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Navy.ca => Navy General => Topic started by: jollyjacktar on April 01, 2016, 11:28:12

Title: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 01, 2016, 11:28:12
This will be interesting to see what they try.  I am not keen on core crew, mission crewing.  For a while VDQ had a core crew and they were used as the training platform for a considerable time.  The core crew stayed while newbies came and went while they cycled through work ups after work ups.  For the core crew it was hard on morale.  For this experiment, it will be challenging to use a reduced crew on a ship that was not designed for a reduced crew.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/royal-canadian-navy-reducing-crews-1.3516037
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eland2 on April 01, 2016, 11:59:27
This will be interesting to see what they try.  I am not keen on core crew, mission crewing.  For a while VDQ had a core crew and they were used as the training platform for a considerable time.  The core crew stayed while newbies came and went while they cycled through work ups after work ups.  For the core crew it was hard on morale.  For this experiment, it will be challenging to use a reduced crew on a ship that was not designed for a reduced crew.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/royal-canadian-navy-reducing-crews-1.3516037

The US Navy have been doing this with their new littoral patrol vessels, working with what are essentially skeleton crews but trying to get full-complement performance. Can't say it's working too well from some of the media reports I've been seeing. Sailors crewing the littoral ships are burnt out and exhausted because of inadequate time for eating, resting and sleeping. In wartime, this kind of penny-wise and pound-foolish thinking is going to get people killed and ships sunk, and it's probably just a lucky thing this hasn't happened in peacetime, if it doesn't end up happening sooner or later.

This kind of management approach is so wrong-headed because it's like trying to get maximum performance out of a car engine while giving it progressively less oil and fuel.

If things are so bad that you have to resort to using tiny crews to save money, maybe it's better to forget about having a navy, or instead drastically reducing its overall capabilities so that the scale of operations and equipment matches the budget. I can eventually see the RCN doing away with most of its ships and then relying on drones and on-shore missile batteries if things keep going the way they are for much longer.


Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: FSTO on April 01, 2016, 12:32:04
This will be interesting to see what they try.  I am not keen on core crew, mission crewing.  For a while VDQ had a core crew and they were used as the training platform for a considerable time.  The core crew stayed while newbies came and went while they cycled through work ups after work ups.  For the core crew it was hard on morale.  For this experiment, it will be challenging to use a reduced crew on a ship that was not designed for a reduced crew.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/royal-canadian-navy-reducing-crews-1.3516037

Damage control issues should put to rest this type of foolishness.
HMS Newcastle damn near sank due to exhausted crew when she hit Wolf Rock off New Zealand.

http://www.professionalmariner.com/March-2007/Royal-Navy-destroyer-hits-rock-nearly-sinks-off-New-Zealand/

Quote
Weary workers were replaced by fresh help from Te Mana and Endeavour, while the Australian divers stopped work during spells of 60-knot winds and surging seas.  
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 01, 2016, 12:41:09
Damage control issues should put to rest this type of foolishness.
HMS Newcastle damn near sank due to exhausted crew when she hit Wolf Rock off New Zealand.

http://www.professionalmariner.com/March-2007/Royal-Navy-destroyer-hits-rock-nearly-sinks-off-New-Zealand/

Quote
Weary workers were replaced by fresh help from Te Mana and Endeavour, while the Australian divers stopped work during spells of 60-knot winds and surging seas.

I don't think it will though.  The adults have the bit firmly between the teeth it seems.  I suspect they want to get us used to doing more with less (as if we have not already) so that when the new ships come we'll be normalized to the new numbers.  They're going ahead with smashing the HT, Stokers and ET into one new trade later this year.  More with less.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: FSTO on April 01, 2016, 12:56:54
I don't think it will though.  The adults have the bit firmly between the teeth it seems.  I suspect they want to get us used to doing more with less (as if we have not already) so that when the new ships come we'll be normalized to the new numbers.  They're going ahead with smashing the HT, Stokers and ET into one new trade later this year.  More with less.

 :facepalm:
I'm so glad I don't go to sea anymore.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 01, 2016, 13:01:53
I'm afraid I may have to after Ottawa.  Not really keen at sitting watch in the MCR at the Stoker seats and FLYCO isn't overly appealing either.   :(
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eaglelord17 on April 01, 2016, 18:21:57
I suspect these 'trials' have more to do with a lack of manning in the lower ranks (not enough sailors to properly man the ships in the first place) than a actual want to reduce numbers.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on April 01, 2016, 19:44:40
I've always thought we could reduce the numbers.   There are plenty of other navies out there who man ships the size of our frigates with smaller crews.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: MJP on April 01, 2016, 20:07:58
I've always thought we could reduce the numbers.   There are plenty of other navies out there who man ships the size of our frigates with smaller crews.

Flippant because I know next to nothing about the Navy but this is the Canadian Forces, if we had three people left we would form 2 separate HQs to watch over 1 dude.  We love overmanning crap, unfortunately not generally at the coal face.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: NavyShooter on April 01, 2016, 22:10:32
CHA went to the Sound Range for 48 hours once with 90 pers onboard.  A single steaming watch, with full Part Ship Hands and bridge crew.

It was.....not enough people.

I've heard rumbles about the trial and will be very interested to see what it does to the ability to deal with multiple incidents concurrently. 

An MCDV is a single incident/evolution ship.

An AOPS will probably be the same.

A HFX class with full crew is able to do multiple incidents all at once, reducing the crew without reducing that expectation will be....difficult.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 01, 2016, 22:23:58
There needs to be trials.  If it can be done it should be done. However a main component of reduced crewing is moving much of the ships functions ashore, like the tenders, minor war vessels etc...  There are lots of technologies that can reduce the number of pers on board for a standard sail, monitoring tech replacing for example engineering roundsmen.  On the bridge do we really need that many lookouts, [sarcasm]you already have a OOW, 2OOW, 3OOW, 4OOW [\sarcasm]?  Why can the helmsman be a single person vice one on the throttle and one on the helm?  How many people do you really need to bring the ship alongside?  The Coast guard does it with 5 pers on ships the same size as the MCDV, yet we have a full ship evolution.  RAZ pers, MOBEX can be significantly reduced with an appropriate application of tech and procedure.

[rant]There are so many stupid admin things that warships do that really should be done away with that serve only to exhaust crews.  You know the 5 redundant reports that are sent to 6 different depts ashore, signed by 4 different people at sea, hand written for the war diary, navigation logs, engineering logs, in 6 different ways, that only serve to keep the senior officers up obscenely late to sign, junior officers up extremely late writing them, after the NCO's stayed up late compiling them, and the ratings stayed up kinda late getting the info for them.

Don't even get me started on the overly anally retentive maintenance cycles and the "lets just paint ship this weekend though it doesn't need it" type make work projects that crop up because the CO wants to get promoted.

You reduce crew you need to reduce workload and eliminate these ridiculous redundancies.  Our professionalism won't let us accept less than what we did with a full crew but we only have half the crew size to do it.  CO's need to start speaking truth to power and getting this stupidity shut down.  No wonder crews get exhausted. They get exhausted with full crews now.
[\rant] (apparently I'm in a pissy mood today) :nod:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chief Engineer on April 01, 2016, 23:58:57
CHA went to the Sound Range for 48 hours once with 90 pers onboard.  A single steaming watch, with full Part Ship Hands and bridge crew.

It was.....not enough people.

I've heard rumbles about the trial and will be very interested to see what it does to the ability to deal with multiple incidents concurrently. 

An MCDV is a single incident/evolution ship.

An AOPS will probably be the same.

A HFX class with full crew is able to do multiple incidents all at once, reducing the crew without reducing that expectation will be....difficult.

Actually I was to fight 2 fires and a flood with 39 people on board (Kingston Class) and considered sustainability. The writing is on the wall, this how the future ships will be run. The other day we had our amalgamation briefing and we will need to do more with less.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2016, 07:59:19
There needs to be trials.  If it can be done it should be done. However a main component of reduced crewing is moving much of the ships functions ashore, like the tenders, minor war vessels etc...  There are lots of technologies that can reduce the number of pers on board for a standard sail, monitoring tech replacing for example engineering roundsmen.  On the bridge do we really need that many lookouts, [sarcasm]you already have a OOW, 2OOW, 3OOW, 4OOW [\sarcasm]?  Why can the helmsman be a single person vice one on the throttle and one on the helm?  How many people do you really need to bring the ship alongside?  The Coast guard does it with 5 pers on ships the same size as the MCDV, yet we have a full ship evolution.  RAZ pers, MOBEX can be significantly reduced with an appropriate application of tech and procedure.

[rant]There are so many stupid admin things that warships do that really should be done away with that serve only to exhaust crews.  You know the 5 redundant reports that are sent to 6 different depts ashore, signed by 4 different people at sea, hand written for the war diary, navigation logs, engineering logs, in 6 different ways, that only serve to keep the senior officers up obscenely late to sign, junior officers up extremely late writing them, after the NCO's stayed up late compiling them, and the ratings stayed up kinda late getting the info for them.

Don't even get me started on the overly anally retentive maintenance cycles and the "lets just paint ship this weekend though it doesn't need it" type make work projects that crop up because the CO wants to get promoted.

You reduce crew you need to reduce workload and eliminate these ridiculous redundancies.  Our professionalism won't let us accept less than what we did with a full crew but we only have half the crew size to do it.  CO's need to start speaking truth to power and getting this stupidity shut down.  No wonder crews get exhausted. They get exhausted with full crews now.
[\rant] (apparently I'm in a pissy mood today) :nod:

I expect you're not with the engineering side of things.  It's difficult enough now to try and keep up with PM and CM, it won't get easier or less of a requirement just because we have less people to do it.  And don't get me started on major events happening, they can and do happen ala PRO.  That also won't be easier just because we have less people either.

Automation is fine, when it works and is available.  CPF were not built with a reduced crew size or at the very least a greatly reduced crew size in mind. 

I agree, there are some of the bullshit items that we do that is unnecessary now and go along ways towards crew fatigue and apathy. 

What I fear it will all boil down to is more or less to old adage that you don't want a cop around until you really need one.  The reduced crew might be OK for 99/100 times, but for the 1/100th...
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chief Engineer on April 02, 2016, 08:05:45
I expect you're not with the engineering side of things.  It's difficult enough now to try and keep up with PM and CM, it won't get easier or less of a requirement just because we have less people to do it.  And don't get me started on major events happening, they can and do happen ala PRO.  That also won't be easier just because we have less people either.

Automation is fine, when it works and is available.  CPF were not built with a reduced crew size or at the very least a greatly reduced crew size in mind. 

I agree, there are some of the bullshit items that we do that is unnecessary now and go along ways towards crew fatigue and apathy. 

What I fear it will all boil down to is more or less to old adage that you don't want a cop around until you really need one.  The reduced crew might be OK for 99/100 times, but for the 1/100th...

CM and PM is going to be way easier when we combine trades or haven't you heard ;)
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2016, 09:08:58
Of course,  that crap will just fix itself.     :nod:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chief Engineer on April 02, 2016, 09:36:46
Of course,  that crap will just fix itself.     :nod:

I just can't wait until dayworkrers have to watchkeep.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 02, 2016, 10:09:37
Of course,  that crap will just fix itself.     :nod:

Well, yes! Didn't you know that CM and Pm are like budgets. They balance themselves  :nod:

All joking aside, I think there is a lot of "putting the cart before the horse" in this decision. Yes, the next generation of ships will be a lot more automated than the current gen. As a result of this extra automation, they will require less watch keepers (The bridge crew of a Type 45 destroyer is seven - can you imagine only seven people on watch on the bridge of a HAL - the bridge would look empty). However, until we do get this extra automation, it is pointless to try reduced crewing on ship's that don't have the automated system.
 Just my opinion.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2016, 10:13:31
I just can't wait until dayworkrers have to watchkeep.

Of course,  that will just make it easier to keep up with maintenance and exercises and storing ship and, and, and...
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 02, 2016, 10:14:47
I expect you're not with the engineering side of things.  It's difficult enough now to try and keep up with PM and CM, it won't get easier or less of a requirement just because we have less people to do it.  And don't get me started on major events happening, they can and do happen ala PRO.  That also won't be easier just because we have less people either.

