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Smaller NATO Navies Struggle with Recruitment, Awareness

Kirkhill

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The big heads are looking for the silver bullet that right now seems to be unmanned systems. While I am not a complete luddite I'm of the opinion that unmanned warships are a bridge too far. This article points out the shortcomings of LCS as one of the bell ringers to relying too much on this type of tech.



Thinking more about my "LCS Flotilla" response.

I have heard positive comparisons made between the billets in the Asterix to those in the CPFs. Is there a way to exploit that when sailing in a Task Force? Could crew assignments include a few days of rotation out of the CPFs for a short "decompression" in the Asterix?

Also, when the Task Force is at sea the Asterix supplies fuel and food and ammo. I assume she supplies spares as well? How about a senior engineering det of techs that can be put aboard the Task Force's ships when there is an immediate crisis, or even just an intractable problem? To take the load off the watchkeepers and to mentor youngsters without the same experience?
 

Kirkhill

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The MTBs in the English Channel and the PT Boats in the Western Pacific worked that way. So that is nothing new. The LCS were sold as a multi-mission platform (by using interchangeable pods - a concept that never worked) with minimum crewing costs. It failed in that mission spectacularly.

As I said above, I'm not a luddite. There is a place for unmanned or minimally man vessels, but in conjunction with fully booted and spurred vessels and with a full realization that there will be no major savings by going min-manned or un-manned. There is no panacea, but an integrated set of units will work and maybe in the far future (long after I'm dead) the tech will match the concepts.

Also I haven't even touched trying to operate autonomous vessels in the EM denied environment.

Points taken.
 

daftandbarmy

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This is a classic marketing issue.

The Navy doesn't suck. The way the Navy is being marketed sucks, IMHO.
 

KevinB

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This is a classic marketing issue.

The Navy doesn't suck. The way the Navy is being marketed sucks, IMHO.
Maybe both?
Judging from comments from both the O and E ranks here and elsewhere - the Navy seems intent on making it suck for those fit to sail.
Okay who am I kidding, the RCN doesn't have a monopoly on that (well sailing I guess, but the CA and RCAF seem to enjoy putting the screws to folks too).
 
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Navy_Pete

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I can't put my hands on it, but there was a CIA guide from the 50s/60s that went into how to bring down a system from inside (which I believe was meant for self motivated dissidents in a Cold War country).

If I was a foreign agent embedded in the RCN required to render the organization ineffective over a long period of time I would probably sit back and just watch. Adding the DPS committee on top of the existing major procurement approval process was really just the cherry on top.

My $0.02 is that there is a lot of really good work being done to do more with very little, under unreal timelines with not enough resources and we so far keep dodging bullets while burning people out. Eventually we'll stop being able to do both/either, and the wheels will just fall right off. We've been burning the operational candle at both ends (and in the middle) for a couple of decades and the heroic efforts of the forgotten few can't paper over the cracks anymore. Not sure if the senior leadership is genuinely unaware of the real state of the ships, or if the are just all senior members of the Pollyanna Optimist Order of Canada, but the disconnect from reality is Cronenbergian.

(I could probably come up with some more cliched sayings but I'm still easing back from some much needed time off; I think I just used up my week's allotment of poetic license though).
 

daftandbarmy

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Maybe both?
Judging from comments from both the O and E ranks here and elsewhere - the Navy seems intent on making it suck for those fit to sail.
Okay who am I kidding, the RCN doesn't have a monopoly on that (well sailing I guess, but the CA and RCAF seem to enjoy putting the screws to folks too).

I'm guessing that if you were having to fight people away from the recruiting centres with clubs, some of the bigger 'over stretch and burnout' issues in the organziation might go away.
 

FSTO

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Thinking more about my "LCS Flotilla" response.

I have heard positive comparisons made between the billets in the Asterix to those in the CPFs. Is there a way to exploit that when sailing in a Task Force? Could crew assignments include a few days of rotation out of the CPFs for a short "decompression" in the Asterix?

Also, when the Task Force is at sea the Asterix supplies fuel and food and ammo. I assume she supplies spares as well? How about a senior engineering det of techs that can be put aboard the Task Force's ships when there is an immediate crisis, or even just an intractable problem? To take the load off the watchkeepers and to mentor youngsters without the same experience?
When I was on my MARS IV we had 4 Squadron. Yukon, Saskatchewan, Mackenzie, and Qu'appelle were the old DDE's tasked to support training MARS/CSE/MSE officers and all the hard sea trades. 3 ships were always available for training with the 4th in refit. It was a fantastic capability but was unsustainable due to the age of the ships.

Anyway with this background my MARS IV course involved sailing to New Zealand to participate in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the RNZN. Yukon, Mackenzie and Saskatchewan sailed in company with HMCS Provider (our first AOR) and we stopped in Tahiti, NZ, Sydney Aus, Tonga and Pearl Harbor on our trip. As I recall, the OPSKED was fairly light. We stood regular watch routines (1 in 4) coupled with our training during the working day. We'd have scream ex's (exchanging stations around the guide PRO during the night watches) and conducting RAS's as required and gunnery serials. Most of the work was done during daylight hours and even though I was immersed in training props and training itself it seemed the crew's work was not over whelming. Sunday routine was a real Sunday routine and the SOA was low enough that we had several chances for Swimming Stations and Banyans.
So there was really no need for "decompressing" on the tanker.
It seems that once we got the CPF's there was a need to have the FLEX packed to the gunnels and Big Navy saying "YES SIR" to every opportunity to "do something"

Anyway that's my two cents on how it used to be in the old Maritime Command.
 

KevinB

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I'm guessing that if you were having to fight people away from the recruiting centres with clubs, some of the bigger 'over stretch and burnout' issues in the organziation might go away.
CATCH-22, who wants to join an entity that burns its folks out.
 
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