Journal of the australian naval institute inc



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the end of the table who says so little and takes so many notes is the personal representative of the Chief of Naval Operations But the Dennis Fargos and the Crocodile Dundees of the world can't be intimidated

But why am I tellinq you things you already know about the value of a few good young men to an organisation One of your council members. Commander W AG Dovers. said all I am saying in far fewer words in his open letter Of the August 1988 issue "The most important challenge facing the ANI today is to attract more young members The ANI is not an organ of the Royal Australian Navy It was not formed to echo Service policy If il is to progress in the longer term we must get off our high horses, stimulate a free thinking debate and truly welcome the input of younger members Maybe then we will attract the fresh blood that the ANI so badly needs "

No maybes about it, Dovers When I assumed the editorship in 1973. a privately commissi­oned study had reached exactly the same conclusions about us I hired a couple of what my publisher called Young Bucks.' Naval Reservists Fred Rainbow and Paul Stillwell and. although they're both getting long in tooth and short in wind they remain among the freshest, strongest voices on the Naval Institute staff My YBs and I also went looking for some middle-aged guys to add to the mix and we found them in a trio of retired captains named Paul Schratz. Ned Beach, and Gerry O'Rourke. all of whom might have attained flag rank had they not written for the Proceedings But that ain't necessarily so Four equally able words-miths — Chick Hayward. Bill Mack. Jim Calvert, and Gerry Miller — all wrote for us and retired as vice admirals Hell. Elmo Zumwalt wrote regularly as a young man and he made CNO

All of the authors I've mentioned thus far, and a thousand others I haven't mentioned, including today's shooting star Captain John Byron, are unreasonable rascals if we believe George Bernard Shaw's definition "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man " They are all potential killers, too. for. as Shaw tells us, Northing is ever done until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done "

An incident involving John Byron is instruc­tive He wrote for us a "Nobody Asked Me. But " about Canada that almost started a war Things got out of hand when the head of their Navy called ours, who is traditionally the Naval Institute's president, and told him that most Canadian officers felt that anything published in a service journal by a serving

officer obviously represented the official government point of view Our President could have and should have straightened htm out on this vital point, but he didn t By allowing that false impression to prevail, that CNO |Oined the company of a predecessor who. testifying before a congressional committee, reportedly was told "Admiral, what you are telling us today contradicts what appeared in your Proceed­ings last month" Had the CNO simply said. "Sir, that's not my magazine I never know what those clowns are going to print," we on the staff would have renamed our babies after him. we would have written songs about him, and named our driveways and garden paths in his honour But he didn't

You know how important freedom of speech is It is," one of our giants wrote, "the freedom from which all our other freedoms flow " From the very beginning, your journal has tried, as Proceeaings does, to maintain its indepen­dence from its country's and its navy's "party tine." Otherwise, you would not have printed. as you did in May 1977, that fine article by five of your serving officers who tried to predict "The Needs of the RAN. 1985 to 2000" Among the several things they were right about was the need for the best and the brightest of R A N officers to serve a short term (three months'7) on ministerial staffs and other departments such as Foreign Affairs" Had Oliver North and John Poindexter served only three months in mufti, their service careers might have had different endings

Having twice mentioned the estimable Chick Hayward, the former enlisted man who fought as hard for the Naval Institute as he so often fought for his country, let me conclude with a third recollection to suggest that the fiercest of fights can take place among friends behind closed doors Chick wants to be reincarnated as a fly on the wall so he can attend the always lively monthly USNI board meetings unnoticed

Finally, the optimist has always been my kind of guy I know he is your kind of guy. too. judging from what many of us think is Australia's national motto "She'll be right, mate " That's what I think when I look back a century to when we were the mouse and England was the elephant That's what I think when I look ahead to the inevitable day when — you pick the mouse — Australia will be the elephant

Thai's what I think when I look at our respective societies and the recurring, seem­ingly unsolvable problems that beset them on the hard road they have chosen to follow "She'll be right, mate1" Most respectfully, Clay Barrow

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Dear Sir,

The section Nexus in Michael Head's article, No War For Ten Years, drew attention to the large number of starred officers and colonel equivalents serving in Canberra

This prompted a check at the Seagoing Officers of the RAN. listed in the Navy List of October. 1945 when we had a naval strength of over 39.000 members The Captains num­bered ten including one acting as Rear Admiral in the Sydney Area and three acting as Commodores, one Commanding the Austral­ians Squadron, one as the Second Naval Member and the third as C.S.T at Flinders Naval Depot

The Commanders list was thirty strong with eight being Acting Captains and there were forty Lieutenant Commanders listed plus a page and a half of Lieutenants

We did have an Admiral, an Engineer Rear Admiral plus three Engineer Captains and sixteen Engineer Commanders or Command­ers (E) The senior officers in the Supply Branch numbered two Captains (S) and ten Commanders (S).