Automation is fine, when it works and is available.  CPF were not built with a reduced crew size or at the very least a greatly reduced crew size in mind. 

I agree, there are some of the bullshit items that we do that is unnecessary now and go along ways towards crew fatigue and apathy. 

What I fear it will all boil down to is more or less to old adage that you don't want a cop around until you really need one.  The reduced crew might be OK for 99/100 times, but for the 1/100th...

I started in ops and now am in the engineering side.  I've seen both sides of the coin.  They both need work.  I agree the 1/100 is absolutely correct.  But for day to day crew exhaustion we can do a lot with much less.  The other issue is the CPF wasn't designed to operate with less like you said.  The new ships should be.  It's going to put less day to day fatigue on the crew which leads to accidents and missed assignments.  I'm not saying that there are perfect solutions but we need to try and figure it out best we can.  Wait until the babyboomers start retiring in full force.  The Navy will only be able to sail ghostships.  There has to be a solution.  We have to try.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2016, 10:22:25
I'm one of the boomers.  I don't expect to see AOPS for long in my time left.  Crew reductions are quite frankly the least of my worries.  The great smash that's coming with the engineering side is going to be what kills me or really torpedoes my morale I fear.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 02, 2016, 10:35:31
(The bridge crew of a Type 45 destroyer is seven - can you imagine only seven people on watch on the bridge of a HAL  - the bridge would look empty).

I literally chuckled when I read this. We already sail with only 7 people on the bridge of a CPF! And quite often I had less!
We had:

1x OOW
1x 2OOW
1x Bosn's Mate/Port Lookout
1x Helmsman
1x QM/Throttleman/Stbd Lookout
2x NavComms

Often though, if nothing was going on, I would send one of the 2 Nav Comms down to the CCR, which would leave me with 6. Further, when I was on deployment, we had junior MARS officer trg every morning at 0900 in the Wardroom, and I was required by the NavO to send my 2OOW down for those lectures, leaving me with 5.

I once accidentally sent 2 people to the heads at the same time, also forgetting that I had one of the Nav Comms down in the CCR, which left me with 4 during the First watch. I was startled by it but quickly came up with a plan and briefed my team on how to conduct a MOB with the 4 ppl I had (I'd hit the bong bongs, make the pipe, and conn at the same time).

It can be done!

EDITED: for spelling.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 02, 2016, 11:23:59
You got me there Lumber.

I was in a hurry this morning when I wrote that post. It should have read "The bridge crew of  Type 45 destroyer in action is seven ..." Regular cruising is four: OOW, Look-out/Bosn Mate, Helmsman, Signalman.

They go up to seven in action with an extra officer to keep an eye on navigation, an extra look-out and an extra signalman.

The reason they can reduce numbers is that, for instance all navigation and records are kept electronically, so  no OOW notebook/logs/ paper charts and plotting required. [They have this cool plotting tool on the electronic charts, where you take your sights on the pelorus and push a button to record the bearings in order, go back to the chart and just use a light pencil to "tap" the three objects you used in order and the fix plots itself.]

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2016, 11:27:20
That's rather Daring of them.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 02, 2016, 11:29:37
[They have this cool plotting tool on the electronic charts, where you take your sights on the pelorus and push a button to record the bearings in order, go back to the chart and just use a light pencil to "tap" the three objects you used in order and the fix plots itself.]

I just drooled all over myself...

Please tell me someone at HQ is including this into CSC!
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: FSTO on April 02, 2016, 13:13:58

The reason they can reduce numbers is that, for instance all navigation and records are kept electronically, so  no OOW notebook/logs/ paper charts and plotting required. [They have this cool plotting tool on the electronic charts, where you take your sights on the pelorus and push a button to record the bearings in order, go back to the chart and just use a light pencil to "tap" the three objects you used in order and the fix plots itself.]

Holy crap!!! Really?!?

That process makes the most sense to an old fart like me, it seems to be a seamless transition from the visual - pencil - paper method to the electronic method. In fact, I have never plotted a fix with the SDM (or whatever the f**** they call it now)
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Not a Sig Op on April 02, 2016, 13:20:02
Most large commercial vessels, you'll find two on the bridge at most, usually one (officer of the watch) with a ordinary seaman as a look-out (Who may or may not be on the bridge, may be elsewhere on the ship with a radio, particularly on transits). Two on the bridge, maybe three when entering and exiting a busy port.

Over night, most modern vessels will not have any engineering crew in the engine room, with the vessel operating in UMS mode, and the engineering staff only responding to alarms.

More importantly, modern predictive maintenance and a properly run planned maintenance system, coupled with planned maintenance periods can reduce unexpected downtime to a minimum, but it needs to be implemented right out of the yard to be most effective, other than that it's mostly window dressing.

Obviously, the navy needs a substantially larger crew than a commercial vessel, if only for damage control, but, if you're looking at future ships, there are a great many very RELIABLE technology options to help reduce crew requirements.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 02, 2016, 14:29:39
I literally chuckled when I read this. We already sail with only 7 people on the bridge of a CPF! And quite often I had less!
We had:

1x OOW
1x 2OOW
1x Bosn's Mate/Port Lookout
1x Helmsman
1x QM/Throttleman/Stbd Lookout
2x NavComms

Often though, if nothing was going on, I would send one of the 2 Nav Comms down to the CCR, which would leave me with 6. Further, when I was on deployment, we had junior MARS officer trg every morning at 0900 in the Wardroom, and I was required by the NavO to send my 2OOW down for those lectures, leaving me with 5.

I once accidentally sent 2 people to the heads at the same time, also forgetting that I had one of the Nav Comms down in the CCR, which left me with 4 during the First watch. I was startled by it but quickly came up with a plan and briefed my team on how to conduct a MOB with the 4 ppl I had (I'd hit the bong bongs, make the pipe, and conn at the same time).

It can be done!

EDITED: for spelling.

And of course the MCDV's do it with 3-4 on the bridge regularly.   OOW, POOW, helmsman and lookout.  The POOW is often off doing some rounds or sumsuch.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: IN ARDUA NITOR on April 02, 2016, 15:44:57
And of course the MCDV's do it with 3-4 on the bridge regularly.   OOW, POOW, helmsman and lookout.  The POOW is often off doing some rounds or sumsuch.

That is a well crewed KIN Class - IAW SSO only OOW, POOW and Lookout make up the watch on Deck - POOW does rounds hourly. The other "on watch folks" consist of 1 X NCIOP (OpsRm), 1 X NAVCOMM (CCR), 1 X EOOW (MCR) and 1 X Eng Roundsman (MCR/Rounds hourly). This assumes REMAR of 31 and 4th degree of Readiness (1:3 watch rotation). Keep in mind too that the REMAR considers the CBM the third POOW and the SRNCIOP the third ORS.

For IMSRT (NR1 WUPS) in prep for FE we will sail with a crew of 38 or 39. The additional folks vary, but will certainly include 1 X MED Supt (PA or MedTech), 1 X PA Rabble (1 X PAO or 1 X Image Tech), 1 X NCIOP, 1 X BOSN and 1 X BWK. Each formation also funds 1 X NAVCOMM (I assume MARLANT still does). That leaves 1 or 2 bunks for others - nowadays normally AMOC Cert2K trainees.

EDIT to Add : Related to the manning crunch I suppose it is worthwhile mentioning that I sailed for RRI and Sea Trials with 8 (or more) empty bunks.... so 8 OJT/FG opportunities lost.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: NavyShooter on April 02, 2016, 16:16:47
SDM = SHINNADS Dual Military

Same as:

SHINNADS  (SHipboard INtegrated NAvigation Display System)
ECPINS (Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System)

SHINNADS is an ECPINS.

SDM is the 'upgraded' SHINNADS, which is still an ECPINS.

The blue console on the bridge has "ECPINS" on it, even though it was made by OSL (Offshore Systems Limited) so people (OOW's) call it ECPINS.

Or SDM

Or SHINNADS.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Colin P on April 04, 2016, 12:58:43
And of course the MCDV's do it with 3-4 on the bridge regularly.   OOW, POOW, helmsman and lookout.  The POOW is often off doing some rounds or sumsuch.

We ran our cutters and icebreakers with just a OOW, quartermaster and one roaming watchkeeper. Engine room had at least 1 on duty for the smaller ships and maybe 2-3 on the larger.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 04, 2016, 13:14:42
If, I'm hearing it correctly, they're going to sail with around 160-165.  That is a substancial drop.  I'm sure it will all go swimmingly, until it doesn't.   :nod:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: kratz on April 04, 2016, 14:32:24
No problem, it's only been 46 years since HMCS KOOTENAY's  (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/taking-stock-of-canada-s-worst-peacetime-naval-disaster-1.852261)incident. Even with automation, I believe a crew of approximately 160, would suffer death or injury higher than the 26% suffered in that example. 42 sailors out of 160 crew based on the rates in KOOTENAY's example.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: SeaKingTacco on April 04, 2016, 16:12:49
I tend to agree, having seen more than my fair share of fires at sea.

With a small crew, your options get limited awful fast.

If you cannot control the damage within the first hour or two, you may well lose the ship, just because of crew exhaustion.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 04, 2016, 16:21:48
Katz, you can't compare the Kootenay explosion (it was not  an "incident") to current attempts at crew reduction risks.

First of all, seven of Kootenay's 9 death were directly attributable to the engine room fireball incinerating the engine room watch. So in an automated unmanned engine room situation, they would not have died. Two more and many of the injured came from the compartment just above, the main cafeteria, which couldn't be evacuated fast enough due to a lack of emergency exiting routes. This was later re-designed on all the St-Laurent's, including the addition of the very useful ladder to the upper deck by the galley survery - which was not present on the Kootenay.

There is no evidence that anyone in Kootenay suffered as a result of a shortage of personnel. There was hard work and exhaustion, for sure, in those that fought the fire afterwards, but in an automated environment, such exhaustion and hard work would only come after the automated system would have failed to stop the fire.

And Colin, I don't deny your post, but with all due respect, the Canadian coast guard is just a government run merchant service. In my (albeit limited) experience with the CCG, any time something even slightly out of the most basic routine occurs, the captain is on the bridge and personally handling everything - just as on a merchant  ship. We don't operate like that in the Navy. If you go through pictures of Canadian warships at sea on the internet, you will see flying from them a white and blue (vertical stripes) pennant flying with  letter flag (alpha, bravo, charlie, etc.) flying under it: It means the Captain has handed the whole maneuver over to the XO, the Ops O, the Nav O , etc. When was the last time you saw a captain in the coast guard tell the fourth officer: you do the alongside in Quebec City today! Navy C.O.'s do that all the time [Primary duty of a CO is to train his/her replacement - As C.O., I never handled more than about 40% of all close quarter maneuvers or alongsides]
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Half Full on April 04, 2016, 17:18:14
The great smash that's coming with the engineering side is going to be what kills me or really torpedoes my morale I fear.

Let's not start circling the wagons and protecting empires before even studying the possibility of merging the Engineering trades.  We screwed up royaly years back by not merging the combat trades...but hopefully that gets back on track soon.  We need to adapt to technology, and use it to make our lives easier.  If we continually resort to, "that's not the way it was done in my day" arguments, we'll end up failing to adapt to reality. We have to be able to recognize that maybe there is a better way to "skin the cat" because we NEED to get personnel numbers down.  As a Force we are currently unaffordable moving forward.  Personnel costs are more than 55% of our budget.  And we won't be getting any influx of cash from the government.  If you want a balance, agile, effective force you need to drop that personnel percentage down to the 30-40% range.  Ideally you'd have 33% personnel, 33% O&M and 33% capital projects.  This is never going to happen with the number of people we currently have.  If it means we need to do less, than so be it, however, with only a few exceptions, I would bet that with technology, we could have less people doing more, more effectively than the many people we have now doing what we are doing.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 04, 2016, 18:22:52
Yes, I'm quite sure that will the correct balance of automation, risk assessment and reassignment, capability considerations, roles, manning and modifying procedures for fighting/sailing the ship, almost anything will be possible...  in vessels that are designed as such.  CPF are not such a beast.

And don't kid yourself, it's being studied.  Has been for a considerable time in fact.  The decision on the way ahead will be made this spring, then implementation plans will commence.

