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34 NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2010 News and information for serving personnel


Ace’s high for single living


LAST year the Royal Naval Estates Organisation (RNEO) wrote about an expected programme of work that was to be completed in year 2009/2010 on Single Living Accommodation (SLA) through the Advanced Capital Expenditure (ACE) funding,


writes Jackie Moir. The Royal Navy was set to


receive a £6 million share of the £50 million Advanced Capital Expenditure to be spent in year to improve Service accommodation. This was a Government- announced budget measure to help stimulate the UK economy. Although this money had to be repaid later it did allow immediate improvements to be made to Service accommodation and additional funding of £1.7 million was also provided to the RN, under the Service Personnel First Initiative.


Whilst a new-build SLA


programme will continue, financial constraints make it more likely that we will need to consider refurbishment more often and target our improvements at those aspects of the SLA that can make the biggest difference to occupants.


After consultation and an assessment of individual site requirements,


a programme


was developed that covered the majority of Royal Marine and Royal Naval Air Stations sites including: 40 Cdo, Norton Manor Camp, 42 Cdo Bickleigh, 45 Cdo Condor, CTCRM Lympstone, RM Chivenor, RMB Stonehouse, Royal Citadel, RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton. The programme included


Officers’, Senior Rates’ and Junior Rates’ living accommodation. A recent refurbishment at the RM Citadel became the template for the refurbishment of ablutions, redecoration, new furniture and carpets. Working through Defence


Estates (DE) and Regional Prime Contract (RPC) teams, all the planned work was finished on time with the exception of one establishment where building structural problems proved insurmountable.


The key lesson was that co-operation works. The teams needed to work fast


and very hard to scope, cost, plan and implement in-year. That the projects progressed


so well was down to the good working relationships and excellent liaison between DE, RPC and the establishment staff. The result: a high standard of finish on projects that has been particularly well received by our military personnel. The programme had to accommodate different site requirements. Interestingly, because SLAM has concentrated primarily in the first ten years on ORs, a number of establishments wanted work on their Officer accommodation. RM Condor wanted their Junior Officers’ accommodation improved and brought up to date. The Project ACE works at RM Condor were designed by Turner Estate Solutions (TES), following comprehensive stakeholder consultation, and managed on site by Bell Group UK, a part of the TES Supply Chain. Capt Farthing RM,


2iC


Base Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, RM Condor acknowledged that the enhancements to RM Condor accommodation had been well received, particularly the increased storage arrangements that included purpose-built storage for the Royal Marines’ kit.


● A bedroom at RM Condor after refurbishment


Although nothing could be done to make the corridors wider the improved lighting provisions have made them look much better. Shower facilities were also


upgraded.


CTCRM at Lympstone wanted the ablutions improved as far as possible across the site as they were very old and in poor condition. Chris Rawden,


● LH Michael Monnington, CPO Ross Perrin and LH Paul Weedon in Sydney


Time called on R&R


G’day from down under


HAVING recently returned from ‘Down Under’ the participants of Exchange Programme Long Look 2010 (EXPLL10) are keen to pass on the experience of taking part, writes WO1 Andy Whale. Now running for over 30 years the exchange takes place on an annual tri-service basis between Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom for a four-month period.


the


Infrastructure Support Manager at CTCRM Lympstone, advised that despite the difficulties of the funding arriving quite late in the financial year and CTCRM accommodation being 110 per cent occupied, the SLA ablution refurbishment was successfully completed.


He put the successful refurbishment down to detailed planning and programming of the accommodation plot, on a daily basis, to ensure the minimum of discomfort to occupants, maintain accommodation availability and protect CTCRM outputs. Again a professional ethos and “can-do attitude” permeated the approach of Estate Manager / Base Security Office Department staff, Training Wings, Contractor and Debut teams and close day-to-day liaison with contractors ensured that the hard work paid off. The refurbishment has achieved a higher standard and condition of ablutions for CTCRM trainees. Norton Manor Camp improved


the ventilation in the SLA with new windows.


