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Who needs sailors anyway?

Thing is, it's not that the technicians are doing jobs that are beneath them. It's that technicians are seldom being employed as the technicians that they are.

If the CSE department was employed in the same way that the IPMS techs were on a ship, which is the basis of the solution I proposed, I think it'd go a long way to setting things on the right path.

That said, my solution was also based around that 40% number....suppose you took 40% of the CSE Department (14 people or so) and employed them as technicians 100% of the time?

The other 18 billets in the department would be handed over to the deck department, the OPS department, and such.
 
The basis of the collapse of the RCN's technical trades was laid out a few years ago at the Naval Technical Seminar by (then) Commodore Simon Page.

He explained that his goal as the senior technical officer in the Navy was to have our technicians (of all trades) doing technical work at least 40% of the time. There was not a single ship in the fleet that attained that. The highest was on operations and hit 36%. No other ship in the fleet had about 18%.

That means that technicians who joined the Navy to be a Technician were doing everything but their actual trade for 4 out of 5 days a week.

Why would you stay if you're not doing your job? How do you get good at your job if you're not doing your actual job?

This should come as no surprise to the leadership if they'd actually listened...

And Mr. Topshee should ponder the 'death of a thousand cuts' that he helped preside over, most visibly being the parking issue in HMC Dockyard in Halifax.

Do a link to support your numbers ?

Not questioning the validity, I'm just wondering how they came up with those numbers. And how much of the time spent doing non tech work is time spent waiting for something to break to cause tech work.

Or if it's that we are actually making people busy doing things that aren't the primary focus of their trade ?
 
Thing is, it's not that the technicians are doing jobs that are beneath them. It's that technicians are seldom being employed as the technicians that they are.

If the CSE department was employed in the same way that the IPMS techs were on a ship, which is the basis of the solution I proposed, I think it'd go a long way to setting things on the right path.

That said, my solution was also based around that 40% number....suppose you took 40% of the CSE Department (14 people or so) and employed them as technicians 100% of the time?

The other 18 billets in the department would be handed over to the deck department, the OPS department, and such.
From what I understand, the CSE trade structure itself may go out the window with CSC and AEGIS, and may result in a lot of the positions merged with operators. There seem to still be some dedicated techs left, but they would be a lot more specialized then what they are now, and be system specialists.

I don't know if the RCN appreciated the impact of selecting AEGIS, but you essentially have to operate your trades and qualifications on the USN model to get certified to use it, which is a huge second order change for us (and the RAN), and trickles down to extra peopel on the duty watch, space access, etc so also changes things for DWP controls.

Going to be interesting, and glad I'll be retired by then.
 
Do a link to support your numbers ?

Not questioning the validity, I'm just wondering how they came up with those numbers. And how much of the time spent doing non tech work is time spent waiting for something to break to cause tech work.

Or if it's that we are actually making people busy doing things that aren't the primary focus of their trade ?

I share the same confusion.

The techs were only employed 40% of the time?

Was that because of overmanning, lack of parts or skills concentration?

By that I mean Tech A has certificates for some skills but the breakdown requires skills possessed by Tech B.
 
I share the same confusion.

The techs were only employed 40% of the time?

Was that because of overmanning, lack of parts or skills concentration?

By that I mean Tech A has certificates for some skills but the breakdown requires skills possessed by Tech B.
DRMIS, duty watches, escorts to RF, secondary duties etc etc.

Some things are probably just the nature of living where you work, so cleaning stations isn't really optional, but there are a lot of things that only require a warm body that the ships provide people to support. Sometimes you get things like fire sentries coming with the workers, but that is an obvious one for alongside work periods that comes to mind.

Not really a good answer though, as someone has to do it, but when you have 25k hours of PM to do, 10k hours of people to do it, and they are only actually available for 4k hours, means a lot of stuff isn't getting done. Those numbers are rectal plucks, but probably less bad then actual numbers, as there is an even bigger corrective maintenance load ( a lot of times because PM kept getting pushed).
 