Maybe my fears are groundless.  Hopefully they are.  I am, however, at a loss to understand how it will be easier to try and do what was already a struggle while adding new roles and tasks on top of less personnel to accomplish it all.  Perhaps I'm just thick.



Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: NavyShooter on April 04, 2016, 18:59:19
Well,

I'm 4 1/2 years into the W Eng conversion....when I was one of the Senior Instructors at CFNES following the change (about a year after) I made a conscious decision...I refused to sign a course report that had the word "TECHNICIAN" in it.  I made the instructors use the word "MAINTAINER" because we simply have not made a new Technician at CFNES in 4 1/2 years.

It's interesting to note that apparently the RMS trades are splitting again...I guess the common trade didn't work when it came to specialized knowledge? 

Does that sound familiar?  Are there trades onboard that have specialized technical knowledge?

Hrm. 

Truth be told though, the amount of times you need more than just a maintainer has been small (so far) but as the HFX class get older, there will be more things breaking, and things that don't normally go bad, will (see ARC-FLASH program for an idea of what can go wrong with old high voltage power systems.)

Can you sail a ship with less people than the normal 210 base complement of crew?  Yes.

Will you be able to do everything that you could before when you go down to 160?  No, or at least, not for as long (sustainment will be an issue for large evolutions.)

I know there's people onboard who are truly not very busy, but knocking 50 people out of the ship...wow....that's going to be interesting.

NS

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: George Wallace on April 04, 2016, 19:13:56

Can you sail a ship with less people than the normal 210 base complement of crew?  Yes.

Will you be able to do everything that you could before when you go down to 160?  No, or at least, not for as long (sustainment will be an issue for large evolutions.)

I know there's people onboard who are truly not very busy, but knocking 50 people out of the ship...wow....that's going to be interesting.

NS

I wonder if this is nothing more than what we used to do in the RCD in Germany.  Man the tanks and Recce vehicles minus on crew member on some of the vehicles, and then fill those slots when deployed on Gun Camps, Exercises, etc. ?  In this case, crewing the ships with less pers, then topping them up when deploying on a six month, or longer, deployment?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 04, 2016, 19:48:06
When I was a Mo Gunner, we used to have a 5 vs 7 (as prescribed) man crew.  We did with what we had and found a full crew a pain as the extra 2 guys were underfoot.   We normally sent them back from the gum position to the stand easy.  I'm sure if we were really doing sustained operations it might have needed 7 men.

Keeping a warship going on the other hand is something different indeed.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: MARS on April 04, 2016, 19:49:46

Can you sail a ship with less people than the normal 210 base complement of crew?  Yes.

Will you be able to do everything that you could before when you go down to 160?  No, or at least, not for as long (sustainment will be an issue for large evolutions.)


And this, in my opinion, is the crux of the issue.  "Fight-Move-Float" isn't a just a catchy phrase, it is the spectrum of Command priorities at any given moment in time.

Does every ship in the RCN need to be able to Fight at all times?  Absolutely not.  Does it even need to be able to Move at all times?  Nope.  It does need to Float though.  But most of the Navy appears to be locked into the all-seeing, all dancing, must be capable of a full spectrum of operations All.The.Time.

Damage Control requirements do differ somewhat, depending on whether your requirement is to Fight, Move or just Float.

I've seen it too often: a Standard/Normal Readiness ship going off to do a FISHPAT, or Op CARIBBE or whatever non-High Readiness mission, and there it is...  the friggin Starboard butter-cutter listed as a CRITICAL shortage.  CCFL was completely correct a few years ago when he told all of us COs to cut that crap out.  "Watch and Station Bill requirements" was no longer an appropriate justification in a personnel shortage message.

Its a simple matter of the Operational Planning principles, namely Restraints, which in this case is a shrinking establishment that is going to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Does a FFH need to be able to conduct a Heavy Jackstay on Op CARIBBE?  Even a night RAS?  24/7 help ops?  Not at all.  Frankly, the mission isn't important enough.  And if that FFH suffers a massive blackout due to a lack of maintainers and techs, and sits dead-in-the-water for a whole bunch of hours (BTDT), and eventually is towed into port for repairs and the rest of the mission is a scrub: so what?  That is the kind of risk we must be willing to accept.

Like Chief Stoker wrote a few posts ago, KINGSTON-Class CO' Chief Engineers, indeed from the MS-level on up, have been managing this risk since the inception of the Class.  I don't recall hearing any howls of discontent over the last 20 years of their existence.  This "new trial" for the FFH's has been the reality of the little ships since forever.  It's about time, as ER Campbell has pointed out many times, that the Navy, as an institution, start coming to grips with the fact that for some, less critical missions, we are going to have to accept an 80% (or less) solution in terms of mission accomplishment.  And we are going to have to start accepting manageable risk to equipment and yes, personnel.  Again, as a KINGSTON-Class CO, that was my day to day.  Chief Stoker and I would discuss these issue at length in my cabin, understanding the grim reality that in the event of a multi scene DC situation, we were likely going to lose some of our crew. 

Having briefed both Fleet Commanders back in June about making further reductions to KINGSTON-Class Engineering personnel, I can assure you that the Admirals get it at least.  How well we manage to come out of this inevitable reality will depend wholly on the backbone of the Navy - the Chiefs and petty Officers.  It will be their ideas, their their expert opinion based on years of experience that will generate the best, safest and most effective solutions to doing more with less.  However, if the Chiefs and Petty Officers choose not to engage and hope that the trial will somehow prove to be a failure, then we will have lost.  Because this trial won't fail.  I think 'trial' is probably the wrong word.  It implies that status quo might remain an option,  It won't.

My 2 cents.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Dimsum on April 04, 2016, 20:23:49
:goodpost:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 04, 2016, 20:52:52
MARS, you're also comparing a ship that is built to commercial standards IIRC, not as tech heavy, serviced under an in service contract.  The AOPS will be more along that line of design and intent will be designed, built and equipped with a smaller crew from the get go.  Hell, for that matter it's not even intended to go into combat. 

A heavy is a different bird.  They can pare down, but that will come at costs.  I cannot speak for the non-engineering side of the house as that is not my area of experience.  Yes, sure you be able to cut into the engineers to some degree.  But you can only spread the butter so far so thin.  These ships are getting older and like any older vehicle they get harder and harder to maintain.  Most of my sailing as been on the tankers, we were rarely it seemed to be able to get to the PM as the CM was always knocking on the shop door and it only got exponentially more so as they aged.  The CPF are getting the same in many respects as they age from my experience.  Of course, we will reply "Aye, Aye" and carry on as directed.  We always do.

As I said earlier, I'm sure it will all go swimmingly.  Until it doesn't.  I believe that will be as true tomorrow as it has in the past. 

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 04, 2016, 22:52:12
Land the coxn first, that'll save you one bunk.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Colin P on April 05, 2016, 14:55:06
Katz, you can't compare the Kootenay explosion (it was not  an "incident") to current attempts at crew reduction risks.

First of all, seven of Kootenay's 9 death were directly attributable to the engine room fireball incinerating the engine room watch. So in an automated unmanned engine room situation, they would not have died. Two more and many of the injured came from the compartment just above, the main cafeteria, which couldn't be evacuated fast enough due to a lack of emergency exiting routes. This was later re-designed on all the St-Laurent's, including the addition of the very useful ladder to the upper deck by the galley survery - which was not present on the Kootenay.

There is no evidence that anyone in Kootenay suffered as a result of a shortage of personnel. There was hard work and exhaustion, for sure, in those that fought the fire afterwards, but in an automated environment, such exhaustion and hard work would only come after the automated system would have failed to stop the fire.

And Colin, I don't deny your post, but with all due respect, the Canadian coast guard is just a government run merchant service. In my (albeit limited) experience with the CCG, any time something even slightly out of the most basic routine occurs, the captain is on the bridge and personally handling everything - just as on a merchant  ship. We don't operate like that in the Navy. If you go through pictures of Canadian warships at sea on the internet, you will see flying from them a white and blue (vertical stripes) pennant flying with  letter flag (alpha, bravo, charlie, etc.) flying under it: It means the Captain has handed the whole maneuver over to the XO, the Ops O, the Nav O , etc. When was the last time you saw a captain in the coast guard tell the fourth officer: you do the alongside in Quebec City today! Navy C.O.'s do that all the time [Primary duty of a CO is to train his/her replacement - As C.O., I never handled more than about 40% of all close quarter maneuvers or alongsides]

With 2 of the Captains we had, we would have been better off had the Mate being doing the docking  [:p
I know it's apples and oranges and we had a fair share of issues with multiple tasks as well. On the R class if the Captain trusted the Mate then he would, on the 1100's the Captain would be on the bridge, the good ones would allow the Mate to bring the ship in as a way to learn. Plowing through light ice the Captain I was with let the Mate run the ship with instructions to call under certain conditions.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 05, 2016, 18:35:44
Question:

What do merchant vessels do for line handlers? When we come alongside, we have 6 lines with 4-5 ppl per line, plus a 3x part-ship ICs and a 3x part-ship safety officers, plus the Buffer and DeckO. That's already triple (quardruple?) the crew of a merchie!

Recommendation:

Switch to IMPs, no more need for cooks, stewards, and maybe even a storesman. Who needs morale?  ;D

Seriously though, I'm really curious as to who they're going to take out to get down to 165. I've sailed with that few, but it was just a cruise to St. John's an back.

Ditch the ping-bosns? Limited watchkeepers to the Decko, NavO and CISO.plus 3 trainees? No more phase 6 engineers? Only 1 pay clerk? 

For exercises/operations where you aren't expecting any combat, you could literally get rid the entire Ops room. If you're going on a constabulary mission like Op Carribbe where you need enhanced tracking and basic self defence, you could go with:

1 x ORO + 1 xASWC on a 1-in-2 rotation;
2 x Track Sup on 1-in-2 rotation;
2 x NESOP for Elisra in a 1-in-2 rotation;
And whatever you need for a minimum TAS team.

Look, I just cut the combat department in half.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: NavyShooter on April 05, 2016, 20:03:34
Minimum TAS team: 
3 in OPS + CSE team (4 pers) in Towed Array comp't, but they're not closed up all the time.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 05, 2016, 20:17:13
I'm a land lubber but it looks like some Good Idea Fairy has reinvented "do more with less".
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 05, 2016, 20:17:32
You can drop about 10 Nav Comms
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Occam on April 05, 2016, 20:30:11
You can drop about 10 Nav Comms

Until the first time your internet, DWAN, CSNI or any other network link craps the bed...

And who are you going to get to configure radio equipment and circuits?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 05, 2016, 20:45:50
You navy guys seem to spend a whole lot of time baling, compared to the civvies.  Maybe you would be better off finding builders whose boats didn't leak.   >:D
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 05, 2016, 21:04:27
Until the first time your internet, DWAN, CSNI or any other network link craps the bed...

And who are you going to get to configure radio equipment and circuits?
The other 7 or 8 Nav Comms.

Speaking as a Nav Comm, it's an over staffed section.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Occam on April 05, 2016, 21:15:06
The other 7 or 8 Nav Comms.

Speaking as a Nav Comm, it's an over staffed section.

Even with just one on the bridge, and one in the CCR, you need 6 to stand 1 in 3.  Throw in one for SNC.  What do you do when TG Tactical and the VHF are both squawking at the same time?  Maybe throw in a little fleet manoeuvring?

And down in the CCR...not sure how one person is going to do messages, configure equipment, manage servers and networks, and everything else.  What classes of ship have you sailed in?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 05, 2016, 21:41:20
Frigates 280s and submarines.

Don't get me started on Nav Comms on the bridge. Fleet manoeuvring and VHF should be taken by the 2nd 3rd 4th OOW anyway. Hell a MARS 4 officer has more training and experience with them then a 3s Nav Comm anyway.

TG TAC? I'd worry about the cct if it wasn't always and argument with the OOW about what the signal meant or how to interpret it anyway. Or that it differs from what was passed over chat to OPs.

Put the SNC on watches with the CISO.

If you have a CISO / SNC on watches then do you really need a WSUP?

Keep the SHOW. Keep one bridge body. 2 more in the CCR.