The RANR(S) had tour Commanders and the RANR had one Acting Commander whilst the RANVR listed the newly promoted Commander Stanley Darling with his three DSCs from the Atlantic

Technically the present Navy is a far cry from Ihe 1945 wartime Navy with its hundreds of comparatively simple ships and a host of shore establishments but it does make you wonder whether we are a trifle top heavy these days

LCDR E. Bryden-Brown, RANR (Ret)

Dear Sir,

In the article "No War for Ten Years" in your August edition, M A Head criticizes me strongly I have become almost inured to criticism, but not totally so, especially when the criticism is not based on fact and when that ill-founded criticism appears in a profes­sional journal

I was advised quite early in life to be sceptical ot newspaper reporting I offer that advice to MA Head. Also, I consider that one should be careful in checking one's facts before attacking a serving Chief of Staff in a profes­sional journal The potential damage surely warrants at least that small consideration

MA Head did not even quote correctly from his (or her) reference That, however, is not of great significance Of more importance is that his reference, "The Australian" of 4 May 1989, quoted me incorrectly, something which

I have come to accept as a normal practice for newspapers

On the basis of a thin and incorrect report in "The Australian", M A Head proceeds to castigate me He also maintains that I have made certain assumptions, assumptions in which I am said to have more faith than he. M A Head, does. I can assure MA Head that any assumptions in his article are his not mine I have in my records a video-tape of the entire press conference on which "The Australian" article was based That article in turn, provided the basis of M A Head's criticism The press conference was held to counter criticism of the RAAF's operational capability and of the state of morale within the Service; it was not held on the topic of warning time or threat percep­tion Those topics did. however, arise briefly during the question and answer section of the press conference Let me put before you what did occur in the press conference In answer to a question on our capability to sustain operations I had this to say: "I don't think it's any secret that the combat stamina of the Australian Defence Force would be sorely tested if certain credible contingencies which might occur in the future were to occur now The point is that they cannot occur now. the strategic circum­stances which would lead up to those sorts of contingencies are just not in place We expect warning time, and we expect to be able to react in ways within that warning time which will ensure that we can handle that credible contingency" I then expanded on that issue by talking about the nice judgements which have to be made in providing for both current prepared ness and future capabilities within a finite Defence budget I spoke also of the balance that must be struck in working with Ihe zero-sum equation that contains current prepared­ness and future capabilities On warning time. I drew attention to the fact that the whole issue had been well covered in the Defence Policy Information Paper of March 1987

Later in the interview I was asked the

following question "Are you saying that wai

isn't likely within the next five years or ten

years''" To which I replied

"Yes I am saying that, and if anyone would

like to debate me on that subject we can

hold a separate press conference But why

I am here is to tell you that the Royal

Australian Air Force, right now, is in a quite

different shape from that which is being

publicly portrayed and that is what I want

to correct "

The rest of the press conterence remained on the subject for which it had been convened

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I chose my words carefully and. in particular, I was careful in my use of the terms war and credible contingency I stand by those words in the context in which they were spoken Moreover, they are no different in content trom those which have been used frequently on these subjects at senior levels of government and the AOF over many years

In a later stage of his article but on a different subject. M A Head makes a statement which I cannot allow to pass without comment He stales perhaps we could seriously consider abolishing the RAAF The Air Force is and always will remain a supporting command Give the training, transport and support aircraft to the Army, the F111s and Orions to the Navy and they can toss for the Fighter Wing " If M A Head wishes to contribute in any substantial way to the defence discussion in this country, I would suggest that he stop being silly and treat the subject with the deep seriousness it deserves Quite apart from his major premise being demonstrably fallacious, one would have to be concerned at the thinking behind the proposition he advances To advocate that the command of the fighter assets ot the Australian Defence Force should be decided by a toss of the coin is to approach the very limits of stupidity in Defence discussion

Air Marshal R.G. Funnell. AC

Dear Sir.

I was delighted to see that my article A Sail Training Ship For The RAN", sparked some interest and prompted Lieutenant Griggs response in the August edition of the Journal, In Defence of Car Ferries Painted Grey" From the tenor of his article it appears that Lieutenant Griggs was offended by my off hand reference to a ship in which he has pride Whilst I endorse Lieutenant Griggs sentiment of pride in the vessel in which he serves, he should not allow this to get in the way of the issue at hand, nor to prevent him from indulging in a little lateral thinking

I do not accept his response and consider that he has missed (or chosen to ignore) the main point of my article, that officer training in a sail training ship can be conducted at very significantly reduced costs in terms of both fuel and manpower

As I pointed out in my article, the acquisition of HMAS JERVIS BAY was a political decision, to a degree accidental, and Navy has made best use of this windfall asset Nevertheless, she was not purpose built (or the training role inherited and the "logistic support

and administrative sea transport role' was an after thought; a capability requirement which was not incorporated into a Naval Staff Requirement (NSR) to justify the vessel's initial acquisition, but was recognised after the acquisition and to a certain degree, to justify the continued retention of a vessel of her size and type in the RAN inventory

I do not deny her usefulness in this role, but I suggest that it is a capability that can be maintained in Australia's merchant fleet and it this role is really required in an operational contingency, it can be assumed by vessels taken up from trade

In this regard I have difficulty in accepting Navy's recent decision to pay off HMAS STALWART in lieu of HMAS JERVIS BAY. the former has unique purpose built capabilities and should be available in the core force, rather than the latter whose capabilities are available in the Australian merchant fleet

