Author Topic: High Readiness Units / Ready Duty Ship [Split from Contact Information]  (Read 1713 times)

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Offline Lumber

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I'm not going to touch on the cellphone question specifically; however, I'm surprised by the RCAF/CA members on here (not naming anyone specifically) who seem to be against making themselves "contactable" and "available" on short notice. Do you guys not have the equivalent of Ready Duty Ship? Some quick reaction force that is required on short notice to be available?

When you're posted to a ship that is designated as Ready Duty Ship (which is usually a couple of weeks), you're expected to be able to be contacted AND report aboard within 4 hrs. We don't provide you with a cellphone; we don't pay for your land line. In all my time on ship, I never once saw a single member who wasn't able to provide a telephone number at which they could be reached on 4hrs notice or less. (Most of these numbers were posted to publicly view-able "recall lists" (if you had DWAN), but if people didn't want their numbers posted, they could have their numbers on a separate list that was only opened in the case of a recall.)

All that is to say, I've never heard of anyone in the navy having any issue with being reachable AND being able to report for work within 4 hrs when they've been told that this was a requirement.
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Online MJP

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I'm not going to touch on the cellphone question specifically; however, I'm surprised by the RCAF/CA members on here (not naming anyone specifically) who seem to be against making themselves "contactable" and "available" on short notice. Do you guys not have the equivalent of Ready Duty Ship? Some quick reaction force that is required on short notice to be available?

When you're posted to a ship that is designated as Ready Duty Ship (which is usually a couple of weeks), you're expected to be able to be contacted AND report aboard within 4 hrs. We don't provide you with a cellphone; we don't pay for your land line. In all my time on ship, I never once saw a single member who wasn't able to provide a telephone number at which they could be reached on 4hrs notice or less. (Most of these numbers were posted to publicly view-able "recall lists" (if you had DWAN), but if people didn't want their numbers posted, they could have their numbers on a separate list that was only opened in the case of a recall.)

All that is to say, I've never heard of anyone in the navy having any issue with being reachable AND being able to report for work within 4 hrs when they've been told that this was a requirement.

The CA has a number of standing tasks that equate to the same thing.  Like your experience there is generally little issues in getting a hold of people assigned to the tasks when required.  This entire discussion is more of a typical Army.ca rabbit hole of tangents and personal grinds/beliefs rather than actual experience when these sorts of call outs happen. 
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: Lumber


When you're posted to a ship that is designated as Ready Duty Ship (which is usually a couple of weeks), you're expected to be able to be contacted AND report aboard within 4 hrs.

Is that for something local or can that ready duty ship sail away at 4 hours and 1 minute for a month?
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Offline Lumber

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Is that for something local or can that ready duty ship sail away at 4 hours and 1 minute for a month?

Generally, the RDS is serving in a SAR capacity, so you're only looking at a couple of days, maybe a week or two.

In theory, it could very well deploy for a month, but barely that as we don't normally carry that much food. I'm actually not sure what the actual maximum endurance for food aboard a frigate is, and I've never thought to ask, surprisingly. The longest I've been at sea for 1 straight stretch was 20 days, and morale was really starting to suck at that point because the food was getting terrible. Nothing but powdered milk, freezer burnt beef, and freezer burnt veggies. Yum.

That being said, when Libya started back in 2010/11, HMCS Charlottetown deployed for 6 months on 24hrs notice. (they didn't actually leave in 24 hrs, I'm pretty sure they left after 48 hrs, but the crew was recalled within 4-6 hrs on warning orders, they confirmed the mission by the 24hr mark, and had the ship filled with ammunition and provisions and off to sea in 48). [the details might be a bit fuzzy, I got the details of this over beer a while ago]
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Online SeaKingTacco

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Generally, the RDS is serving in a SAR capacity, so you're only looking at a couple of days, maybe a week or two.

In theory, it could very well deploy for a month, but barely that as we don't normally carry that much food. I'm actually not sure what the actual maximum endurance for food aboard a frigate is, and I've never thought to ask, surprisingly. The longest I've been at sea for 1 straight stretch was 20 days, and morale was really starting to suck at that point because the food was getting terrible. Nothing but powdered milk, freezer burnt beef, and freezer burnt veggies. Yum.

That being said, when Libya started back in 2010/11, HMCS Charlottetown deployed for 6 months on 24hrs notice. (they didn't actually leave in 24 hrs, I'm pretty sure they left after 48 hrs, but the crew was recalled within 4-6 hrs on warning orders, they confirmed the mission by the 24hr mark, and had the ship filled with ammunition and provisions and off to sea in 48). [the details might be a bit fuzzy, I got the details of this over beer a while ago]

55 days straight at sea is my record, on Op APOLLO. Talk about ground hog day...