Plus the ISA.

That gives you 10. You still have bridge manning. You still have 2 junior bodies in the shack to run BDCST / RSS / InterShip. You still have SHOWs to setup / TS ccts, and liase with OPS. And you still have an on call day working ISA to react to IT issues, who can be assisted by the two Jr bodies in the shack for menial bits, cause God knows the Navy rarely copies BDCST or does RSS unless it's WUPS or training.

I've sailed 1 in 3 with 9 bodies on a frigate. It was busy but can definitely be done.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Occam on April 05, 2016, 22:01:06
Well, I'll defer to your opinion as your experience is more recent than mine...but I can tell you that there is certainly the potential for things to get a lot busier in the CCR.  Imagine reverting to completely manual circuit setups.  We're hoping to avoid that, but I wouldn't bet money either way.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 05, 2016, 22:10:24
I wouldn't necessarily defer to me as I've been gone from skimmers for awhile. But as a trade I will maintain:

- That our bridge bodies are next to useless except to maintain the bloat that already exists in bridge manning. In the modern environment visual signals are next to dead. The signalman need to let it die. As well VHF should belong to the OOW.

- The 3 junior bodies in the CCR are very underutilized. Unless your running a TGEX copying BDCST and grading InterShip they won't get utilized fully. And you'd be hard pressed to find a shack in the fleet that could actually run the 3 ccts and maintain it for any length of time. We haven't forced the units to maintain those skills very well.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: donaldk on April 05, 2016, 23:14:53
Until the first time your internet, DWAN, CSNI or any other network link craps the bed...

And who are you going to get to configure radio equipment and circuits?

When I was on IRO, 3 of the NavComms were IT, remainder were mostly trainees not counting the PO1, PO2, and the MS.  Alongside it was sweet having a NavComm section of 30 strong, because it meant as the OOD you had one on the duty watch if that priority message needed to be chopped out (in its last days of being seaworthy in the few days before going out).  Now having a Combat Dept of 60-80 going to sea for a simple FISHPAT is quite a waste (especially if the damn gun isn't even fitted), but a TGEX with staff onboard is a different story (and we don't do enough of them as it is).

Now having my ET shop 60% under-manned SUCKED - it was a miracle to keep the lights on and IMCS from taking a complete crap.

I am hoping that the trial on MON is success literally as long as the risk assessments are done.  The MCDV concept, although hard on the core crew, is a valid concept (you have your minimum manning for the platform already made known, then add mission requirements on top, and also make sure you have a plan for ISSC port-stops - routine or emergency). 
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 06, 2016, 10:43:42
I wouldn't necessarily defer to me as I've been gone from skimmers for awhile. But as a trade I will maintain:

- That our bridge bodies are next to useless except to maintain the bloat that already exists in bridge manning. In the modern environment visual signals are next to dead. The signalman need to let it die. As well VHF should belong to the OOW.

- The 3 junior bodies in the CCR are very underutilized. Unless your running a TGEX copying BDCST and grading InterShip they won't get utilized fully. And you'd be hard pressed to find a shack in the fleet that could actually run the 3 ccts and maintain it for any length of time. We haven't forced the units to maintain those skills very well.

The Americans sail without NAVCOMMS (if they even have that trade?) on the bridge. As you said, the 2OOW/3OOW is more than capable of handling comms and tactical signals. We do a lot of it on our MARS training, and then never get to use it again.

Personally, for peace-time sailing, I'd be more than comfortable with a bridge that was only OOW, 2OOW, Bosn's Mate and Helmsman.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 06, 2016, 11:31:24
Actually Lumber, the US Navy used to have (as we did before they became navcoms) signalman as a trade until 2004. After that, in view of the reduced need for visual signals, it was decided to merge the trade and the training with the Quartermasters. A word of caution here: In the US Navy, QM is a trade with entry at the PO2 level (their PO2 is equivalent to our MS). That trade is responsible for all navigation and ship handling (meaning helm, not conning) of the ship and, now, all the communications on the bridge. In the US, this is not done by officers.

As for tactical comms, they are usually done by the Combat information specialists in the CIC, then passed to the bridge as instructions after "decoding". That explains why the Americans are sometimes a little slower than we are at maneuvering.  ;D

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 06, 2016, 11:45:31
That trade is responsible for all navigation and ship handling (meaning helm, not conning) of the ship and, now, all the communications on the bridge. In the US, this is not done by officers.

As for tactical comms, they are usually done by the Combat information specialists in the CIC, then passed to the bridge as instructions after "decoding". That explains why the Americans are sometimes a little slower than we are at maneuvering.  ;D

'Curious then. Either the USN has changed their methords or the Arlegih I sailed on did it a bit differently. When we did manoeuvres on RIMPAC in 2010, they appointed one of the 2nd JOODs (the most junior) as TacO (Tactical Communication Officer), the JOOD as ConnO, and the OOD just kind of watched. When a tacsig came in, the TacO would decipher it, then pass the station/formation down to CIC.  Then, both CIC and the bridge would calculate a relvel solution (but if I recall CIC only got it right about 50% of the time...). Then we would manoeuvre.

The QM did the same thing we saw him do all the time. Watch movies in his shack and appear every once in a while to take a GPS fix and put an entry in the log (no OOW notebook, I found).

In any case, they had a much smaller bridge team as well. From what I remember, it was a team of 5: OOD, JOOD, Helmsman, Bosnsmate and QM. There may have been 1 more but it's been a few years...

Anyways, one of the ways I can see this whole crew reduction thing working is for the ship to realize that if you're only doing things in the  day time, you don't need a full 1-in-2 watch rotation. You can change a lot of postions to day workers and therefore have only 1 watch.

When we were doing trials back in fall 2014, ppl were freaking out because we couldn't find a 2nd EWS, until I argued that since all of our trials were taking place during the day, we would stand down the EWS position, and just have that particular member show up in Ops whenever there was a trial going on. You don't need an EWS to baby sit the NESOPs on the mid-watch when nothing.is.happening.

Apply that logic to all of the difference positions and you can cut down significantly. Ramp up for deployed Ops.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 06, 2016, 12:18:01
'Curious then. Either the USN has changed their methords or the Arlegih I sailed on did it a bit differently. When we did manoeuvres on RIMPAC in 2010, they appointed one of the 2nd JOODs (the most junior) as TacO (Tactical Communication Officer), the JOOD as ConnO, and the OOD just kind of watched. When a tacsig came in, the TacO would decipher it, then pass the station/formation down to CIC.  Then, both CIC and the bridge would calculate a relvel solution (but if I recall CIC only got it right about 50% of the time...). Then we would manoeuvre.

I was thinking as the ordinary "on-watch" situation, not planned heavy maneuvering periods.  :)

Anyways, one of the ways I can see this whole crew reduction thing working is for the ship to realize that if you're only doing things in the  day time, you don't need a full 1-in-2 watch rotation. You can change a lot of postions to day workers and therefore have only 1 watch.

You mean become continental Europeans? All exercises during the day, with a break for lunch, then you need only one for each operational position; you have a small cadre of maintainers, that do nothing else as their day job, and at night, you just steam around with a watch of five.  ;D

BTW, people here have mentioned the MCDV core crew as an example, but in my mind (and that of many that were around at the time of transition, it did not live up to its billing in the engineering side as a result of the engineering lobby's efforts. Here's what I mean:

The MCDV's were supposed to have unmanned engine rooms controlled from MCR by operators only, with no repairs/maintenance at sea - all of it being done under the service contract. Emergency repairs at sea, if any, were to be the purview of the CERA and A/CERA, who were not supposed to be from the NESO trade. In theory, for a one in four rotation of operators, you would have had a crew of seven engineers: 4 Watchkeepers, CERA, A/CERA and one Electrician. Instead, the Engineers lobby refused to operate with a single WK and forced a "ER roundsman" on the whole scheme, increasing the size to 11, just because they could not let go of the concept of somebody walking through the engine room and checking things by hand once an hour.

Before any one crucifies me with examples where they "needed" these extra hands (and please remember the original concept behind the MCDV was: if anything fails, the operators shuts it down and we limp back in harbour without it to get it fixed), remember that the Brits are doing exactly that with the River class OPV's. Not only does it have a single operator up only for the engineering, but the actual controls are duplicated from MCR to the bridge and the engineer on watch sits his/her watch on the bridge with everybody else (very Star-Trekish  :) ).
   
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 07, 2016, 22:58:17
BTW, people here have mentioned the MCDV core crew as an example, but in my mind (and that of many that were around at the time of transition, it did not live up to its billing in the engineering side as a result of the engineering lobby's efforts. Here's what I mean:

The MCDV's were supposed to have unmanned engine rooms controlled from MCR by operators only, with no repairs/maintenance at sea - all of it being done under the service contract. Emergency repairs at sea, if any, were to be the purview of the CERA and A/CERA, who were not supposed to be from the NESO trade. In theory, for a one in four rotation of operators, you would have had a crew of seven engineers: 4 Watchkeepers, CERA, A/CERA and one Electrician. Instead, the Engineers lobby refused to operate with a single WK and forced a "ER roundsman" on the whole scheme, increasing the size to 11, just because they could not let go of the concept of somebody walking through the engine room and checking things by hand once an hour.

Before any one crucifies me with examples where they "needed" these extra hands (and please remember the original concept behind the MCDV was: if anything fails, the operators shuts it down and we limp back in harbour without it to get it fixed), remember that the Brits are doing exactly that with the River class OPV's. Not only does it have a single operator up only for the engineering, but the actual controls are duplicated from MCR to the bridge and the engineer on watch sits his/her watch on the bridge with everybody else (very Star-Trekish  :) ).
   

I think you mean the engineering mafia not lobby.  I understand that for a steamer with boilers the safety precautions this was really important but now.... not so much needed.  And the MARS community is a bit afraid to take them on, mainly because they don't "really" understand their own equipment.

MCDV's are not perfect.  My last ship in the reserves, the bridge crew on the MCDV's were often up their with their eyes bleeding from fatigue because they were on 1 in 3 with their normal day work and exercises... thank god for senior staff stepping in to help out when they saw the problem (XO, Buffer, Coxn taking the odd watch spot to break up the worst of it).
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chief Engineer on April 07, 2016, 23:49:20
I was thinking as the ordinary "on-watch" situation, not planned heavy maneuvering periods.  :)

You mean become continental Europeans? All exercises during the day, with a break for lunch, then you need only one for each operational position; you have a small cadre of maintainers, that do nothing else as their day job, and at night, you just steam around with a watch of five.  ;D

BTW, people here have mentioned the MCDV core crew as an example, but in my mind (and that of many that were around at the time of transition, it did not live up to its billing in the engineering side as a result of the engineering lobby's efforts. Here's what I mean:

The MCDV's were supposed to have unmanned engine rooms controlled from MCR by operators only, with no repairs/maintenance at sea - all of it being done under the service contract. Emergency repairs at sea, if any, were to be the purview of the CERA and A/CERA, who were not supposed to be from the NESO trade. In theory, for a one in four rotation of operators, you would have had a crew of seven engineers: 4 Watchkeepers, CERA, A/CERA and one Electrician. Instead, the Engineers lobby refused to operate with a single WK and forced a "ER roundsman" on the whole scheme, increasing the size to 11, just because they could not let go of the concept of somebody walking through the engine room and checking things by hand once an hour.

Before any one crucifies me with examples where they "needed" these extra hands (and please remember the original concept behind the MCDV was: if anything fails, the operators shuts it down and we limp back in harbour without it to get it fixed), remember that the Brits are doing exactly that with the River class OPV's. Not only does it have a single operator up only for the engineering, but the actual controls are duplicated from MCR to the bridge and the engineer on watch sits his/her watch on the bridge with everybody else (very Star-Trekish  :) ).
   