Do a link to support your numbers ?

Not questioning the validity, I'm just wondering how they came up with those numbers. And how much of the time spent doing non tech work is time spent waiting for something to break to cause tech work.

Or if it's that we are actually making people busy doing things that aren't the primary focus of their trade ?
This was from Commodore Page's presentation to the MARLANT Fleet Technical Seminar a few years ago.
 
DRMIS, duty watches, escorts to RF, secondary duties etc etc.

Some things are probably just the nature of living where you work, so cleaning stations isn't really optional, but there are a lot of things that only require a warm body that the ships provide people to support. Sometimes you get things like fire sentries coming with the workers, but that is an obvious one for alongside work periods that comes to mind.

Not really a good answer though, as someone has to do it, but when you have 25k hours of PM to do, 10k hours of people to do it, and they are only actually available for 4k hours, means a lot of stuff isn't getting done. Those numbers are rectal plucks, but probably less bad then actual numbers, as there is an even bigger corrective maintenance load ( a lot of times because PM kept getting pushed).

Clearer. So, sticking with the plucks, 25k required, 10k available, 4k used, are you saying that techs are being redirected to non tech tasks when they could be doing tech work? Or are they idled waiting for parts or waiting for things to break?
 
DRMIS, duty watches, escorts to RF, secondary duties etc etc.

Some things are probably just the nature of living where you work, so cleaning stations isn't really optional, but there are a lot of things that only require a warm body that the ships provide people to support. Sometimes you get things like fire sentries coming with the workers, but that is an obvious one for alongside work periods that comes to mind.

Not really a good answer though, as someone has to do it, but when you have 25k hours of PM to do, 10k hours of people to do it, and they are only actually available for 4k hours, means a lot of stuff isn't getting done. Those numbers are rectal plucks, but probably less bad then actual numbers, as there is an even bigger corrective maintenance load ( a lot of times because PM kept getting pushed).

This is our issue. DRMIS, Duty Watches, Cleaning Stations ect, are part of the job; the first two especially. It's part of being a sailor. Who told us all that in the Navy all we do is our primary function ? And DRMIS is as much a tech function as Log, let's not forget it was foisted on the CAF by the RCN Technical branches by way of the FMFs.

I know observing the techs on my ship right now (MSE and CSE) they have busy days of tech work, like everyone else does in their primary job; plus the added sailor and seamanship side of it; again like everyone else does.

So again I would like know where those number came from and how they were calculated.

Clearer. So, sticking with the plucks, 25k required, 10k available, 4k used, are you saying that techs are being redirected to non tech tasks when they could be doing tech work? Or are they idled waiting for parts or waiting for things to break?

Lack of spares is a big issue, but it's not like there is one problem and they are just waiting for those parts. There's lots of work and people shouldnt be idle especially in the Tech trades.
 
When a ship comes alongside at the base, what happens? Do a number of techs come aboard to assist in repairs?
 
Clearer. So, sticking with the plucks, 25k required, 10k available, 4k used, are you saying that techs are being redirected to non tech tasks when they could be doing tech work? Or are they idled waiting for parts or waiting for things to break?
Not really, most of it is a necessary evil, but if you are expecting people to be doing the 100% tech work all the time then it makes no sense why the PM/CM numbers aren't higher. And if you are using 100% marker to size your external shore support, you way underestimate SS capacity. There are better ways though to manage some of the DRMIS things, and we tended to get the PO2 that was the watch supervisor to do it for all the maintenance done instead of the techs, which made sense anyway with the limited number of laptops.

It's actually probably worse now with smaller crews on the same ships with the lack of people; people are on duty more than previously, and also more people filling in for missing supervisor/manager billets. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of techs weren't doing any wrench turning type stuff alongside at all, and only doing it at sea when not on a console, or doing other things like personnel admin, cleaning, PT etc.

