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First navy Meteorological Technician sails

OceanBonfire

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The Met Tech trade has existed within the Royal Canadian Air Force for decades, but in 2011 the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) opened the trade to all elements. Last year, the RCN started seeking candidates for senior positions on frigates. So far, only PO2 Allard and Petty Officer First Class Amanda Pound joined, with PO2 Allard being the first to set sail.

 

Underway

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Maybe an option for some of the Stewards who are going to be looking for a new job. A two x six-month training courses sounds pretty achievable.
 

Furniture

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There are a couple of errors in the article.

We have had RCN DEU Met Techs for years, but they have all been Jr. pers due to the occupation being entirely RCAF until 2013. PO2 Allard is indeed the first RCN DEU Met Tech to sail, but he and PO1 Pond are not the only RCN DEU Met Techs...
 

Spencer100

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There are a couple of errors in the article.

We have had RCN DEU Met Techs for years, but they have all been Jr. pers due to the occupation being entirely RCAF until 2013. PO2 Allard is indeed the first RCN DEU Met Tech to sail, but he and PO1 Pond are not the only RCN DEU Met Techs...
Oh ok know that makes more sense. The piece made it sound like the RCN sails it ships with no weather man on board at all. I read it and thought that. Then I thought really? NO Met tech on the open sea? Hmmm I would think the weather is a bit important on the sea. But I guess commercial ship don't but....
 

Halifax Tar

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Oh ok know that makes more sense. The piece made it sound like the RCN sails it ships with no weather man on board at all. I read it and thought that. Then I thought really? NO Met tech on the open sea? Hmmm I would think the weather is a bit important on the sea. But I guess commercial ship don't but....

My best friend! "Hey witchey am I gonna puke today?"
 

Furniture

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Oh ok know that makes more sense. The piece made it sound like the RCN sails it ships with no weather man on board at all. I read it and thought that. Then I thought really? NO Met tech on the open sea? Hmmm I would think the weather is a bit important on the sea. But I guess commercial ship don't but....
Each of the "heavies" has two Met Tech forecasters aboard, but the MCDVs sail with only shore based forecast support.
 

dimsum

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Each of the "heavies" has two Met Tech forecasters aboard, but the MCDVs sail with only shore based forecast support.
It's all good - they only go to checks notes western Africa... :oops:
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It's not like ships are bereft of meteorological ressources when no Met Tech is embarked.

First of all, it's important to recall that the Met Techs were embarked, originally, on ships that carried aircrafts - the DDH's - only, hence their being from the RCAF. For instance, the IRE's and Mackenzie's did not carry Met Techs, save perhaps as part of the squadron commander staff for important ops (such as RIMPAC, for instance).

The primary reason to carry Met Techs is for the safety of air ops. In the ships, you otherwise have meteorological capability from the MWO side. Basic to intermediate meteorology is taught at the MARS 3 and 5 level, and meteorology is an important part of the navigation officers courses, as the Navigation Officers of ships with no embark capability are the meteorological advisors to the C.O. As someone mentionned above, meteorological concerns of a ship are less demanding than those of an aircraft and answering "Am I gonna puke" is generally sufficient.

Generally, for ship's operations, meteorology comes down to answering the following general questions: Will there be fog? When? When will it lift? Is there a storm in our future? When? What strenght? Is there a huricanne coming? When? Can I expect to be caught in it's dangerous quadrant?

Thes answers can be given by the Navigation Officer to the CO using shore based provided ressources assisted by the various onboard meteorological instruments. Especially today when the internet provides access to all the meteorological mapping, tools and briefs necessary to determine what will happen at one's location.

Nonetheless, I am happy that the CAF has decided to open the trade to other than just the RCAF
 

SeaKingTacco

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As noted, the only real reason Met Techs are carried onboard HMC ships is that embarked aircraft cannot legally go flying without a valid weather forecast (METAR/TAF) that include local observations, as we have legal minimums for both ceiling and visibility that have to be met. I can think of ways of off boarding that forecasting ashore, but the observations still require a certain level of qualification.

Most times I have flown at sea, the weather forecast was pretty obvious by just sticking your head outside a door. But, that is not always the case. There are parts of the world that we routinely operate where weather prediction is notoriously difficult. The North Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean on the fringes of the Gulf Stream spring to mind. Even with a weather witch onboard, I got caught once, really badly, in the Bering Sea and had to come back to the ship well below IFR limits (The Bering Sea sucks. There is nothing good about it).
 

Furniture

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Wait until you fly off an AOPS in the Arctic, where weather forecast's validity is calculated in minutes. ;)
The best part about being a Met Tech is having every NWO with two days of Met training questioning your forecasts every day... ;)

I once had a NWO try to explain the 4 panel Regional GEMs to me... He had no idea what the charts actually meant, but tried to tell me how to use them. Someone showed him the 500hPa "steering flow", but he had no idea how it worked, or what any of it meant.
 

TacticalTea

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The best part about being a Met Tech is having every NWO with two days of Met training questioning your forecasts every day... ;)

I once had a NWO try to explain the 4 panel Regional GEMs to me... He had no idea what the charts actually meant, but tried to tell me how to use them. Someone showed him the 500hPa "steering flow", but he had no idea how it worked, or what any of it meant.
Met is the only exam I failed during all my coursing, so I think I'm legally prohibited from ever questioning the Met techs! 😅
 

dimsum

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The best part about being a Met Tech is having every NWO with two days of Met training questioning your forecasts every day... ;)
How about the aircrew questioning your forecasts? :sneaky:
 

SeaKingTacco

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The aircrew always have interesting questions, I enjoyed that part of the job.

Not every day, there was one week that nobody cared about the weather ;)
I cared about the weather. There was not much we could do about it, mind you…

I ask interesting weather questions because I am a product of Barry K. He is a legend…
 
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