When we originally commissioned the first MCDV's we had 1 Chief Eng, 1 Sr ET, 1 NET , 4 EOOW and 4 Roundsman. This lasted about 6 months.  This was the concept of manning for the ships at the time, not sure where this other stuff came about however back then lots was talked about, no tools, contractor did everything, unmanned engine room and that didn't last long. It wasn't the Engineering mafia that doesn't want unmanned engine rooms, it was simply a matter of safety. Originally the ships were supported to have a IMCS, however that went by the wayside and a more more simpler system was installed to save money, hell it took them over 10 years to install a CCTV system in the machinery spaces. Most of the machinery do have a double redundancy and a "return"home capability, however if we replied on that we wouldn't actually be deployable to some of the places we're gotten, such as the Arctic. As well the amount of teething problems we had with the Main Alternators and resultant catastrophic failures it was fortunate we had the 1 and 3 rotation we have. Its easy to say make it a unmanned engine room with the proper equipment, but when things go sideways and they will the less engineers you have could make the difference between getting home and not arriving at all. I am here to tell you that the demands placed on the ships company and engineering department we need more than less.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 08, 2016, 00:14:35
 :goodpost:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 08, 2016, 08:33:11
So, correct me if I'm wrong, please, but what I think I'm learning from this thread is:

   1. We can build warship to civilian standards, thus making big, Big savings in capital costs (my 80% of the capability for 20% of the cost thing); but

   2. We cannot crew our warships to civilian standards if we want (as we must) something like 80% of performance.

New question: are those "civilian standards" becoming more common for warships (other than in the USN)?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 08, 2016, 09:38:48
New question: are those "civilian standards" becoming more common for warships (other than in the USN)?

I'm not exactly an expert on "civilian standards", and I certainly can't speak for any new warships that are being built, but in the 7 years that I sailed on CPFs (on and off), I didn't see anything like a reduction in crew demands or manning levels, other than the elimination of the requirement for an Aft Lookout.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: SeaKingTacco on April 08, 2016, 10:05:43
So, correct me if I'm wrong, please, but what I think I'm learning from this thread is:

   1. We can build warship to civilian standards, thus making big, Big savings in capital costs (my 80% of the capability for 20% of the cost thing); but

   2. We cannot crew our warships to civilian standards if we want (as we must) something like 80% of performance.

New question: are those "civilian standards" becoming more common for warships (other than in the USN)?

Not quite, Edward. Right now, we are going down a path of building vessels with military purpose to civilian standard (AOPs and probably tankers). The compartmentalizations, redundancy, state of quieting and probably the quality of the steel will all be inferior to what happens with CSC. That is fine- those vessels are unlikely to ever see high intensity combat. All of those things I mentioned are what starts to cost you money.

As for crewing- automation, wherever you can get away with it, is a good thing. It is no panacea, however. If (when) things go wrong, you may well find yourself without enough humans onboard to save yourself. But that all comes down to severity versus the probability of something bad happening. You cannot (obviously) account for every possible contingency.

As vessels age (say past the 20 year mark) unless you have been extremely diligent in your preventative maintenance and replacing gear as it becomes obsolete, your crew begins to get run off its feet just fixing the little (and not so little) things that break.

So- if I were in charge of buying ships, I would try to get the crew size as small as I could reasonably get away with (humans cost a lot of money over the life of a warship). I would also dispose of any ship after 18-20 years, as they become maintenance hogs after that point.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 08, 2016, 10:33:29
The problem here ERC is that I don't know what "civilian" standard means, and I doubt if anybody knows.

Manning is much more a function of the duty of the ship at stake.

Take a modern bulk carrier. It gets out of harbour and basically, comes up to transit speed, switches over to heavy bunker, and stay at that speed (and almost on that course) for the whole transit to say Europe. It has a single medium speed diesel engine turning fixed pitch screw through a simple straightforward gearbox, a single diesel generator and one emergency generator. The chance of a breakdown in the engine room is pretty low, and if it happens, then you just drift while the chief engineering mate and his crew make the repair. A total engineering department of one Chief mate and two assistant, none of which stand watch, to deal with ongoing maintenance (limited really to cleaning the oil filters in rotation and the injectors sets) is more than enough. Same goes for bridge crew: one officer to plot the GPS fix every hour and otherwise keep an eye out for the one or two other large ship they may cross path with in any given watch (remember they are mid-ocean), 90% of which encounters require no maneuvering , is more than enough. As there is no "ongoing drills" all the time, and they have all the same watches all the time, six people are enough. Add the captain and the cooks and you get a crew of eleven. And that's enough for what is, in effect a truck.

But go onboard a cruise ship, where the seaman's crew is responsible for thousands of human lives, and suddenly, this truck like basic manning is far from sufficient. You will see bridge crew and engineering watches much closer in composition and number to the ones we use in the Navy, and the overall number of seaman goes up accordingly, with most cruise ships having "seaman" (i.e. excluding the "hotel" personnel) crew closer to about 120-150 members, about half of which are engineers of some description.

You have the same situation for, say, a deep diving support ship: crew of more than 100, in large part engineers, to make absolutely sure that nothing, underline nothing, breaks down or malfunctions while the divers are at depth.

And you have everything in between depending on the ship's task. So I ask again what does "civilian" standard crewing means?

Now, for the Navy, if all we ever did was drive around at constant speed going from A to B, (I am sure Lumber will agree here) we could reduce the number of people on watch, and with nothing else but watch keeping going on, we'd be standing one in six or seven with the numbers we have onboard. But that is not what we do. We are warships and when out of harbour, we are either on an operation or training for it. Either way, it requires more people and it takes a much higher toll on all the equipment - which is constantly and harshly solicited by our maneuvering - which in itself requires more maintainers and since we have a lot more equipment (read engines/gearboxes/mechanical devices) than the standard merchant ship that also means more maintainers.

But there are still ways to reduce personnel in the navy overall or reduce manning to face critical shortages. One way is to accept that, other than the ships deploying on operations, where you do need everyone (try do an Ocean Safari, for instance, without a full crew) when going out to train only, you could reduce the operations side to a single watch and do all the training during the work day only, then just steaming around with minimal watch on deck at night. You then augment such crew when it is about to go on operations somewhere.

A word of caution, however: This can work as a temporary measure when critical shortages exist or as mean to provide the non high-readiness ships with leave and sending personnel on career courses or easing the tempo for family reasons but it cannot be a long term plan. If all hell broke lose, you have to be able to fully man every ship in the fleet, so overall, you need to have the numbers available to do that. In the end, automation is the only way to go long term for crew reduction, as long as we accept that in case of breakdown it may reduce the ship's fighting efficiency.     
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 08, 2016, 11:26:21
Best. Post. Ever.  :salute:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 08, 2016, 12:19:51
Best. Post. Ever.  :salute:

 :ditto:  Thanks SKT and OGBD for keeping me on a sensible track. Some of these ship discussions are very informative for laymen (and landsmen).
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 18, 2016, 18:14:15
So, correct me if I'm wrong, please, but what I think I'm learning from this thread is:

   1. We can build warship to civilian standards, thus making big, Big savings in capital costs (my 80% of the capability for 20% of the cost thing); but

   2. We cannot crew our warships to civilian standards if we want (as we must) something like 80% of performance.

New question: are those "civilian standards" becoming more common for warships (other than in the USN)?

There is another aspect to this (which was touched on earlier).  Many European ships have reduced their crew on warships.  They don't have a coast guard similar to the Canadian construction and their armed coast guard ships are labelled as warships.  They accept lower crewing requirements because they also accept lower readiness standards.  If something goes wrong in European waters then they are quite frankly very close to help from either their own country or a neighbour.  In Canada something goes wrong we are generally on our own far from help.  There is also the professionalism of the service we are living with.  We generally expect and get very high standards from our ships and crew in performance of their duties.  It's a point of national pride.  Other services have different levels of expectations and what passes for acceptable for them might be woefully inadequate for us.  This reflects back to crewing requirements.  Perhaps we need to take a look and reduce our expectations of the standards in order to save the fleet overall.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 18, 2016, 18:27:53
...  Perhaps we need to take a look and reduce our expectations of the standards in order to save the fleet overall.

Can a plan be devised that adjusts the crew size according to the situation?

For example -

An individual vessel sailing on EEZ patrol out of Halifax

A pair of vessels sailing in company on EEZ patrol

A vessel sailing in an international taskforce on constabulary duties

A vessel sailing in an international taskforce in a high threat/open warfare environment

A Canadian Task Force sailing in a high threat/open warfare environment.

Is it feasible to man-up, up-arm a vessel according to task and environment?


Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 18, 2016, 18:38:54
I would say that a stumbling block could be that if you're always used to sailing in a reduced capacity and crew that it will be more difficult to suddenly have to sail with more expectations put upon you.  It's easier to let up than to pile it on.  As in they found in the past where there was a steep learning curve in both equipment, tactics and personnel requirements to meet the "new" situation, crews paid in blood and tears until they adapted to the new environment.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 18, 2016, 20:05:09
It may be easier JJT but it is also more expensive.   It seems to mean fewer hulls and fewer missions and no way to spool up to a higher tempo.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 18, 2016, 20:55:44
It may be easier JJT but it is also more expensive.   It seems to mean fewer hulls and fewer missions and no way to spool up to a higher tempo.

Money, we can afford, when set against the cost of crew's lives and ships.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Halifax Tar on April 19, 2016, 04:13:31
Money, we can afford, when set against the cost of crew's lives and ships.

Interesting discussion.  The CMDR was out for a visit last week and he touched on the "X" Ship (MTL) and what she will be trialing.

Quite honestly, and this is just my interpretation, to sum up it went like this:

We are approaching a manning crisis in the RCN. We don't see a potential influx of recruits in the near future, and we don't see a drop in our OP tempo, this is what must be done to maintain our Navy and our operational tasks as laid out by the government of the day and what our country expects of the RCN.

The key issue here is the "approaching manning crisis".  It is my opinion and only my opinion that we need to take a hard look at why a) People aren't joining the RCN and b) if they do join why we are unable to keep them in.

Addressing these issues is the fix not reducing crew sizes.  Reducing crew sizes just enables the avoidance of having to deal with the reasons people don't want to join and/or wont stay in.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Nuggs on April 19, 2016, 06:14:34




Addressing these issues is the fix not reducing crew sizes.  Reducing crew sizes just enables the avoidance of having to deal with the reasons people don't want to join and/or wont stay in.

Great post

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 19, 2016, 08:05:02
Addressing these issues is the fix not reducing crew sizes.  Reducing crew sizes just enables the avoidance of having to deal with the reasons people don't want to join and/or wont stay in.

HT, great post and to the point.  But to be fair (and I hate to be so), the next generation of ships will have less demand for crewing due to automation being able to take up some of the slack that's be required by the meat interface.  But that is by design, not by the dilemma they find today's fleet in.  Two different drivers for the issue.  But you're correct, if they cannot correct the real reasons they can't get the crews today, they'll not get the crews tomorrow either.

For the great  :trainwreck:  that is coming to the engineering side of the house, I am hearing that at the coal face, nobody (myself included) is happy about it in all three trades.  As someone commented at the town hall about it the last week "taking three red trades and joining them together, won't suddenly turn them green".
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: NavyShooter on April 19, 2016, 08:08:01
W Eng is 'fixed' and our solution is the perfect model to follow. 

We were at 108% last year, are at 102% as of end Jan, and the prospect is for a recruiting intake of 30/90....so we'll be in the yellow again by next year....

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Baz on April 19, 2016, 09:25:46
I would say that a stumbling block could be that if you're always used to sailing in a reduced capacity and crew that it will be more difficult to suddenly have to sail with more expectations put upon you.  It's easier to let up than to pile it on.  As in they found in the past where there was a steep learning curve in both equipment, tactics and personnel requirements to meet the "new" situation, crews paid in blood and tears until they adapted to the new environment.

There is also a tangential, but important, issue: "ship to shore" ratio; or, more correctly, the ratio of people on long deployments.

If you reduce man the ship's that are alongside in work periods and do local ops, but up the crew for long deployments, you have a higher percentage of people deployed at one time.  That isn't sustainable (the rest of the country isn't at war, so how are you going to convince just a few to be continuously "at war" and away from their families).

The basic problem is at the leadership level and the refusal to not properly brief that it isn't sustainable to have a higher op tempo with fewer people; the entire organization needs to take an operational pause and regen.  It's not just numbers, its also experience and the underlying professionalism.  No proper force development (like weapon system change and tactics development) is being done.

