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32 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011 News and information for serving personnel


and know what you’re asking


Be realistic


WELCOME to Drafty’s Corner sponsored


by the Naval Personnel Team (Warfare) (or


NPT(X) for short). Based in West Battery, Whale


Island, NPT(X) primarily provides career management (CM) for all Warfare Branch Senior Rates, and for some Junior Rates.


The recently-renamed Career Management Cells (CMCs) in each of the Base Ports manage the vast majority of Warfare Junior Rates.


In addition, NPT(X) provides the strategic Warfare Branch requirement management aspects. The main challenges currently


facing NPT(X) Ratings Career Management are:


■ Manning balance The RN is now close to 100 per cent manned and as a result, this limits our ability to offer ECs, extensions of service (EOS) and FTRS, as these would increase our overall numbers.


Notwithstanding the SDSR announcements, the promotion and EC boards cycle, however, will continue as normal.


■ Augmentation There is no uplift in numbers (liability) to provide people to fill Optours. This means that each fill will result in a gap elsewhere. We try to spread this impact, but


as we rely heavily on volunteers, we cannot always control where the gaps will fall.


Optour


It should be noted that the requirement


is always


changing, and we endeavour to keep all personnel informed of such changes, which are invariably at short notice. If you are interested in an


Optour, please contact your CM. ■


Operational (OPPs)


There are a number of OPPs within NPT(X), especially within the SEA spec, LACs and LS/PO WS(AWW) and (UW). Each OPP group is examined closely and will have several measures in place to resolve or at least ease the situation; invariably these need time to take effect. Members of OPPs (by main groups)


trade/rate are always


encouraged to apply for extensions of service if they are eligible.


■ Promotion Candidates. A number of OPPs result from


a shortfall in candidate numbers at promotion boards. In some cases this is due to the lack of the necessary competences as outlined in BR3 (formerly BR1066), with RNFT being the main culprit.


It is essential that individuals


take ownership of their JPA records, and check that they have the correct competences awarded to coincide with their Common Reporting Date. OPS checks have also been common


a failing, but


watch this space. General points – you can help


yourself to help us: ■ JPA


Make sure that JPA reflects your


true and realistic preferences. CMs make their assignment decisions in order to meet the needs of the Service and balanced against the professional and personal aspirations of the


Pinchpoints


Drafty’s corner


individual, as contained in JPA. If JPA does not reflect your preferences,


current then


you may have to live with the consequences. CMs can date track back, so


changing your preferences once an AO has been raised does not work! Your preferences should also reflect reality – if the majority of your eligible (Spec/Rate) posts are in Portsmouth, then an area to avoid of ‘Portsmouth’ is likely to result in disappointment.


■ SJAR.


The Comments box on the SJAR creates a permanent record and is viewed by the promotion board.


Comments to your 1RO such


as “thanks mate a good report but could you change promotion prospects from High to Excp” are not beneficial – neither is providing a re-write of your RO’s comments.


■ Assignment cycle. Be aware of your likely sea/ shore rotation – it should not come as a surprise if your SAV date is due and you get assigned back to sea. The default value is 36 months sea/18 months shore, but this will vary by main trade and rate. If in doubt, check with your CM and manage you and your family’s expectations accordingly. Your Future Availability Date


(FAD, formerly ERD) will, where possible, best reflect your CM’s target date, but it is advisory only, and circumstances do change. Successful


promotion


candidates should expect to go straight to sea on completion of the necessary courses in your new rate.


Remember to check that you


receive the necessary Sea Service competence when due.


announcement of changes to OPS checks is expected shortly,


an so


THIS article necessarily highlights the problem areas, yet for the majority it is business as usual. Whilst the SDSR announcement has already happened, it will take some time for the options and impacts to be fully assessed and completed.


Timely information will be released via the appropriate internal IC channels. In the meantime, keep your


JPA up to date and maximise your career development and promotion opportunities.


Have your say in Two-Six


NEED to get your message across to the rest of the RN? The 2-6 TV DVD has been aligned with the Personnel Support


enhanced package for use in sharing information. Feedback received regarding the new-look 2-6 TV DVD is encouraging. Your thoughts and opinions are invaluable. Please forward any


Brief providing an


8809, FLEET-DCS-INFO-IC SO2 ■ WO1 Barrie Cooke, 93832


85984


constructive ideas about what should be covered to WO1 Baz Cooke or Pauline Aquilina. To feature in the Navy News 2-6 pages contact Lt Cdr Heather Lane or WO1 Cooke. ■ Lt Cdr Heather Lane, 93832


8821, FLEET-DCS-INFO-IC WO ■ Pauline Aquilina, 9621


debt get on top of you


THE NFF diary shows that the pace and appetite to hear about issues and concerns from Royal Naval and Royal Marines families is showing no signs of slowing down, writes Jane Williams of the Naval Families Federation.