They also improved the utility rooms and gave all floor coverings a deep clean. Chivenor also wanted to


improve their Officers’ Mess and with their allocation were able to redecorate all rooms, provide new carpets, some new furniture and an additional electrical double socket. To accommodate the extra


electrical load distribution boards were renewed to create additional capacity.


The central ablutions on each


floor were renovated to provide additional showers in place of under-utilised baths. Eight rooms were made en-suite. The Royal Naval Air Station


at Culdrose also wanted work to improve Officer accommodation. They adapted communal ablution areas to create self contained individual shower or bathrooms with each containing a shower, WC, washbasin etc. One bath with a shower over


was also created on each floor. Also provided were more


electrical sockets and a redecoration of cabins. Corridors and entrances were also redecorated. All in all, the hard work by all the teams has been worthwhile and has gone down well with the occupants of the SLA. This financial year the work continues but,


inevitably, with


a reduced £1 million allocation from the Service Personnel First allocation.


This year’s participants from the RN contingent numbered some 25-strong ranging from divers, submariners, logisticians, musician.


warfare and a


With the team being predominantly based in Sydney and Auckland many took the opportunity to explore the sights that these two cities had to offer. LH Kirstine Lowen, HMS


Bulwark, who was based in Sydney for the exchange, said: “What an opportunity, Sydney is a fantastic city with so much to do. “As expected I had a great time and thoroughly recommend the exchange programme.” Some of the team in Australia


were based outside Sydney. Royal Navy divers ABs Simon Lund and Damien Sanders deployed to Cairns with their dive teams for the majority of EXPLL10.


They spent much of their time honing their skills on the Great Barrier Reef. This was in-between assisting with underwater ship repairs and checking Cairns Harbour for IEDs and assisting in mine clearance. LA(Phot) Alasdair Macleod,


Faslane, deployed to Indonesia with HMAS Pirie during the exchange.


The quality of the images he captured were good enough to adorn the cover of the Australian Navy News, which was a great achievement. CPO Pete Cassar, Yeovilton, had the opportunity to assist his Australian hosts with the development of a new aviation support branch of the RAN. “This was a great experience for me to be able to have so much influence because of my RN skills and background which was professionally very rewarding,” said CPO Cassar.


The NZ exchange team were exposed to the Maori culture early in their time with the RNZN and found it to be a real insight. “The Marae Maori welcoming


service was one memory I will never forget during my Long Look experience,” explained LH Becky Mudie, HMS Edinburgh. “The Marae explained the significance of the carvings, their beliefs and how they affect every day life.” Lt Jane Ruddock, HMS Sultan,


added: “I have found my time in NZ to be very enjoyable and all aspects whether working, meeting people or travelling have been brilliant.” LPT Jonathan Platt, HMS Raleigh, worked in the Fleet Gymnasium and took the opportunity to learn different training methods from those in the UK.


● Australian Longlookers photographed by one of the participants LA(Phot) AJ Macleod


He also used his time to do some preparatory work for the RN Rugby League tour to NZ and organise some AT for the Long Look personnel. “I’ve had a great time out here


in NZ, can’t recommend the exchange enough to those in a position to apply”, enthused LPT Platt.


involved an element of sea time. LHs Paul Weedon,


Some of the exchange positions Darren


Smalley, Michael Monnington and Curtis Morris were all assigned to different RAN vessels and participated in exercises in coastal waters and around Indonesia and the South China Sea. This was in addition to numerous Australian port visits to such places as Hobart, Newcastle, Brisbane and Cairns, which was one way of getting around the vast expanse of Australia. Many of the participants embraced the work-hard play- hard ethos of the exchange. CPOs Luke Malone and Ross


Perrin took the opportunity to share professional experiences with their host units and demonstrate different working practices. Many of the Long Lookers took the opportunity to take in an ‘Aussie Rules’ or Rugby League match whilst on exchange. CPO Malone, however, went one better than his colleagues and along with CPO Perrin visited the TV shrine of Neighbours Ramsay Street – “an experience never to be forgotten,” said CPO Malone.