The Commander (maybe the DComd) of the RCAF, one of the last times I saw him at a town hall, said that it is obvious that Force Employment is going to be the biggest priority, everything else has to pigeon hole.  Colloquially though, what was the Allies biggest priority during World War II, for instance: Force Generation.  Even on 6 Jun the pipe still had to turn out follow on forces.  The signal that Germany was done was when they could no longer turn out follow on forces.  However, so that nobody has to say "if we do that we are going to break" the entire system is being brought to the breaking point.

More simply, I would submit: if the RCN is unable to recruit and train to meet it's operational appetite, then is that a sure sign that the appetite is not in tune with the wishes of the population?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 19, 2016, 10:12:18
More simply, I would submit: if the RCN is unable to recruit and train to meet it's operational appetite, then is that a sure sign that the appetite is not in tune with the wishes of the population?

An interesting question, and good starting point to further discussion, Baz. But there is a misleading aspect here. The RCN is not the one that recruits and train, at least at the basic entry level, its own personnel. The Recruiting system and Training system of the CF does that.

And this means that we are, Navy wide, stuck with the recruiting system's choice of where, when, how frequently and what content the advertisement runs, for instance (for example, is 5 seconds of scene not totally clearly of shipboard life in a 30 sec. ad enough to attract the attention of Canadian youth who might be interested, and if the Navy is in dire need but overall, the recruiting system is attracting a sufficient number of people through its doors, will they run ad more frequently?). And if the processing and then basic training takes forever, how many people do we lose. And should we have the same standards as every body else in the CF, etc. etc.

So here is another question: Would it be better for the RCN to take back full control of its recruiting and training (from scratch) from the CF machine? Is it time for an Admiral to put her foot down and say: "I will use part of my money to reopen (something like) HMCS Cornwallis, and concentrate my simulators / basic training / various fleet schools there and concentrate on modern training of all my people. I will also produce and run my own ads independently from the recruiting system with my own money and provide the recruiting centres with extra resources to process the future seamen. I will pay for this by laying up two thirds of the fleet, which will also give the sea going personnel time to breathe and regroup." ?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 19, 2016, 10:35:04
I will also produce and run my own ads independently from the recruiting system...

You had me up until here.

While the Trudeau government has resulted in greater openness and transparency, one thing that remains from the Harper government is the centralization of the public message. If highly doubt that ADM(PA) is going to let the Navy run off and produce it's own adds. They'd demand to be briefed and included in every step in the process, making changes left right and centre in order to make sure the Navy's message matched the national narrative, at which point you've just wasted time, effort, and money trying to do it the Navy way.

If I sound bitter, it's the result of having to go through NAVRES PA, MARPAC PA, RCN PA, and finally ADM(PA) to ask if we can set up a recruiting tent at a BBQ.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Halifax Tar on April 19, 2016, 10:39:09
An interesting question, and good starting point to further discussion, Baz. But there is a misleading aspect here. The RCN is not the one that recruits and train, at least at the basic entry level, its own personnel. The Recruiting system and Training system of the CF does that.

And this means that we are, Navy wide, stuck with the recruiting system's choice of where, when, how frequently and what content the advertisement runs, for instance (for example, is 5 seconds of scene not totally clearly of shipboard life in a 30 sec. ad enough to attract the attention of Canadian youth who might be interested, and if the Navy is in dire need but overall, the recruiting system is attracting a sufficient number of people through its doors, will they run ad more frequently?). And if the processing and then basic training takes forever, how many people do we lose. And should we have the same standards as every body else in the CF, etc. etc.

So here is another question: Would it be better for the RCN to take back full control of its recruiting and training (from scratch) from the CF machine? Is it time for an Admiral to put her foot down and say: "I will use part of my money to reopen (something like) HMCS Cornwallis, and concentrate my simulators / basic training / various fleet schools there and concentrate on modern training of all my people. I will also produce and run my own ads independently from the recruiting system with my own money and provide the recruiting centres with extra resources to process the future seamen. I will pay for this by laying up two thirds of the fleet, which will also give the sea going personnel time to breathe and regroup." ?

Whoa... Who do you think you are ?  The RCN cannot strike out on its own unless the CA is ok with it.  You know that!  That was the whole point of unification!  Come on now OGBD ;)
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eaglelord17 on April 19, 2016, 11:32:06
An interesting question, and good starting point to further discussion, Baz. But there is a misleading aspect here. The RCN is not the one that recruits and train, at least at the basic entry level, its own personnel. The Recruiting system and Training system of the CF does that.

As someone who did a short stint in the Navy until recently, the problem isn't the recruiting system, and it isn't the initial training system. The problem is the Navy itself and its ability to retain people. Before I joined up I did a fair bit of research, I talked to vets, talked to people who had been in and left for good reasons and bad reasons (i.e. why they hated it). I asked them what they liked and what they didn't. I asked what the issues they had with Navy was.

The best time I ever had in the Navy was when I was in my initial training, because after that it went to complete crap. You (this is from my limited prospective as a former jr Stoker) get to the ship, and morale is already in the dumps. The things you were told to expect no longer exist (this is a short list). Things like sliders, drinking on ship (not when I initially joined, however it is the case now), beards (I didn't know those were gone from the ship when I joined), going places and having a good time (now if you go on deployment they are usually dry deployments, with two beers per day allowed in port. I don't know about you but I don't want to spend up to 9 months of the year with the same 240 people in close confinement, and not be allowed to blow off steam every now and again).

The training system for Stokers is broken, you spend 3 1/2 months learning how to make a gasket and file a block of steel, then get to the ship and know next to nothing about your job. You are supposed to almost have a apprenticeship with someone who knows what they are doing teaching you, however those few people left with experience are too busy just trying to keep things running than to be able to train (both themselves and jr members). The 'experts' are now the people who have done it once. Positions which historically had people with 10+ years in filling them are now being filled by people with 3 years as they don't have anyone else. And to top it off as a Stoker for whatever reason we fill billets in Laundry and Scullery despite the fact we are undermanned and we are mechanics not servants.

The best decision of my life was choosing to leave the Navy, I have not regretted it once since I left. It is funny talking with those same people I talked to before I joined and asking what the issues they had were, they don't even register on the radar anymore as they were such minor issues in comparison to the ones facing the sailors at the moment.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 19, 2016, 11:44:40
As someone who did a short stint in the Navy until recently, the problem isn't the recruiting system, and it isn't the initial training system. The problem is the Navy itself and its ability to retain people. Before I joined up I did a fair bit of research, I talked to vets, talked to people who had been in and left for good reasons and bad reasons (i.e. why they hated it). I asked them what they liked and what they didn't. I asked what the issues they had with Navy was.

The best time I ever had in the Navy was when I was in my initial training, because after that it went to complete crap. You (this is from my limited prospective as a former jr Stoker) get to the ship, and morale is already in the dumps. The things you were told to expect no longer exist (this is a short list). Things like sliders, drinking on ship (not when I initially joined, however it is the case now), beards (I didn't know those were gone from the ship when I joined), going places and having a good time (now if you go on deployment they are usually dry deployments, with two beers per day allowed in port. I don't know about you but I don't want to spend up to 9 months of the year with the same 240 people in close confinement, and not be allowed to blow off steam every now and again).

The training system for Stokers is broken, you spend 3 1/2 months learning how to make a gasket and file a block of steel, then get to the ship and know next to nothing about your job. You are supposed to almost have a apprenticeship with someone who knows what they are doing teaching you, however those few people left with experience are too busy just trying to keep things running than to be able to train (both themselves and jr members). The 'experts' are now the people who have done it once. Positions which historically had people with 10+ years in filling them are now being filled by people with 3 years as they don't have anyone else. And to top it off as a Stoker for whatever reason we fill billets in Laundry and Scullery despite the fact we are undermanned and we are mechanics not servants.

The best decision of my life was choosing to leave the Navy, I have not regretted it once since I left. It is funny talking with those same people I talked to before I joined and asking what the issues they had were, they don't even register on the radar anymore as they were such minor issues in comparison to the ones facing the sailors at the moment.

You forgot to add that Stokers seem to treat their new kids like crap too.  I've seen many a new kid come in, all starry eyes and really, really bright, intelligent, outstanding quality, only to see them get beaten down and after a few years leave.  I could think of a good dozen really amazing youngsters that we should have done everything to keep in be driven out like some sort of witch from the Salem era.  What a loss.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Baz on April 19, 2016, 12:03:48
So here is another question: Would it be better for the RCN to take back full control of its recruiting and training (from scratch) from the CF machine? Is it time for an Admiral to put her foot down and say: "I will use part of my money to reopen (something like) HMCS Cornwallis, and concentrate my simulators / basic training / various fleet schools there and concentrate on modern training of all my people. I will also produce and run my own ads independently from the recruiting system with my own money and provide the recruiting centres with extra resources to process the future seamen. I will pay for this by laying up two thirds of the fleet, which will also give the sea going personnel time to breathe and regroup." ?

That is also a good question: it would go a long way to answering my basic question.  The response you would get, if done properly, would be indicative of the publics appetite to have a Navy.

So a follow on question: if the response indicated that we should have a largely "domestic" Navy, say Frigates and AOps only because that's all we could man, would the Admirals accept that and scale down the HQ overhead accordingly (thereby having less Admirals as well)?  Should they accept that?

By the way, that would also mean that the community I supported for 26 years of my life also becomes largely redundant, making those 26 years (even more) useless.  So I'm not throwing barbs here, just asking the hypothetical.  If not enough people in the population want to do it or pay for it, then as Military / Industrial professionals should we just accept that?

But you are absolutely correct, it would remove central bureaucratic influence on what should be a RCN issue (to the extent the RCN actually legally exists).


Tangent: this has been discussed elsewhere, but I *feel* it is time to actually properly reconstitute the RCAF, RCN, Canadian Army, Communications "Command," and Support "Command."  But get rid of ADM(Mat), ADM (IM), ADM(Pers), etc (or whatever they are called now).  Make those 5 "Service Chiefs" responsible for all aspects of Force Generation, with reach back into PWGSC (or whatever they just turned into) and SSC (and probably an HR center of expertise).

So you would have:
MND
/---^---\
CDS     DM---> What ever ADM's he needs to fulfill his policy and financial roles
/---^---\
CFG     CFE(Chief of Force Generation, LGen)---> whatever structure needed to Command forces in operations, but separate and distinct from CFG (ie *NO* dual hatting)
(Chief of Force Generation, LGen)
^---|---|---|---|---|
ComdRCN     ComdCA     ComdRCAF     ComdCC     ComdSC     (Commanders of the Force Gen elements, all MGens)

CFG and the element Commander's generate combat ready forces, CFE employs them; never the two shall meet.

... and I would put MH under full command of the ComdRCN, with Airworthiness responsibility to the ComdRCAF...

... but I digress.


Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 19, 2016, 12:21:55
There is also a tangential, but important, issue: "ship to shore" ratio; or, more correctly, the ratio of people on long deployments.

If you reduce man the ship's that are alongside in work periods and do local ops, but up the crew for long deployments, you have a higher percentage of people deployed at one time.  That isn't sustainable (the rest of the country isn't at war, so how are you going to convince just a few to be continuously "at war" and away from their families).

The basic problem is at the leadership level and the refusal to not properly brief that it isn't sustainable to have a higher op tempo with fewer people; the entire organization needs to take an operational pause and regen.  It's not just numbers, its also experience and the underlying professionalism.  No proper force development (like weapon system change and tactics development) is being done.

The Commander (maybe the DComd) of the RCAF, one of the last times I saw him at a town hall, said that it is obvious that Force Employment is going to be the biggest priority, everything else has to pigeon hole.  Colloquially though, what was the Allies biggest priority during World War II, for instance: Force Generation.  Even on 6 Jun the pipe still had to turn out follow on forces.  The signal that Germany was done was when they could no longer turn out follow on forces.  However, so that nobody has to say "if we do that we are going to break" the entire system is being brought to the breaking point.

More simply, I would submit: if the RCN is unable to recruit and train to meet it's operational appetite, then is that a sure sign that the appetite is not in tune with the wishes of the population?

I think this is a post that is applicable to our entire Force, in one way or another. 

The Cold War ended.  Pay and equipment has become costly.  Result?  Downsize, across the board.