And yes, RCAF Sqns/Wings all have various readiness requirements to respond to unexpected events. The crews at highest readiness all know who they are.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Generally, the RDS is serving in a SAR capacity, so you're only looking at a couple of days, maybe a week or two.


Thats pretty cool thanks.


« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 06:07:31 by Jarnhamar »
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Offline Big Spoon

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55 days straight at sea is my record, on Op APOLLO. Talk about ground hog day...

And yes, RCAF Sqns/Wings all have various readiness requirements to respond to unexpected events. The crews at highest readiness all know who they are.

68 days at sea straight on HMCS TORONTO for me, but HMCS VANCOUVER was there at the same time (ROTO 0 Op APOLLO) and stayed out for 72 days straight.

Offline Lumber

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68 days at sea straight on HMCS TORONTO for me, but HMCS VANCOUVER was there at the same time (ROTO 0 Op APOLLO) and stayed out for 72 days straight.

Yea, didn't VAN stay those extra 4 days just to eat TOR's record? Scuttlebutt has it the CO had the option to put into port sooner, but wanted to break the record; a decision that didn't make the crew none-too-happy.
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Online SeaKingTacco

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Yea, didn't VAN stay those extra 4 days just to eat TOR's record? Scuttlebutt has it the CO had the option to put into port sooner, but wanted to break the record; a decision that didn't make the crew none-too-happy.
.

After that stunt, the COs were told not to try and break any more records.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Actually, the Ready Duty Ship is for anything that a warship can be tasked with, not just SAR.

As a result, she has a requirement to be - at all times she is RDS - at 95% fuel, fully provisioned (which usually is 2 weeks fresh, but 45 days with frozen) and fully loaded for bear. There is also a reinforced duty watch on board at all time so that, should there actually be a dispatch message received, there is enough crew on board to activate the recall organization and start getting her ready for sea.

In the old days of steam, it meant that extra stokers were required at all times because the four hours notice for power meant that the boilers had to be run at low heat for the duration.

And now, I've introduced a naval concept, which is the one that guides the naval world: Notice for Power. Every ship in harbour is at a given NFP, as ordered by the CO when we come alongside (The CO will contact the EOOW and inform her that the ship is "Finished with engines, Notice for Power is 24 hours, immediate on Monday at 09:30" for example. This information will also be given to the duty watch and the crew.

This means that, if the word is given by the CO that we are steaming, the various departments should be able to steam 24 hours from that word (in other words, they are free to carry out maintenance/repairs or any other task that would require 24 hours maximum to put back together and get all the engines going for immediate use - which is what the "immediate" NFP date and time is for). It also means that everyone onboard should be either reachable for recall within 24 hours of any word being given, or in the alternative, making sure that they contact the ship within every 24 hours period to make sure no recall has been initiated (which would dispense with the need to carry a cell phone). Otherwise the crew is free to do what they wish if they are on leave.

Which leads to the final point: In the Navy, the whole crew going on week-end leave, or overnight leave, will usually be advised orally (by way of a general pipe when the gangway opens) and in R.O.'s that "leave expires onboard at __:__ hour, on [date]" That is the time sailors have to be on board - across the gangway to avoid being AWOL. It may also contain an extra warning: "Ship is under sailing orders" if the ship is due to sail at that point in time. Missing "the boat" then carries extra penalties for being AWOL.   

Offline Big Spoon

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.

After that stunt, the COs were told not to try and break any more records.


Yeah there was quite the issue around that, I remember the CO coming on the Shincom and asked if we wanted to go in port or stay out to beat VANCOUVER, obviously we went into port. in for like 7 days back out to sea for around 60 (59 day I think) and then outchop.

Offline Lumber

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Actually, the Ready Duty Ship is for anything that a warship can be tasked with, not just SAR.

As a result, she has a requirement to be - at all times she is RDS - at 95% fuel, fully provisioned (which usually is 2 weeks fresh, but 45 days with frozen) and fully loaded for bear. There is also a reinforced duty watch on board at all time so that, should there actually be a dispatch message received, there is enough crew on board to activate the recall organization and start getting her ready for sea.


I've been on several ships designated as RDS with zero war-shot aboard, let alone any missiles or torpedoes.

Plus, we designate MCDVs as RDS half the time, and they've got nothing more than a questionably effective gun. (that being said, if they were just out there to scare spanish fishermen, you wouldn't need more than your .50 cals).

The only units that are combat capable 24/7 are the High Readiness units, and to get that designation you need to complete OTT2 and other advanced readiness training. The Standard Readiness ships have the skills to fight, but they haven't been brought up to the level that you'd really want them fighting a war.

They'll use Reduced Readiness, Standard Readiness, High Readiness, AND MCDVs for RDS, but if you needed something to actually go be a warship and fight and , then you would task the SR/HR units if available, even if they weren't on 4hrs NFP.