There have been some good initiatives like having crews augmented by sailors ashore to help with maintenance, but that's a dent in the workload, not fully catching up, so always kind of behind the times. As long as you are aware of it, it just rolls into the context and helps temper expectations for what is possible.

And like @Halifax Tar mentioned, missing parts means going without or workarounds, all of which creates more work and it's all reactive.

Parts are missing because there are shortages/challenges on the Material side, with obsolete equipment, lot of processes and not enough people to manage it all. I've been in an LCMM job for about 4 years now, and probably only spend about 10% of my time doing the routine LCMM stuff that is proactive; most of it is reactive to things being broken, as well as covering off empty jobs, doing secondary things, supporting PMO etc.
It's a comparable workload to what I was doing on the ship, except when we miss something an entire fleet (or in some cases for common equipment, the entire CAF) can get impacted.

I guess in general when you read people's job description, it seems to be a fraction of what they actually do in reality, and things that should be 2 steps are usually 10, so a lot of things take longer/don't get done because as a result. Just to put things in context I guess of why adding a few more people doesn't necessarily fix things as the deficit is huge and most of what they do isn't just being a tech.

Deliberately trying to take things off the SS plate though at the LCMM level, and pretty sure successfully avoided a new process from ballooning to almost 5000 additional DRMIS transactions for a single system on each ship in the fleet in an op cycle down to 2 (once when you turn it on, another when you turn it off), and maybe a few more if there are system leaks. That has taken a ridiculous amount of arguing with different L2s for common sense, but lots of things like that just eat up time. If that actually happens, the current workload will simplify a bit as well, so will be pretty happy about it (even if no one else actually knows what the alternative was).
 
For the record, working with civilian service departments where managers had to keep their people on the street supplying billable hours to pay salaries and overhead, 70% utilization was a common target. And I have known service managers that struggled to get it that high. 40 to 60% billable rates were not uncommon. That included travel time. Training courses could only fill so much of the gap.

The departments I am talking about supplied service nationwide and, in some cases, internationally. Specialized talent for specialized machines and systems. Not a local auto repair shop.
 
Clearer. So, sticking with the plucks, 25k required, 10k available, 4k used, are you saying that techs are being redirected to non tech tasks when they could be doing tech work? Or are they idled waiting for parts or waiting for things to break?

This is our issue. DRMIS, Duty Watches, Cleaning Stations ect, are part of the job; the first two especially. It's part of being a sailor. Who told us all that in the Navy all we do is our primary function ? And DRMIS is as much a tech function as Log, let's not forget it was foisted on the CAF by the RCN Technical branches by way of the FMFs.

I know observing the techs on my ship right now (MSE and CSE) they have busy days of tech work, like everyone else does in their primary job; plus the added sailor and seamanship side of it; again like everyone else does.

So again I would like know where those number came from and how they were calculated.



Lack of spares is a big issue, but it's not like there is one problem and they are just waiting for those parts. There's lots of work and people shouldnt be idle especially in the Tech trades.
From my experience (about a decade ago now) I spent a lot of time being scullery (dish duty), bosns mate, and other odds and sods tasks.

We would have to stay late to keep working on the ship well the combat departments who don’t really have much to do alongside were leaving at 3:45 well much of our trade time was wasted on non-trade tasks.

Its not a matter of being idle, its a matter of other departments should be picking up the slack on the ‘common’ Navy tasks so the maintainers can go do their jobs. It doesn’t make sense for the require to fill jobs being the ‘common’ ones well the specialized trade specific ones that no one else can do are the ones not being done.

Make some other departments chip in to share the burden. But since we are all very tribalistic that likely isn’t going to happen.
 
From my experience (about a decade ago now) I spent a lot of time being scullery (dish duty), bosns mate, and other odds and sods tasks.

We would have to stay late to keep working on the ship well the combat departments who don’t really have much to do alongside were leaving at 3:45 well much of our trade time was wasted on non-trade tasks.

