Chief Cook), in much the same way as they currently look after the C&POs mess (officers will likely be expected to go to the window to pick up their meals though);

5)  the Chief Cook will likely be tasked with ensuring that the Captain gets fed (i.e. a cook will be tasked to do it); and

6)  NPF Exchange/Warehousing will likely go to the Sup Techs.  Sup Techs are already trained in warehousing and stock management, but will require specialty training to be able to take this on (e.g. duty-free aspect, retail value, etc). 

The NavComs hand viz sigs (flags and lights) to the deck dept and first aid, casualty clearing and force pro would become core boatswain competencies.

Other than losing the viz sigs the NavComs carry on their merry way. 

All in all I like it.  I think it helps the Deck Dept, who I believe many saw as unnecessary middle men, reassert their trade and the NPF is well spread out to Stores and Fin. 

I will say I would have like to have seen the Jr STWD billets be divided to the different departments on the ship and each dept would get its own 00168 SupTech to be their Dept Storesman.  But that I think was always a pipe dream.
 

Pusser

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FSTO said:
Well since we lost all our qualified Supply Officers last year, I was handled the mantle.

So, since then we have passed all inspections and haven't lost any NPF money, so that proves that Supply should be just another career stream for MARS, right?  >:D

(Now waiting for the totally deserved flying elbow smash from the top rope from Pusser! LOL!)

Just so you know, I'm a big boy and a front row rugby player with the scars to prove it.  My flying elbow would hurt!

Nevertheless, here's how the NPF world actually works.  NPF is not overly difficult, but it can be complex.  There are a lot of regulations that need to be followed.  Most of these regulations are the result of various folks in past having done things less than honest or appropriate with people's money.  Remember that this is OUR money, not the Queen's (as if it's OK to embezzle from the Queen - we shouldn't.  She's a nice lady, like your grandmother.  You wouldn't rip off your grandmother would you?).  Anyway, the ships that don't have stewards and LogOs (e.g. submarines, MCDVs) have supporting units that do.  The supporting units look after the more complex NPF accounting issues on their behalf and the "non self-accounting units" are issued "super-imprests" (my term), which keep things on board pretty simple.  Nevertheless, the supporting LogO will still spend a lot of time chasing down and sorting out issues caused on board.  It gets interesting sometimes and when I did it, I was constantly amazed at some of the schemes cooked up by the units I was supporting. "It seemed logical at the time," is not necessarily the best way to run the show...

This system for supporting non self-accounting units works because we make it work, not because it's the best or most efficient way to do business.  The "supply" officer in submarines is usually the junior officer who wasn't in the room when the secondary duties were divvied up and in the MCDVs, it's the XO, who in my opinion is too busy being second in command to be doing this job effectively.  Both scenarios provide different challenges.
 

Good2Golf

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So who would serve the Lobster Thermidore on the Challenger jets, then?
 

dapaterson

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Good2Golf said:
So who would serve the Lobster Thermidore on the Challenger jets, then?

Flight attendants, as we have now - ATR positions that get an aircrew medical & specialist training.
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
Flight attendants, as we have now - ATR positions that get an aircrew medical & specialist training.

Or...start/re-start the Flight Attendant trade  :nod:
 

Gorgo

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Oi, there's such a thing as too much amalgamation here!

Shades of 1968...!
 

Stoker

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There's wholesale change going on in the Navy right now, from uniforms,traditions,ceremonial, trades, the way we fight fires, stand watches, man ships, allowances, you name it. Nothing is being overlooked. When we finally get new ships it certainly will be a different navy.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I am definitely ok with losing table service in the Wardroom. We did that in ALGONQUIN when we had a shortage of Stewards and everyone raved about how much better the meal flow went.

As for the other trade amalgamations- it has to happen. The ships that are coming down the pipe have different technological challenges and different staffing assumptions than we are currently used to having.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I don't see this move as "merging" of trades as much as a re-definition of trades area of responsibility, accompanied by the elimination of the the Steward trade itself.