So, you're right, the RDS is supposed to be ready for anything that a warship can be tasked with, not just SAR, but in practice, it's just SAR.

"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Offline Pusser

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Is that for something local or can that ready duty ship sail away at 4 hours and 1 minute for a month?

It should be able to.  As a general rule, we provision ships with about 30 days' worth of food (based on the modern Canadian palate).  Although in theory, the RDS should have 30 days of provisions on board, this can get pretty expensive, so we tend to engage suppliers who can provide us with what we need within four hours if required.  If we lose confidence in their ability to do that, we adjust.

Keep in mind that 30 days' worth of food simply means that we can feed folks for 30 days and still meet all the nutrition requirements, not that they'll enjoy it.  After about two weeks, you will  lose your ability to provide a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables ("soft" veggies - "hard" veggies last longer).  It's not a question of storeroom capacity.  It's simply one of shelf-life.  Lettuce simply doesn't last that long.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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I don't eat fruits or vegetables. Because of that I've deduced I'd be a Great sailor.

I'd imagine a ship could pull into a port somewhere and send a team inland to the market and buy food?

Are the types of small arms a ship carries protected info?
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Online SeaKingTacco

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I don't eat fruits or vegetables. Because of that I've deduced I'd be a Great sailor.

I'd imagine a ship could pull into a port somewhere and send a team inland to the market and buy food?

Are the types of small arms a ship carries protected info?

Not really. sig Sauer pistols; C8s; C9s; maybe a shotgun or two. Nothing too exotic.

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There are logistic folks, called Chandlers, who take care of arranging a ship's needs like provisions when we get into a foreign port. 

Depending upon where you are visiting, the food coming onboard can be absolutely amazing (both in a bad or good way).  Usually storing ship is a whole ship's company evolution and everyone helps take out the trash and bring on the goodies. 

My most memorable port is Colon Panama, the freshness of the produce was a sensory delight to the eyes and the nose, so fresh and fragrant.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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I'm not going to touch on the cellphone question specifically; however, I'm surprised by the RCAF/CA members on here (not naming anyone specifically) who seem to be against making themselves "contactable" and "available" on short notice. Do you guys not have the equivalent of Ready Duty Ship? Some quick reaction force that is required on short notice to be available?

I realize this is probably from my posts on another thread.  I've basically said "I feel no obligation to answer my phone on the weekends I am not on standby".  I also said that, not so much at present but the past several years, being either away from home (domestically sometimes, more often than not internationally) or not on Standby was a rare thing for most folks where I work.  I am not exaggerating when I say it was completely normal, for the weekends that you were not away from home, to be on Standby after quitting time Friday until Morning Brief on Monday morning 1/2 to 3 out of 4 weekends.  The same people doing that type of Standby schedule were also ones doing the sustained deployment, plus the other exercises, taskings and Ops that are 'ops normal' at operational sqns.  It wasn't the "what?  I've got to do 2 Ready weekends this summer"?  it was more "holy f&&ckballs, I only have 1 free weekend in the next 6 ones". 

We have very detailed Standby procedures, I'll call it Ready *X* Crew (X = the amount of hours we have from phone call to wheels up, and there are more than a few different postures in terms of response time).  In our community, we have a Ready crew on every day of the year.  Our normal Ready X time is substantial less than 48 hours every day, all year.  We can, as required, decrease our time between the routine Ready posture to "planes prep'd, crews resting onboard". 

While we are on the "normal" Ready X posture, our movements are restricted to X kms from the base, we are expected to answer and return phones calls, texts, etc ASAP.  The higher Ready we are on, the less time is associated with the *X* and the more restricted we are;  example one of them has you basically at home, on crew rest, waiting for a phone to ring and you're out the door 5-10 minutes later, enough time to get dressed and fill up your coffee.

Aside from that, we also have a Deployment - High Ready Crew that is trained and DAGGED and ready for quick deployment to long term/sustained ops.  People on that HRC will hold both the routine Ready X Crew, and the High Ready Crew.   

The folks on our crews, the last several years, have spent a lot of weekends away, and a lot of the weekends they weren't away on Ready X Crew.  The times they weren't on Ready X Crew, someone else was;  those are the weekends I'm talking about when I said people would not feel bad if they were away, or camping with their kids and someone from the base called and they didn't hear it, even if that was because their ringer was off.  They'd likely already done 2, 3, or 4 Ready weekends after getting back from another trip away - their families and lives are important, too. 

Quote
I've never heard of anyone in the navy having any issue with being reachable AND being able to report for work within 4 hrs when they've been told that this was a requirement.