Its not a matter of being idle, its a matter of other departments should be picking up the slack on the ‘common’ Navy tasks so the maintainers can go do their jobs. It doesn’t make sense for the require to fill jobs being the ‘common’ ones well the specialized trade specific ones that no one else can do are the ones not being done.

Make some other departments chip in to share the burden. But since we are all very tribalistic that likely isn’t going to happen.
When you have no Ops Department left after they all quit because they pick up all the odd jobs alongside, you have a warship that can't "war". Everybody takes a bite of the shit sandwich, or the problem just gets shuffled to the next group.

Ops and Deck already do most of the alongside odd jobs, but they also have training requirements and other taskings.

Rather than blame other departments, perhaps the blame should be directed at the level of people setting the fleet schedule. The people ensuring there isn't enough time alongside to get caught up on all of the work needed.
 
From my experience (about a decade ago now) I spent a lot of time being scullery (dish duty), bosns mate, and other odds and sods tasks.

We would have to stay late to keep working on the ship well the combat departments who don’t really have much to do alongside were leaving at 3:45 well much of our trade time was wasted on non-trade tasks.

Its not a matter of being idle, its a matter of other departments should be picking up the slack on the ‘common’ Navy tasks so the maintainers can go do their jobs. It doesn’t make sense for the require to fill jobs being the ‘common’ ones well the specialized trade specific ones that no one else can do are the ones not being done.

Make some other departments chip in to share the burden. But since we are all very tribalistic that likely isn’t going to happen.

I've been doing this for 25 years and on every CPF and a Tanker on the east coast. Every department takes their share of the burden.

@Furniture is correct, the problem is scheduling not the difference between departments on the individual ships.

Remember that whole reconstitution thing ? What ever happened to that ?
 
When you have one department with too many alongside responsibilities at low manning and the others at close to 100% and still expect that low manning department to keep up on the common tasks well letting the other tasks languish is poor leadership.

Sometimes taking a bite out of the shit sandwich means that others have to pull more than their average weight of those tasks. When some departments are being forced to stay late constantly due to too much work, giving some of it to others temporarily makes sense.

The argument that it might cause some more of OPs to quit is a possibility in the longer term, but right now it IS causing your maintainers to leave. The ships are struggling to sail because the equipment is barely maintained. When one is at likely 65% manning and much harder to train that is the one you need to make accommodations for in the short term.

It also isn’t like it would eat a ton into OPs time, realistically it would be requiring maybe 5 people a week extra doing odd jobs, which frees up a lot of time for maintenance.

Scheduling can be part of a long term solution. Passing some non-critical tasks off temporarily can also be a solution. In private industry we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, it would already be done.

If your short millwrights and electricians in your plant, you don’t make them sweep the floor so your equipment that makes you money will break down and sit idle. You instead make the production guys with nothing going on when stuff is down do it.
 
In a well functioning ship, this stuff happens organically. There were times when the Air Department had nothing going on (aircraft down hard) we would pick up duties from other departments to make their life easier. When we were pinched on a 12hr deck cycle or busting ass to get an aircraft serviceable, food would just appear in the hangar and cleaning stations would get magically done…
 

So is the Kraken on Crack, or what?

Martin Jones Sport GIF by Sealed With A GIF
 
Meanwhile - in the Black Sea

"We want to decompose a large warship into its functions - air defense, weapons, protection - and put these weapons on several drones," an SBU brigadier general with the call sign "Hunter" told the publication. “Ukraine does not have the time or money to build large warships, but a swarm of drones, which will include anti-aircraft drones, kamikaze drones, drones with guns, and so on, can solve the issue of the fleet in a completely different way.”

"Sea Baby is no longer just a naval drone, but a multi-purpose platform that the SBU actively uses today for various tasks, including for attacks on the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation," Maliuk said, according to UP. “Translated into simpler language, Ukrainian drones have ceased to be ‘kamikaze’ - now most of them return to their bases after missions.”

Ukraine's Drone Boats Are Now Firing Rockets At Russian Ships
 
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