From what I read on the topic, stewards will disappear, with their various functions redistributed in various other trades, depending on the nature of such task. Ultimately, other than losing table service in the wardroom and some professional assistance in diplomatic functions, there should be no loss of functions.

As for Navcoms, the trade will remain, with the difference that they will now deal almost exclusively with what used to be the "radiomen" side of the job, i.e. manning and operating all of the non-line-of-sight communication systems and keeping the communication records of the ship.

As for the Bosn, the addition of the upper deck communications is not necessarily that much of a stretch. First of all, the actual use of signalling flags has greatly decreased to the point where they are now almost only used for ceremonial reasons or for very close operations, such as RAS. I mean, when was the last time any one saw OOW maneuvers done by flag hoist or a ship at anchor actually using flags for a boat recall of sorts, instead of using the PRC's? There is still flashing light used but even that is decreasing.

Now, since the bosn have started working mostly on the bridge (unlike the days of the steamers,  when the wheelhouse was below decks - at midship on 2 deck, between regulating flats and the galley, for those unfamiliar) most of the bosn have developed enough of an understanding of tactical voice comms to pretty well know what maneuver was coming up and what helm/engine order to expect just by hearing the signals out loud on the bridge - the better ones could even spot that the OOW was making a mistake and bring it to their attention. So again here, it is not much of a stretch to train bosn in the whole tactical/bridge communication aspect of things.

Personally, I am a lot more worried about the amalgamation of the engineering trades. 
 

SeaKingTacco

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I am less and less worried about the engineering trades. To me, the propulsion and electrical systems of a ship are going to become so intertwined, the stoker/electrician divide no longer makes sense. That and the fact that staffing is going down, everyone will have to know a little about everything- sort of like a submarine.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It's the Hull techs that worry me. I think after the amalgamation, people will realize just how important they are to the day to day maintenance of everything structural onboard and how much, compared to the mechanics and electricians, their trade has an, I would say almost artistic skill set that requires a lot of fine skills that are difficult to master and maintain. I mean the electrician deals with wires and parts that are standard - always the same shape and form, it's a matter of connecting them and installing them properly. The mechanics work on engine parts that are already made, they assemble and disassemble their engines by using those already built parts. But the shipwrights never know what form or location of the breaks in the metal or wood parts that have to work on will take.

You can teach anyone how to cut or weld, but only a few that practice and practice and practice can weld right and become master welders. Remember, on a ship, most of the time, you are not welding just to make two parts stick together, you are welding to make watertight.
 

Stoker

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
It's the Hull techs that worry me. I think after the amalgamation, people will realize just how important they are to the day to day maintenance of everything structural onboard and how much, compared to the mechanics and electricians, their trade has an, I would say almost artistic skill set that requires a lot of fine skills that are difficult to master and maintain. I mean the electrician deals with wires and parts that are standard - always the same shape and form, it's a matter of connecting them and installing them properly. The mechanics work on engine parts that are already made, they assemble and disassemble their engines by using those already built parts. But the shipwrights never know what form or location of the breaks in the metal or wood parts that have to work on will take.

You can teach anyone how to cut or weld, but only a few that practice and practice and practice can weld right and become master welders. Remember, on a ship, most of the time, you are not welding just to make two parts stick together, you are welding to make watertight.

Most if not all hull tech duties will be redistributed as sub trades and specialties such as welding within the parent MARTECH trade. The only concern is hull tech being told they are now in the electrical sub trade or the mechanical one. Some hull tech's didn't join be either and we are seeing some leave or pension out. There's going to be hiccups but they tell us its for the greater good as all three trades were broken.
 

Journeyman

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Chief Stoker said:
.... but they tell us its for the greater good ....
Maybe the Navy is different, but in the Army, when 'they'  tell us it's "for the greater good," it seldom is.  ;)
 

Stoker

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Journeyman said:
Maybe the Navy is different, but in the Army, when 'they'  tell us it's "for the greater good," it seldom is.  ;)

No not different.....
 
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