Nor is anyone I know of where I work if they are designated as Ready crew for that week, weekend, whatever.  If that happened, it would be dealt rapidly, I am sure.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 19:02:01 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline LunchMeat

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Every IRU/HRU unit I've been with has issued me a duty phone and indicated that if we get the call, we have to arrive within an hour. It all depends on where you are and what you are doing. If I'm just doing my regular job at a regular unit, I see no need for me to be on any kind of short-trigger list and need to give out my phone number just be badgered to do extra work.

Maybe in the case of the RCN, it's not often that units call people up when they're at home/on the weekend to do a bunch of chickenshit tasks, because that is one reason I stopped giving out my phone number in the CA.
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Offline JesseWZ

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This has been an interesting discussion. There are a number of issues in play, to include readiness, responsiveness, and even retention. We seem to have adopted a corporate culture that encourages responsiveness and even to conduct tasks while outside of "normal working hours". I definitely noticed since being issued a blackberry that it comes with a bit of unwritten pressure to respond to email, phone calls, and conduct work in what would typically be considered a rest but not leave period.

To add my own experiences, my typical work week is 7-3, Monday to Friday. However, I am also part of the regional duty pool of investigators, and pull duty approximately 2 weeks out of the month (usually in 7 day blocks, but depending on our numbers, it can really fluctuate). When on duty, I'm not typically at work outside of normal working hours but I must have my blackberry on, charged and be ready to respond for an investigation immediately. I'm also authorized to have service equipment (including vehicle) at my residence. Once that call out is initiated, if I have my service gear with me I can proceed immediately to the "scene" and work essentially until critical time sensitive tasks are done. It may be a Friday night call out and I may not be finished until the wee hours of Sunday morning, and I may not receive any time in lieu.

Pulling duty isn't a huge bother for me, but there has to be an equal commitment from the chain of command to address the sacrifices made by members who are routinely called out or unavailable on short notice because of these issues. I've missed a lot of milestones, appointments and time with my family because of duty call outs and just being on duty in general and my family has to sacrifice things they enjoy because of the duty schedule I am on (ie camping out of the local area on a weekend or long weekend, missed birthday parties for my kids, etc).

One thing my unit has done to "compensate" members is to have CO authorized short days on the Friday before every long weekend (as part of the CO's power to allocate up to 2 short a month). This has certainly helped and gone a long way to helping my families view about whether the chain of command cares about members.

There are a lot of one-off and special cases out there when it comes to readiness, stand by, duty and what have you, and at some point the conversation needs to happen at the CF level about how this effects our people and retention.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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It may be a Friday night call out and I may not be finished until the wee hours of Sunday morning, and I may not receive any time in lieu.

Pulling duty isn't a huge bother for me, but there has to be an equal commitment from the chain of command to address the sacrifices made by members who are routinely called out or unavailable on short notice because of these issues. I've missed a lot of milestones, appointments and time with my family because of duty call outs and just being on duty in general and my family has to sacrifice things they enjoy because of the duty schedule I am on (ie camping out of the local area on a weekend or long weekend, missed birthday parties for my kids, etc).

There are a lot of one-off and special cases out there when it comes to readiness, stand by, duty and what have you, and at some point the conversation needs to happen at the CF level about how this effects our people and retention.

Good post.  I wanted to highlight on the part in yellow;  when it happens once or twice where you plans (or in some cases, approved leave) gets cancelled for actual military requirements, that's part of the job.  When you find yourself attached to the electronic leash 1/2 or more the weekends a standard Mon-fri, 8-4 members does and they end up with considerable more 'off duty time' over months or a year, it starts to become and issue for the person on the shitty end of that stick, and their family as well - which is a great point.

Shiftworkers and duty personnel are basically supposed to end up with the same amount of off duty time as 'standard Mon-Fri workers'.

Section 2.8 Shift Work

2.8.01 Scheduling

The concept of a weekend for a shift worker is not restricted to Saturdays and Sundays.  Shift workers may follow a schedule that differs from a Monday to Friday working week, but it is a schedule nonetheless.  In scheduling the working days of a shift worker, the CO is responsible for specifically identifying both the working and non-working days so as to ensure that the amount of time off is equivalent to the weekends and statutory holidays provided to CF members working a Monday to Friday work-week.

In order to provide members with rest time associated with weekends and statutory holidays, care must be exercised to ensure the equivalent time off is given at regular intervals and not accumulated over long periods of time.

The underlined part is a bit of a bone of contention right now;  some people seem to think that isn't the case (all aircrew at my unit are designated shift workers IAW our Sqn Orders).  It always is a bit of a PITA to get the lost 'stat day' back if you're away during it (I was for Victoria Day recently).  Stat holidays are Stat holidays.  If the Mon-fri crowd gets every Sat and Sunday off plus all the normal long weekends plus their 25 Ann Days, why is it I get what amounts usually to 1 day off for every weekend I am away and then have to rationalize why I should also get the Stat every else enjoyed while I was away on an ex?


Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.