Then, we get into a sustained op (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc) and all of a sudden, we face burnout of the remaining 'pers/crews' who have to go out the door more often because we don't have enough crews to do otherwise.  We look for ways to reduce our crew size, to counter the burnout.  People get too burnt out they will leave, because there is grass out there and it can be greener, or at least green enough.

The RCN is not the only group in the CAF facing this situation, if that is any conciliation.  The collective "we" have been hacked and slashed and cut to IMO, beyond the 'minimum required' force size.  Yet, we are constantly pushed to 'do more with less'.  Less equipment, less training budgets, less people and (IMO) when this combination of things all join, you are start facing the 'less people who also have less of a GAFF', because they are tired of constantly 'making it work' for the same governments that underfund them in the first place.

 :2c:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 19, 2016, 12:44:49
I am going to throw one word into the mix:  Reserves.

Reserves - the place where skills are/should be/could be held at zero/minimal cost until required.

The failure to properly integrate Reserves into the FG/FE mix is at the heart of many of your problems. - True of all three services and the government's planning.

Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 19, 2016, 12:58:11
To a point, I agree.  However, even having 'a reserve' isn't the best answer.  It's better than 'not having a reserve', but if the average reservist doesn't have the same baseline skill/knowledge/capability that their Regular counterpart does, they can't contribute to the same level when the SHTF.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: dapaterson on April 19, 2016, 13:25:26
Canada's military is grossly overranked and over-headquartered.  The Army is at best a single division, implying command by an MGen, not a LGen, with the related downranking and elimination of supporting staff.  So too is the RCN; with twelve surface combatants and four submarines, that would generously be a command for a Rear Admiral, not a Vice Admiral.  Culling HQs, both in number and in size, would free up positions to be reinvested into the fleet (and into other evolving capabilities).

That said, further splitting of functions serves no one's interest.  Building an RCN Recruiting and basic training capacity would merely build overlap and unnecessary bloat into the system.  As previously noted, it's not the Recruiting group that decides what and where and when to advertise, but ADM(PA).  A seperate RCN recruiting and training group would merely encounter the same roadblocks.  And would begin competing with the CAF.

There are foundational problems with the current CAF establishment that no one seems willing to address; building more redunant capacity would only worsen the situation.  The recent CAF establishment study laid out many of those issues; as I don't believe it has been released, I won't cite chapter and verse, but I will observe that training timelines contribute to a need for more people on the BTL/SUTL than there are positions for, and that the number of positions identified to hold the ill and injured are below the current population.  As long as the CAF is bound within a certain target strength, overages in some places will translate into shortages in others.  The solution is multi-faceted: mercilessly cull organizations to find unneeded and redundant positions; accept that a nation Canada's size cannot do everything; and revisit training with a view to identifying what is truly necessary and what is no longer relevant or required.

Or we can continue to muddle along and refuse to change.  Based on past experience, I fear we'll pursue the latter COA.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 19, 2016, 13:37:36
To a point, I agree.  However, even having 'a reserve' isn't the best answer.  It's better than 'not having a reserve', but if the average reservist doesn't have the same baseline skill/knowledge/capability that their Regular counterpart does, they can't contribute to the same level when the SHTF.

I agree entirely.  The point is how to create and maintain a skilled reserve that can contribute. 
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 19, 2016, 14:06:21
Another problem that will appear to be 'a priority' in the defence review...and will have all kinds of paragraphs and sentences about puppies and butterflies when the final report is out...and...

then it too will ease its way into the shadows.

IMO, the Canadian taxpayer doesn't care about defence and the job of this government will be focused on 'getting re-elected in 4 years' instead of governing for 4 years.  We in the CAF are too small in numbers to make a difference in their voting cares.  We don't have a strong voice that carries weight IMO so we will get whatever leftovers are tossed under the kitchen table.   

Seeing all that as 'very likely' from the window I see the world thru, the senior CAF leadership will have hard choices to make yet again, but with (likely) less $.  If you have to cut funding to your reserve structure to sustain your regular one, you do it.  I was in the 'Mau when we went from 2 trg nights a week and 1 wknd exercise a month one year to half that cut away, and then some.

The cutting, reducing, etc won't stop until we are unable to squeeze anymore blood from the stone. 
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 20, 2016, 10:06:28
An interesting question, and good starting point to further discussion, Baz. But there is a misleading aspect here. The RCN is not the one that recruits and train, at least at the basic entry level, its own personnel. The Recruiting system and Training system of the CF does that.

And this means that we are, Navy wide, stuck with the recruiting system's choice of where, when, how frequently and what content the advertisement runs, for instance (for example, is 5 seconds of scene not totally clearly of shipboard life in a 30 sec. ad enough to attract the attention of Canadian youth who might be interested, and if the Navy is in dire need but overall, the recruiting system is attracting a sufficient number of people through its doors, will they run ad more frequently?). And if the processing and then basic training takes forever, how many people do we lose. And should we have the same standards as every body else in the CF, etc. etc.

So here is another question: Would it be better for the RCN to take back full control of its recruiting and training (from scratch) from the CF machine? Is it time for an Admiral to put her foot down and say: "I will use part of my money to reopen (something like) HMCS Cornwallis, and concentrate my simulators / basic training / various fleet schools there and concentrate on modern training of all my people. I will also produce and run my own ads independently from the recruiting system with my own money and provide the recruiting centres with extra resources to process the future seamen. I will pay for this by laying up two thirds of the fleet, which will also give the sea going personnel time to breathe and regroup." ?
Recruiting unfortunately is beholden to the Treasury Board for most of their rules, not the CAF, which sounds weird but it's true.  That includes advertising and more importantly branding (which believe it or not is pretty good).  The CAF is one of three federal organizations that is allowed to advertise, and only because we follow those rules very religiously. 
The problem is retention more than or equal to recruiting.  Retention issues are many but we loose on average 25-35% of recruits in basic alone, that doesn't even include trades training.  The Command team don't get promoted based on retention so you often see CO's running their teams to death to achieve the mission, leading to miserable people.  I've seen it so many times.  The ones who show up with dedication and competence get more and more things piled on their plate end eventually leave at the first opportunity.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: dapaterson on April 20, 2016, 10:12:45
Retention issues are many but we loose on average 25-35% of recruits in basic alone, that doesn't even include trades training.

No.  We do not.  What's the source of your numbers?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Baz on April 20, 2016, 10:20:20
Canada's military is grossly overranked and over-headquartered.  The Army is at best a single division, implying command by an MGen, not a LGen, with the related downranking and elimination of supporting staff.  So too is the RCN; with twelve surface combatants and four submarines, that would generously be a command for a Rear Admiral, not a Vice Admiral.  Culling HQs, both in number and in size, would free up positions to be reinvested into the fleet (and into other evolving capabilities).

That said, further splitting of functions serves no one's interest.  Building an RCN Recruiting and basic training capacity would merely build overlap and unnecessary bloat into the system.  As previously noted, it's not the Recruiting group that decides what and where and when to advertise, but ADM(PA).  A seperate RCN recruiting and training group would merely encounter the same roadblocks.  And would begin competing with the CAF.

DAP:
Agree in principal, and certainly defer as you are one of the people in the center of this.

However, I would point out that is exactly why I organized it the way I did (and these aren't my ideas by a long shot).  One LGen for FE, one LGEN for FG; the environmental chiefs are one level lower (a MGen for each of the RCN, RCAF, CA, Comms, and Support).

But put *all* of the FG under the Chief of Force Gen, and move the functions under him.  Absolutely have a *staff* function inside there that is an expert on pers, and have reach back into PW and SSC for expertise in those areas.

But make one person responsible for the whole thing, and then make one person responsible for each of the elements.  And you noticed I kept Comms and Support separate to gain the benefit of a center of expertise for development of those joint functions.

Again, just an idea, and not mine :-)
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: mariomike on April 20, 2016, 10:39:41
Retention issues are many but we loose on average 25-35% of recruits in basic alone, that doesn't even include trades training. 

For reference,

PREDICTING BASIC TRAINING ATTRITION
Dr. Jennifer E.C. Lee
Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis & Directorate of Force Health Protection, Department of National Defence (DND), Ottawa, ON, Canada
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 20, 2016, 12:05:40
I agree entirely.  The point is how to create and maintain a skilled reserve that can contribute.

I believe the PRES needs to be reduced in HQ size and #s as well.  How many CBGs do we have?  How many do we REALLY need?  I suggest we need the same # of CBGs as we have CMBGs. 

It's time to modernize the Reserve Army structure IMO.  Everyone wants to hold onto the cap badges, great.  let units keep their name, BUT let's get rid of the bloated crap.  How many reserve Regiments are or ever will be a "Regiment" again?  Do a review; any reserve unit that is say, a Regiment but has had the unit strength of a Coy - for the last decade or 2, downsize their ARE strength and command levels to that of a Coy.  If the PEIR wants to maintain their cap badge and history, fine let them!  But...they are only a Sqn at best, so let them be under a Maj vice a LCol.  Do away with RHQ, maintain a SHQ. 

As part of that, PEIR is part of 36 CBG.  The 8CH is part of 37 CBG.  Does Atlantic Canada need 2 CBGs?  2 CBG HQs?  Not IMO.  Amalgamate the 2 CBGs in 5 Div ( :facepalm: to the whole 'Div' BS...).  2 is ridiculous.  Now, with your newly formed 5 Div RBG (Reserve Bde Group, Res Battle Group, something like that), under 1 RBG HQ per Div, you would also form the 5 Div RBG Armd Regiment.  PEIR, Hfx Rifles and 8 CH form it. 

Do the same for the Inf, Arty, et al.  Sorry to all the Res COs, RSMs and Reserve Regimental Mafia's Associations out there.  Do the same for all the Div's.   

Who would command the 5 Div RBG Inf Bn, Armd and Arty Regiments?  Well, the COs could be embedded into the CBG HQ structure, or they could be selected from the RBG Majors and 'compete' for the single LCol CO posn.  Something like that, but whatever it would work out to be, will imperfect, would certainly be better and more efficient than the imperfect mafia's that exist today. 

Now that you've re-org'd your CBG structure in RBGs to reflect reality (somewhat more than it is now at least)...

1.  Determine a realistic 'task set' that the reserve Bde Groups are expected to carry out.  At the Bde, sub-unit and individual trade/troop level.
2.  Determine what kit, equipment and funding are needed to be able to do all of #1.
3.  Issue orders to train for the tasks/caps, in order of priority, to Bde's. 

The chances of something like this happening are likely slim to nil because of politics and regimental mafia's that exist throughout the PRES world.  But, this or something like this needs to happen IMO if the Reserves are going to be worth their bang for the buck when it comes to the defence of Canada and Canadians interests abroad in what is very likely going to be a ever-shrinking Reg force and CAF budget in the near future (now til 2025?).

I am not familiar with how the NAVRES works, but is this something that should happen for them as well?  Review, re-org, re-task?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 20, 2016, 12:47:41
EITS -

In some respects I agree with you.  IF the Reserve force budget/PYs/plan for employment remains the same then, absolutely, there are too many HQs.

BUT

I think there is another way of doing things.

I like the idea of a tiered response CAF that is based on a large number of General Service Volunteers (unpaid but trained to basic standards), a "Flank" or "on-call" force of fully trained personnel that is heavy on ex-full timers that is paid to be on-call and with current service (no more than 5 years since their last deployment?),  and finally a full time force that is actively employed.

The GSV pool supplies a recruiting base for the Active force and is available for domestic crises when the local economy crashes to a halt due to fire-flood-plague or tax-revolt.

The Flank pool is available, on short notice, to beef up the Active force.

The Active Force is the Immediate Response and Standing Force.

Only the Active Force draws full time wages.  All force members are covered for disability and death.  All force members would be eligible for benefits such as education and tax relief.

I don't think the concentration of PYs and Budget into an ever diminishing Regular Force is getting Canada the capability it needs. 

I would sooner that the training budget turned out a larger number of basic trained volunteers that can be of some use in some circumstances but cost nothing to maintain. 

I would also like to see more Reg force Cpls, who don't like hanging around barracks but still enjoy the field work be kept available by putting them on reduced pay in the Flank force while they pursue a civilian life rather than losing them entirely.

