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Quartermaster’s Department

by Maj G R Piggott MBE Since taking up the LWC rôle, the QM’s Dept has stepped up to the plate supporting the All Arms Battlegroup on six Ex Wessex Warriors (CT3), three Ex Lion Strikes (Coy Comds’ Course), two MRX Kush Dragon (CT5 Afghanistan) and one MRX Desert Dragon (CT5 IRAQ), two LCPD in addition to the numerous other LWC exercises for the various divisions and the Unit’s own training and mandatory Annual Crew Test gunnery camps at Castlemartin and Lulworth: somewhat busy but then, what’s new? Whilst it has been extremely busy spending three weeks out of four on Salisbury Plain Training Area, at least we have had the knowledge of having set leave periods and no operational tours. I am glad to say that the department has not let the side down even if at times it has been a close run thing.

Movements of personnel within the department have not been as stable as we would have liked however with movement comes promotions and opportunities; sadly we have said farewell to the QM Maj John Stevens MBE who has moved on to the Cotswold Centre and to the QM (Tech) Maj Norrie MacKinnon who stood in as QM before moving on to become QM 7 SCOTS in Perth. In return, we have Maj Gary Piggott MBE COLDM GDS as QM and Capt Lew Gayle from ITC Catterick as QM Tech; currently, both are here for the full two years. We have also said farewell to RQMS Whillock on promotion to RSM 4 MERCIAN in Wolverhampton and, shortly, RQMS Tech Davey will become RSM CIMIC in Camberley. We wish them well in their future roles. The present RQMS team consists of RQMS Travis and RQMS (Tech) Collacott. Again, fingers crossed, they will remain for two years in order to provide the stability and knowledge base. I would also like to point out that our Clothing SNCO, Sgt Savage, was promoted to CSgt in December, a very worthy promotion after 20-odd years’ service.

Whilst the LWC rôle is busy, we have found time to get people away on career courses from Unit repair to CQMS courses, Environmental pollution to Health and safety courses and Forklift courses to Articulated truck courses. Whilst this has been a risk, we have now got a fair degree of redundancy which then leads to being able reduce the pressure on the more qualified individuals. Life within the G1098 is firmly under the direction of the WO2 Davey, who has worked wonders in reducing the outstanding discrepancies in BOWMAN and the legacy from our takeover from the previous LWC BG. However, no man is alone and Sgt Bartell and Bennie have worked feverously to get

The Mercian Eagle

on top of the £43m worth of equipment now on his books (not for all the tea in China!). During this accounting period, the Battalion has demanded in excess of £3.5m worth of equipment.

The clothing store has been reinforced with Pte Kylie which has cheered CSgt Savage up no end. We have been the major unit on the “New Clothing Solutions Project” (NCSP) - in a nut shell, an internet-based ordering system for military clothing that will deliver your exchanges and deficiencies to your front door. The scheme is very popular with the troops, there are a few issues to be ironed out but these will be sorted out in the near future; sadly, we came off the trial in March 2009 and CSgt Savage has had to go back to the old style of working. Along with the NCSP, we have had our new issue of the Future Army Dress (FAD), new No2 Dress, shoes, shirts and, shortly, Barrack Dress. We received and tailored 50% of the unit only to be told to hand them back in due to a defect (the only happy person was our contract tailor!). Hopefully, the corrected No2 Dress should come from the manufacturers before too long.

The Accommodation Stores is run by Sgt Horgan assisted by LCpl Motteram, both of whom we are lucky to have as, on the AF8005, their posts do not exist due to some naïve impression that all accommodation duties are run by civilian contractors! Try telling that to Sgt Horgan and LCpl Motteram who have worked tirelessly to maintain, repair and chase Contractors to bring our lines into the 21st Century. Sgt Horgan is also our Health and Safety guru, without whom we would have fallen foul of current legislation.

The ammunition account is run by Sgt Carter. The amount we use on our training is quite staggering ranging from 81mm mortar, 5.56mm to 30mm Rarden ammunition: we then add this to the LWC- sponsored exercises and we have fired something in the region of £5m worth this year alone. I am awaiting the cost from the LCPD in April 2009 as we are using 3 x 1000lb bombs and a number of Hellfire missiles: this will add a pretty penny to the total. The Unit Spares Account is in the hands of Cpl Nicholls, Cpl Burton and Pte Ling, again a very busy and demanding job ensuring that engines, gearboxes and any other vehicle spare is held in order for the large vehicle fleet to be used, and used it is. To put us in perspective, BATUS would normally do approximately 150k track miles a year whilst the LWC BG has already done 100K track miles and we have 2 months to go. Last but not least, the Miscellaneous Stores Account: this account covers all the many of items of kit from stationery, computers, camp beds, sports equipment and even 3 x 60 inch plasma televisions (courtesy of the budget manager at 43X) - all of this is in the guiding hands of

Cpl Bateman.

During the year, we have had a number of successes directly attributable to the hard work of the QM’s dept: our annual Log Sp Inspection, Fuel and Lubs inspection, Food services inspection, Ammunition inspection and a questionable inspected ECI were all green. I cannot wait until the Unit moves over to the CIW regime where all inspections happen in one week! We are now in the process of finishing our rôle here in Tidworth. Clearly, we couldn’t do this with the Bi-Annual Inspection and the handover to 1 RRF and we are looking forward to our move to Fallingbostel in Germany where hopefully we can enjoy a few months of reduced work load prior to conducting pre- deployment training in 2010.

Battalion Education by Lt Cornelia Oosthuizen AGC (ETS), 3 MERCIAN Learning Development Officer

(LDO) I was posted to 3 MERCIAN as the Battalion’s Learning and Development Officer (LDO) at the beginning of May 2008. As this was my first attachment to the Infantry, I did not quite know what to expect but the welcoming nature of the Battalion, officers and soldiers alike, soon made me feel at home. As LDO, I am responsible for overseeing the Battalion’s mandatory and further educational needs. I ensure mainly that NCOs complete JNCO, SNCO and WO Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) career courses for promotion. Coupled with that, I manage the Battalion’s Basic Skills requirements, advise on Professional and Personal Development, provide guidance on Officers’ education and act as an initial point of contact for Resettlement.

CLM has recently changed to comprise three parts at JNCO, SNCO and WO levels:

• CLM Part 1: Arms & Services (A&S) delivered in and by Units and the responsibility of the Arms & Services Directorates such as D Inf

• CLM Part 2: Work-based Learning (WBL) completed in Barracks or on Operations with support from the Chain of Command and the LDO

• CLM Part 3: Army Education Centre (AEC) delivered by LDOs and ETS officers in AECs

Under the new system, NCOs can commence CLM only once they have been selected for promotion to Cpl, Sgt or WO2. Upon

October 2009 75

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