These meetings need either solid feedback on any issue that is presenting itself as a challenge for families or comment on just how well aspirations are delivering. To get in touch and tell us


start on the road to financial recovery. 1. Don’t ignore your debts. 2. Be honest with yourself, your


what is or isn’t working for you please call: 02392 654374, e-mail: admin@nff.org.uk or write to us at: NFF, Castaway House, 311 Twyford Ave, Portsmouth, PO2 8RN.


few weeks? ■ External Reference Group, which influences and informs on the Armed Forces Covenant. ■ The Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation ■ MP for Portsmouth, Penny Mordaunt, who is visiting the NFF. ■ Families Forum which meets directly with the Minister for Defence, Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel and Training), Lt Gen Sir William Rollo. If you have any comment or


issues, then please just get in touch.


The announcements concerning the review on Allowances for all Armed Forces personnel will be available at www.nff.org.uk – all the details are in the ‘Money’ section, just follow the links from the front page.


■ Debt Overload: Credit Action give options and information to help.


pain of unmanageable debt. We are bombarded on all sides by advertising that tells us what the good life looks like and credit that offers us a way to have it all now. The festive season causes even more pressure to splash out. In December 2009 an estimated four million people had gone into debt to pay for Christmas and three million were still paying for Christmas 2008. The way to avoid becoming


No one chooses to suffer the What’s in the diary for the next


partner and any older children. 3. List your debts and draw realistic budget. Prepare financial


up a a statement of your


position, detailing your income and expenditure. You need to take time over this and be realistic about all the things you spend money on. A


downloaded budget


creditaction.org.uk 4. Prioritise your debts –


free from www. sheet can be


prioritise paying those bills for which non-payment will result in loss of home, liberty or essential goods and services. 5. Check your benefits and tax code – details can be found on the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) site www.adviceguide.org.uk. There is a useful calculator at www.turn2us.org.uk. 6. Maximise your ability to


repay – decide on your priority financial commitments, cut down on non-essential spending. Debt is a symptom not the problem. Before tackling debt you must your


reduce


not only to stop you borrowing more, but to maximise repayments. 8. Get help you


if


it – if after doing


budget and reviewing your expenditure you feel you can realistically sort out your own debts then download a copy of Credit Action’s self-help booklet from the website detailed above. If you are not confident or


overwhelmed by the problem, seek help to approach your creditors and organise your repayments. There are several sources of


part of the statistics is to set a budget and stick to it! Prepare for next Christmas by taking action now. For some, the worries are bigger than Christmas, so when do you need to take action? What are the symptoms of a debt problem? If any of the following apply to you, then you have a debt problem that needs addressing. ■ your payments are being


returned unpaid, you are regularly late in paying your bills or only ever make the minimum repayment; ■ you have to use your credit card for day-to-day purchases or make cash withdrawals on a credit card; ■ you borrow money to pay existing debts or repeatedly


off


reschedule your debts; ■ you are struggling to pay your priority bills – mortgage,


council tax or gas/ electricity; ■ you are regularly stressed


rent,


about money or kept awake at night worrying about how to pay your bills. What can I do? There is nearly always a solution to a debt problem. It may require some tough decisions and some hard work, but it can be done. By their very nature, debts are


urgent; they compound rapidly over


time, and can spiral into


deeper trouble. Work through the following steps and you’ll be making a good


free, independent help: ■ Consumer Credit Counselling


Service (CCCS), freephone 0800 138 1111, Mon – Fri 0800-2000 ■ CCCS Debt Remedy – an


anonymous online service found at www.cccs.co.uk ■ National Debtline Freephone 0808 808 4000, Mon – Fri 0900- 2100, Sat 0930-1300. Also online at www.nationaldebtline.co.uk ■ You can contact your local


CAB – their website (see above) has a postcode search for your nearest branch ■ www.moneyadvicemap.


com will allow you to search for other providers that offer face-to- face help in your area. You may see advertising in the media or even receive marketing telephone calls from companies offering to assist with your debts. The vast majority of these companies charge for their services. Even if the initial advice is free there will be a cost to any action they take on your behalf. All the organisations listed


above give their services free of charge.


This is one of those rare


situations in life where you don’t actually get a better service by paying for it and it means that all your money goes to repaying your debts as fast as possible. Some of the adverts are based around a debt solution called an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).