The system already works for some countries.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 20, 2016, 12:51:58
If we can't maintain a paid service Reserve Force to "PML" numbers, I am not sure how we'd ever get 'unpaid volunteers' into the fold.  Canadians are patriotic, sure.  Mostly during the National Anthem at hockey games and in beer tents on Canada Day, etc. 

I just don't see the average Canadian willing to be an unpaid 'member of the military' in any shape or form.  I also think any kind of 'unpaid volunteer' group should be separate from the CAF.  Mostly because of the 'A' in CAF. 
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: dapaterson on April 20, 2016, 12:56:41
I am one of the first to endorse a culling of the CBGs and Reserve structures.  And, with regards to LFAA 5 Div, the official Army plan was for a single CBG.  As an "interim" measure, two were stod up, and the staff merely waited for those in the Army HQ to go through a posting cycle or two, and the "interim" label was forgotten.

I will note, however, that Reg F mafias are well entrenched as well...
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 20, 2016, 13:08:30
I will note, however, that Reg F mafias are well entrenched as well...

I have to agree.  One thing we are good at in the CAF is building mini-empires that contribute 0 to added capability.  They do, however, give us somewhere to park the 25% total strength of the CAF that is the Officer Corps though. 

One of the reasons an operator like me who lives down at the tactical, operational unit level hates seeing the word leaner; it usually means 'reduction in funding for FG/FE at the cost of maintaining HQs'.  We trim muscle to keep fat.   :orly:
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: dapaterson on April 20, 2016, 13:18:35
As I recall, Army Support Restructure cut the number of troops providing service in the support units, and increased the number of LCols and CWOs in the support HQs.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 20, 2016, 13:23:59
If we can't maintain a paid service Reserve Force to "PML" numbers, I am not sure how we'd ever get 'unpaid volunteers' into the fold.  Canadians are patriotic, sure.  Mostly during the National Anthem at hockey games and in beer tents on Canada Day, etc. 

I just don't see the average Canadian willing to be an unpaid 'member of the military' in any shape or form.  I also think any kind of 'unpaid volunteer' group should be separate from the CAF.  Mostly because of the 'A' in CAF.

My thought is that people could be attracted by actually offering them training and experiences that their regular lives don't supply them.  The money that goes into paying people to show up on Wednesday nights could be funneled into ammunition on the ranges.

We have people paying to go shooting/skiing/parachuting/off-roading.  What happens if the government paid for them to learn those skills in exchange for their services?

I think it can work.  I know as a youngster, gainfully employed in the civilian world, I was not overly concerned about the beer-money that my militia service warranted.  I joined to learn to be a soldier and do soldier stuff.  And I enjoyed myself doing it.  My biggest disappointment was not getting to do as much shooting and field work as I would have liked.

I used to be a skier - and it cost me fortune.  Then I joined the militia and they paid me to enjoy myself.  And all that was asked was that I make myself available should the need arise.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 20, 2016, 13:39:14
Hum! Hum! Are we still talking about HMCS MONTREAL's crew reduction experiment ???

I seem to recall another thread in the Army section that deals with reforming the Militia, but I could be wrong.  :-\
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chris Pook on April 20, 2016, 13:46:42
We got here by way of discussing possibilities for more effective utilization or Reserves in all three/four/five/whatever services. 

The Molitia has indeed been endlessly debated. 

Are there no better options for the NavRes?  Small boat operators?  Weapons operators?  Sailors that can be dispatched to add capabilities only when the circumstances require?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Baz on April 20, 2016, 14:12:25
Hum! Hum! Are we still talking about HMCS MONTREAL's crew reduction experiment ???

I seem to recall another thread in the Army section that deals with reforming the Militia, but I could be wrong.  :-\

You are correct, but everyone of these threads do this, mainly because everyone is facing the same problems.

Would you like to hear how 12 Wing can only provide X dets, and the Navy isn't happy because they need more?

:-)
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 20, 2016, 14:18:24
Hum! Hum! Are we still talking about HMCS MONTREAL's crew reduction experiment ???

I seem to recall another thread in the Army section that deals with reforming the Militia, but I could be wrong.  :-\

Ahem... HMCS MONTRÉAL...
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 20, 2016, 14:52:07
Hum! Hum! Are we still talking about HMCS MONTREAL's crew reduction experiment ???

I seem to recall another thread in the Army section that deals with reforming the Militia, but I could be wrong.  :-\

Good point, but I think the 'informal brainstorming' that happens when we look at these problems are beneficial enough to go thru the pain.   :2c:

It was mentioned that maintaining a strong reserve component could be the solution to the problem, which lead to the sidetrack.

So, question to get back on track with the thread title...is the NAVRES able to backfill positions now on short notice if a CPF needs to top up pers for a deployment.  If not, is there a way it can be improved so they can?  Is the NAVRES funded and trained properly to backfill Reg Force sailing billets?

From an outside view, I think the NAVRES/Reg Force RCN is similar to the Armour Corps;  the equipment isn't the same, so the trg and pers capabilities/skills aren't the same and hard to do quick-fills without training.  There are as many differences as there are similarities so the Res Force Armd Corps is not the desired 'reserve' the Reg Army would like it to be.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Lumber on April 20, 2016, 15:05:31
Good point, but I think the 'informal brainstorming' that happens when we look at these problems are beneficial enough to go thru the pain.   :2c:

It was mentioned that maintaining a strong reserve component could be the solution to the problem, which lead to the sidetrack.

So, question to get back on track with the thread title...is the NAVRES able to backfill positions now on short notice if a CPF needs to top up pers for a deployment.  If not, is there a way it can be improved so they can?  Is the NAVRES funded and trained properly to backfill Reg Force sailing billets?

From an outside view, I think the NAVRES/Reg Force RCN is similar to the Armour Corps;  the equipment isn't the same, so the trg and pers capabilities/skills aren't the same and hard to do quick-fills without training.  There are as many differences as there are similarities so the Res Force Armd Corps is not the desired 'reserve' the Reg Army would like it to be.

Thoughts?

In some cases yes, in other cases, no.

From what I've seen, there are three levels of trades comparability between the RCN and the RCNR.

At the top are trades that are designed to be the exact same, and who get the almost the exact same level of training and qualification. These are the most easily transferrable. Trades in this category would include, IMO, Bosn and RMC Clerk, Cook, Supply Tech and Nav Comm. This is the largest of the three categories, so overall, yes I think the NAVRES is prepared to backfill positions and support the "one navy" concept.

The second level are those who are designed to be the exact same trade, but through various factors do not received the same training, and therefore you couldn't just drop one of them onto a CPF and have him fill his role. These trades are MARS, LogO and NCIOP. A fully qualified MARS officer in the reserve can't be employed as a watch keeper on a CPF. An NCIOP with 400 days at sea on MCDVs can't do the job of an NCIOP because he has no experience with CMS or the radar suite. The nice thing about this level is that if these people are already trainined in the core skills, it would just take a few weeks of OJT for them to become fully capable on the new platform. Likely though, before they could become officially "qualified", theyd have to do a whole bunch of conversation courses.

The third level are those RCNR trades that have absolutely no comparison to the RCN: Director of Music, Musicians, and MESOs. You really can't employ them on RegF ships, except maybe as WOD...

Oh and I left out IntO, because I don't even know what the hell IntOs do in the RCNR...
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: dapaterson on April 20, 2016, 16:14:16
In some cases yes, in other cases, no.

From what I've seen, there are three levels of trades comparability between the RCN and the RCNR.

At the top are trades that are designed to be the exact same, and who get the almost the exact same level of training and qualification. These are the most easily transferrable. Trades in this category would include, IMO, Bosn and RMC Clerk, Cook, Supply Tech and Nav Comm. This is the largest of the three categories, so overall, yes I think the NAVRES is prepared to backfill positions and support the "one navy" concept.

The second level are those who are designed to be the exact same trade, but through various factors do not received the same training, and therefore you couldn't just drop one of them onto a CPF and have him fill his role. These trades are MARS, LogO and NCIOP. A fully qualified MARS officer in the reserve can't be employed as a watch keeper on a CPF. An NCIOP with 400 days at sea on MCDVs can't do the job of an NCIOP because he has no experience with CMS or the radar suite. The nice thing about this level is that if these people are already trainined in the core skills, it would just take a few weeks of OJT for them to become fully capable on the new platform. Likely though, before they could become officially "qualified", theyd have to do a whole bunch of conversation courses.

The third level are those RCNR trades that have absolutely no comparison to the RCN: Director of Music, Musicians, and MESOs. You really can't employ them on RegF ships, except maybe as WOD...

Oh and I left out IntO, because I don't even know what the hell IntOs do in the RCNR...

There are Reg F bands on both coasts, so Res Musicians can augment the Reg F very easily.

As for IntOs: No one knows what IntOs do in the RegF or ResF, so it sounds like they're a perfect fit!
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: FSTO on April 20, 2016, 16:26:57
Intelligence Officers don't even know what they are doing! Mainly because there is a massive Intel civil war in the halls of Ottawa and the IntO's at the coal face have been forgotten about.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Baz on April 20, 2016, 16:55:10
Intelligence Officers don't even know what they are doing! Mainly because there is a massive Intel civil war in the halls of Ottawa and the IntO's at the coal face have been forgotten about.

Ah, Int and ISR: now I remember one of the reasons I got out... unfortunately it followed me to my new job :(
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Chief Engineer on April 20, 2016, 17:38:06
In some cases yes, in other cases, no.

From what I've seen, there are three levels of trades comparability between the RCN and the RCNR.

At the top are trades that are designed to be the exact same, and who get the almost the exact same level of training and qualification. These are the most easily transferrable. Trades in this category would include, IMO, Bosn and RMC Clerk, Cook, Supply Tech and Nav Comm. This is the largest of the three categories, so overall, yes I think the NAVRES is prepared to backfill positions and support the "one navy" concept.

The second level are those who are designed to be the exact same trade, but through various factors do not received the same training, and therefore you couldn't just drop one of them onto a CPF and have him fill his role. These trades are MARS, LogO and NCIOP. A fully qualified MARS officer in the reserve can't be employed as a watch keeper on a CPF. An NCIOP with 400 days at sea on MCDVs can't do the job of an NCIOP because he has no experience with CMS or the radar suite. The nice thing about this level is that if these people are already trainined in the core skills, it would just take a few weeks of OJT for them to become fully capable on the new platform. Likely though, before they could become officially "qualified", theyd have to do a whole bunch of conversation courses.

The third level are those RCNR trades that have absolutely no comparison to the RCN: Director of Music, Musicians, and MESOs. You really can't employ them on RegF ships, except maybe as WOD...

Oh and I left out IntO, because I don't even know what the hell IntOs do in the RCNR...

From what I can see and I have much experience in this area is that the reverse could also be said with some regular force trades coming to the MCDV's. What we are seeing is that many regular force personnel cannot cope with the extra responsibility and making do with less philosophy that is business as usual on the Kingston Class. After a period of time the regular force personnel will get used to the differences of the class, this is similar if a reserve goes to a bigger ship.

Being a CPO2 MESO I am considered to be the equivalent of a Cert 2, and can CT to a PO1 Cert 3 trainee. As soon as I get my Cert 3, I automatically endorse to my Cert 4. That being said a regular force personnel must go through the certification process on the Kingston Class just the same as we would have to go to a bigger ship. Lots of differences between the classes to be sure however achievable with time and training.
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: Underway on April 20, 2016, 17:42:22
No.  We do not.  What's the source of your numbers?

Recruiting Group tracking everyone we recruited through basic.  Average pass rate at St. Jean was about 65% to a maximum of 75% 2009 to 2012.  Thought now that I think about it was probably "did not completes" vs straight up releases from basic.  That would probably improve the numbers if you take out fitness, injury and pers issues. [/end thread hijack]
Title: Re: HMCS Montréal part of navy trial to experiment with reducing crews
Post by: mariomike on April 20, 2016, 19:03:28
Average pass rate at St. Jean was about 65% to a maximum of 75% 2009 to 2012.  Thought now that I think about it was probably "did not completes" vs straight up releases from basic.  That would probably improve the numbers if you take out fitness, injury and pers issues.

See also,

Canadian Forces Basic Training Attrition
July 2011