The assertion that HMAS JERVIS BAY is able to embark and operate an ASW helicopter from the ship is misleading Whilst the ship has a flightdeck, its lack of hanger and adequate maintenance and support facilities dictates that a helicopter can be embarked for a limited period only

The purpose of rny article however was not to deprecate the very good job that JERVIS BAY has been doing, but to have the readers of the ANI Journal consider an alternative method of training which has other additional attributes and can be achieved at far less cost I still maintain that a sail training ship is an economic and viable solution which will result in trainees who are motivated, self confident, capable of using their own initiative and who are well prepared for service in RAN Fleet units Perhaps the first three of these attributes are better achieved in a sail framing ship and the last is at no disadvantage The fact that a large number of navies throughout the world use sail training ships for officer training supports this contention

A sail training ship, like all ships, would need to be designed to the task it was to undertake This would include the provision of chartroom facilities for trainees to prepare their chartwork Similarly blind pilotage facilities would be an advantage The ship would not need a separate training bridge as in JERVIS BAY There would be no other conflicting role and the small staff crew would result in few being on the bridge during pilotage runs

Not all training would be conducted under sail, indeed pilotage runs could be considered under power much in the same manner as is practised in JERVIS BAY The ship would need to be fitted with a single diesel powered main

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engine and a variable pitch propeller capable of driving the ship at speeds up to 18 knots This is a relatively simple requirement which would allow the ships to proceed at speeds in pilotage waters which equates to that of fleet umts The variable pitch propeller would reduce screw drag when under sail Normal operations would be under sail which would not only result in significant economies in fuel but add an extra dimension in the training of lunior officers

The size of the vessel would be determined by the training throughput A vessel the size of STS LEEUWIN or the SPIRIT OF ADVEN­TURE can accommodate 40 trainees With expeditious course programming this would allow for adequate throughput A vessel the size of the USCGC EAGLE would not be required

I accept that a sailing vessel is not capable of operating in company with Fleet units but this is not required to be undertaken in the JOCT nor EXAC courses This training is more correctly conducted later during stage 4 training in Fleet units The statement that "a STS is incapable of conducting the plethora of seamanship evolutions that warships engage in" is untrue and displays a lack of understanding of the basis of seamanship training Whilst it may not be possible to conduct an underway replensihment or a jackstay transfer, this shortfall can be made good at a later date Mastering the basics of seamanship is a practical exercise, which is largely one of commonsense. safety and practical hands on experience Once mastered, this knowledge is transportable to a wide variety of at sea situations Seamanship training in a square rigged vessel is one of the most profound learning areas

When citing an advantage of a sail training ship as being able to embark female trainees, I did not mean to imply that HMAS JERVIS BAY did not have the same advantage

I still maintain that service in HMAS JERVIS BAY is more akin to life in a merchant ship but with tew attending hardships and certainly very limited responsibility being delegated to the trainee It does not give trainees the impression of life on a messdeck and first hand experience of the manner in which most RAN sailors are required to live at sea This should be an important element of the JOCT

The ship departmental organisation could operate in a similar manner to that practised in RAN Fleet units, with trainees forming part of these departments but involved with hands on experience This is a much better form of training and any shortfall in comparison with Fleet departmental organisation would be

more than offset by the active participation of trainees in the departmental role.

I take issue at Lieutenant Griggs assertion, which is at best sophistic, that JERVIS BAY isolated at sea in the middle of a Tasman in a gale is more awe inspiring than watching the afternoon sea breeze spring up whilst sailing the inner Barrier Reef" STS YOUNG ENDEAV­OUR is programmed to operate in Southern waters in summer and in Northern waters during winter Whilst the aim is to minimize the impact of the weather on training, it does not obviate the effects of weather altogether, in fact, far from it I would invite Lieutenant Griggs to sail in YOUNG ENDEAVOUR and hand the topgallant at night during the passage of a 40 knot squall and see which impression is the more profound

Again I recommend that consideration be given to the RAN acquiring a sail training ship to undertake the training of junior officers on the grounds of very significant cost savings, with the most likely output being a better trained, better motivated, more practical officer who has confidence in his/her own ability and who lias developed initiative under training

F.A. Allien. Commander. RAN

LOST MEMBERS?

We often receive Journals back endorsed not known at this address In the case of serving members we can often find then work address through the system With civilian members it is not so easy Please advise any change of address early to:

a ensure you gel your Journal,

b save costs, and

c save the work load on our voluntary labour force

Would anyone knowing the whereabouts of:

Mr J R C Tanner — formerly of 6 Falkner Place MACARTHUR ACT 2904

please advise the Secretary or Senior Vice President Mr Tanner is a current member but his last two Journals have been returned marked not known at this address

i Ml U1B Aualrjli.in N.iw.il li, ,hi ,)>• Nowmbfll H(*

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One ot the Navy s quiet achievers — the 110 tonne naval tug OUOKKA which is based at the HMAS STIRLING fleet support facility with the 265 tonne medium naval tug TAMMAR Both lugs are Navy-manned.

Photo Vic Jetfery. Navy Public Relations (WA)




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