CPO Lauren Cobby, SFM


Portsmouth, toured the North and South Islands of NZ during her leave which was a “truly memorable” exchange.


highlight of the


All of the EXPLL10 participants had a chance to take leave; some


toured their countries of exchange whilst others took the opportunity to take a holiday with relatives or family that had flown from the UK to join them.


Another poignant part of the exchange was the opportunity for the participants to take part in the ANZAC Day ceremonies both in Australia and New Zealand as representatives of the Royal Navy. All of the EXPLL10 participants felt they were privileged to participate in the ANZAC Day commemorations. WO2 Barry Johnston, HMS explained: “We were


Sultan,


involved in a march through Sydney with huge crowds lining the route.


“The RAN led the march


followed by the war veterans totalling nearly 10,000 personnel; the reception we all got was fantastic.


“All in all it was a truly memorable day.” CPO Jan Hamlyn, HMS Drake,


laid two wreaths on behalf of the RN on ANZAC day at HMNZS Philomel and Devonport and commented that the participation of the Long Lookers on the day was greatly appreciated by their New Zealand hosts. If you’re interested in being


involved in the Long Look Exchange in 2011 then here’s what to do...


Exchange Programme Long Look takes place on an annual basis and is available to all RN and RM personnel of Rank/Rate Junior Officer to Leading Hand. Applications to participate in the 2011 exchange are being accepted now.


Exchange Programme Long Look application forms can now be found in RNTM 181/10. Submissions should be made by November 27 2010.


engineers,


personnel deploying for short tours will be posted for less than four months – hence they will no longer qualify for R&R. This change will reduce passenger traffic over the airbridge by 11 per cent, and thereby increase its resilience for people who are entitled to R&R under the changes. Despite best efforts, the


airbridge is prone to delays due to its distance and hazardous environment, which is why the compensatory boost to Post Operational Leave has been introduced for anyone affected. Anyone who is currently


deployed, or who has received Final Assignment Orders to deploy, will not be affected by this change.


of Service people affected by this change will be RAF, who have a typical tour length of four months. For people who deploy for


periods of between four to six months, the seven-day R&R package remains in place.


Check if you’re eligible


IT is now possible to qualify for the Afghanistan Operational Service Medal and the Iraq Medal without 30 days of continuous service in theatre. People – both in the military and civil service – who deploy for short stretches can build up accrued days to a total qualifying period of 45 days service. In addition, these changes will be backdated to the start of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq – that’s September 11 2001 and January 20 2003 respectively. People with 30 days continuous service qualifying period are unaffected by the changes. Eligibility is restricted to


personnel who have served under the command of the UK Joint Task Force Commander on a designated operation within the qualifying area appropriate to each medal (see JSP 671 for more detail). Visitors to operational theatres will not qualify.


It is expected that the majority


THE policy on rest and recuperation (R&R) for Service personnel deployed on operations has changed. People deployed for six months will continue to be eligible for one period of 14 days R&R; and from July 22 2010, anyone who loses out on R&R because of operations or disruptions to the airbridge, will be granted Post Operational Leave to compensate. However from January 1 2011,


In order to get a medal, people must apply through their unit admin staff (military), through the PPPA (civil service) or through the MOD Medal Office (for those no longer under the MOD). For Naval personnel this is a change to the previous provision for 45 days cumulative seagoing service in the Northern Arabian Gulf as it is no longer restricted to a single operational deployment. To date, over 126,000 Iraq Medals and 98,000 Afghanistan Operational Service Medals have been issued. For those people outside the


military or civil service who wish to apply, please contact: MOD Medal Office Building 250 Imjin Barracks Gloucester GL3 1HW.


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