They are the right way forward


need your


spending,


for some people, but they do always have associated costs. The suggested sources of help will refer you on to a reputable Insolvency Practitioner if it is agreed as the right move for you. Help is out there should you need it…


■ Changes to PAX Insurance Scheme


As a direct result of the announcements in the recent budget (2010/11) there


will be


a one per cent price increase to the PAX insurance scheme prices, taking effect from January 2011. For the full details go to www. nff.org.uk and follow the links.


■ Cold weather Defence Estates (DE) and Housing


Modern


(MHS) give cold weather advice: – What can I do to prevent damage to my heating and plumbing


weather? You can prepare for cold


system during cold


weather by locating the position of the water main stopcock in your Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and checking that it operates in case you need it. You should also report to your prime contracting helpdesk any taps and cisterns that require a ttention and also any damage to insulation on outside


SFA does not fall below 10°C. Keep doors of rooms without heating open to allow heat to circulate. In severe weather conditions,


you could also slightly open your loft hatch to allow some warm air into the loft pipes. – What about outdoor pipes? You need to take special care with pipes leading outside the house. For


shut off any isolating stopcock when not in use, and leave taps open.


outside taps you should


what to do, please contact your maintenance contract helpdesk. – What precautions should I take if I am going away in cold or severe weather? You are responsible for ensuring adequate


that


precautions are taken, as you could be liable for damage if it occurs. You should therefore: ■ Leave your central heating


full, leave all internal doors open and slightly open your loft hatch if appropriate ■ Where possible, leave your keys with a trusted neighbour and ask them to check the house regularly.


frost damage


on permanently with the room thermostat set to a minimum of 10°C ■ Turn all radiator valves on to


If you are unsure about that the temperature in your


weather you are responsible for ensuring


work. During severe


pipe Solutions Don’t let


Making Stoker history


IN NOVEMBER a team from the Royal Naval School of Marine Engineering at HMS Sultan visited the headquarters of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) at Birdcage Walk in London to witness the signing of


Understanding (MoU) between the Royal Navy and the IMechE. The


the RN’s senior serving Marine Engineer, Vice Admiral Andrew Mathews (Chief of Materiel Fleet) and the IMechE’s Chief Executive, Stephen Tetlow, draws the two organisations


shared goals to increase the numbers of Registered Engineers in the ME branch by accrediting their training and providing a Special Authorised Process to registration.


Love (Director Ships) the signing of the MoU marked the culmination of


Witnessed by Rear Admiral Bob


18 months work between HMS Sultan and the IMechE to examine the academic training and engineering experience gained by Marine Engineering branch officers and ratings throughout their careers, and to map it against the Engineering Council’s requirements


Registration at Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) levels. This agreement now enables RN Marine Engineers to become Members of the IMechE and register at the appropriate level through a significantly reduced application process, taking full account of the individual’s Service experience and qualifications. Lt Cdr Danny Owens (HMS


Sultan’s Training Officer (Marine Engineering)) who worked with the IMechE to produce this MoU said: “With the signing of this MoU, ME training and career development is now recognised by three Professional Engineering Institutions,


Engineers greatly simplified routes to Professional Registration through the Institution of their choice, be it with IMechE, the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) or the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).” The MoU also contains a simplified route for senior Royal Navy Marine Engineer Officers to become Fellows of the Institution. Pioneered by Cdr Richard


Tarr (HMS Sultan’s Commander (Marine Engineering)) the MoU recognises the senior engineering management


expertise required in order to be promoted to this level and allows all ME Officers of Commander’s rank and above to upgrade from Member to Fellow, application.


experience and on


Visiting IMechE headquarters for the first time were seven members of Marine Engineering Submariners’ Systems Engineering and Management Course who were given a presentation on the benefits of Professional Registration before being treated to a guided tour of the building, accompanied by a history of the Institution whose early members included George and Robert Stephenson, Napier and Brunel. The highlight was very much the library, combining centuries of historic documents with the latest in modern data storage and retrieval systems.


were: Cdr Richard Tarr (Cdr ME), Lt Cdr Danny Owens (TOME), Mr Paul Smith (STGME8), S/Lts Bowler, Davy, Hughes, Kinsella, Renshaw,


(SEMC(MESM)10). Dedicated Royal Navy pages


Your experiences form the basis of our discussions. To get in touch with NFF, telephone: 02392 654374, e-mail: admin@nff.org.uk, or write to us at:


NFF, Castaway House, 311 Twyford Road, Portsmouth, PO2 8RN.


Savery and Twinn


are now live on the IMechE website at: http://www.imeche. org/membership/apply/ specialised-approved-routes/ RN


to know more about Professional Registration and membership of a Professional Engineering Institution should first read 2010 DIN01-133.


Any Marine Engineer wishing Attendees from HMS Sultan offering Marine for closer through document, signed by a Memorandum of


Professional


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