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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.


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


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.


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


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


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: 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 – 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 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 There is a useful calculator at 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


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


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


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

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


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 ■ National Debtline Freephone 0808 808 4000, Mon – Fri 0900- 2100, Sat 0930-1300. Also online at ■ 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


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. and follow the links.

■ Cold weather Defence Estates (DE) and Housing


(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


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:, 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


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