The australian naval institute

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Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute — Page (3

Engineering. As well as planning for all aspects of small ship helicopter operations, it will have functional responsibilities for integration of aircraft into the replacement carrier.

A small group of qualified personnel will also be required to carry out periodic inspections on ships to ensure that both operational and main­tenance standards and practices are being observed by detached flights.

Similarly, a parent squadron organisation to cater for the unique needs of a number of detached flights has been set up at NAS Nowra.

Action is also underway to produce a dedi­cated publication which will reflect all the stan­dards and requirements of air-capable ship heli­copter operations, both from a day-to-day operating viewpoint and also a forward planning basis.

A basic requirement to have RAN aircrew and air technical officers serve on foreign air-capable ships for exchange postings has been recognised so that expertise in the area is imported as quickly as possible into our Navy Another aim is to have rotary-wing test pilots who train at the US Naval Test Pilot School carry out a period of ship interface testing OJT prior to their servicing at AMAFTU.

To summarise, we have already begun to expand the RAN air-capable ship helicopter operation. An awareness of all the problems associated with successfully integrating a heli­copter into a ship is required at all levels and across the whole range of personnel specialis­ation and not just within the Fleet Air Arm. Much long-range planning is necessary to ensure that the helicopter facility on a ship, whether it be there to provide a utility capability of a warship, can operate in a timely and efficient manner when required.






RAN Air-capable ships 1990 (projected).

Page 14 Journal of the Australian Naval Institute


Lecture to the Canberra Chapter of the Australian Naval Institute 18 August, 1981 by Rear Admiral D.W. Leach AOCBE MVO RAN

Most of you will be aware that in line with the greater emphasis in Australia on a maritime strategy and the requirement for increased defence self reliance, the government has an­nounced:

  • steps towards the acquisition of a replacement aircraft carrier,

  • Building two more destroyers to follow the four guided missile frigates commissioned or building in the United States.

  • a second underway replenishment ship to follow the one already building at Vickers Cockatoo in Sydney,

  • ten patrol boats to follow the 15 that are being progressively commissioned in North Queens­land

and, added to this, HMAS TOBRUK. commis­sioned in April, and new weapons — torpedoes for our modernised Oberon submarines and Harpoon missies that can be fired from our destroyers, submarines and maritime aircraft, are being obtained, and as HMAS CANBERRA demonstrated very recently, they are remarkably accurate.

So, the equipment and the force structure for the future looks good — but there are constraints to our development and the biggest one is man­power — getting and keeping the good people we need.

Present position

First of all I would like to give you a feel for the present. We reached our authorised numbers for uniformed personnel on the 30 June 1981 — 17,300 — the highest since World War II. but this doesn't give a true picture, because such a big proportion of these are under training — 1,300 at HMAS CERBERUS, and we have nearly 400 mid­shipmen under training at the Naval College at Jervis Bay, at the University of NSW and in the fleet.

About 5% of our numbers are women, who now get equal pay and increasingly they are moving into new activities — the only areas that

are not open to them are sea postings, or the particular types of warfare training, tactics, etc., that would prepare them for a combat role. This practice is common to all three services. Here I must say that the USN and the American Services generally are employing women to a much greater extent in ships and supporting roles, mainly because they are short of men We are moving carefully and deliberately to get things right. The Services Personnel Policy Committee have recently discussed the question of women joining military bands. The Navy has just opened its doors to women engineers. This liberalisation seems likely to continue especially in view of our officer shortages.

Recruiting — recruiting is good — and the quality is high. We have waiting lists for our adult recruits, junior recruits at HMAS LEEUWIN in WA, our apprentice entry at HMAS NIRIMBA neat Sydney, and for our women. Officer applications are also good, aided by the new $400 12th year scholarship scheme.


Rear Admiral Leach was born on 17 July 1928. in Perth. Western Australia He entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1942 and gradualed in 1945 During his training he was Chief Cadet Captain and was awarded the Kings Medal He was promoted Commander in 1961. Captain in 1966. Commodore in 1975 and Rear Admiral in 1978

In 1946-47 he served in Her Majesty s Ships ol the British Pacific Fleet and in 1948 he completed his Sub Lieutenant courses in the United Kingdom, gaining an A Flying Licence When he returned to Australia he served in Her Maiesty s Australian Ships AUSTRALIA. MURCHISON and ARUNTA He also played Rugby tor Victoria. In 1960-61. alter qualifying as a gunnery specialist, he served in HMAS MELBOURNE as Fleet Gunnery Officer

Rear Admiral Leach commanded HMAS VENDETTA (1964-66) in the Strategic Reserve during Confrontation and later HMAS PERTH (1968-69) during the Vietnam conflict Importanl shore appointments held by Admiral Leach include Director of Naval Plans. Australian Naval Representative in the United Kingdom (1971-74), Director of Naval Operational Requirements (1975-76). Royal College of Defence Studies (1977), Chief of Naval Materiel (1979-80) His present appoint ment is as Chief of Naval Personnel

Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute Page 15

We recently stopped the officer junior entry (15-17), so now there is an all matriculation entry into the Naval College — some do a diploma course and some degree training — arts, science, survey, commerce, engineering (electrical or mechanical) We even have a 1ood scientist. We also take direct entry, doctors, dentists, engineers and instructors. We are now moving towards the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). which will open its doors in 1986.

This will mean that HMAS CRESWELL will no longer be responsible for the first year degree studies of newly entered general list midshipmen. Studies at ADFA will be in three faculties — engineering, science and arts and we anticipate the graduates will be the prime source of degree personnel in the future. Personnel will continue to be educated in other institutions such as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Engagements for sailors are now six or nine years, but there are optional discharge points during initial recruit training at the end of sixty days and subsequently after four and a half years, when eighteen months notice may be given. A pension is available after 20 years — 15 years for the later starters.

The problems

Technology. Together with RAAF we are more an equipment orientated service than is the Army Our technology level is high and the rate of change very rapid.

The fleet in the year 2000 will have incorpor­ated many major changes

  • steam will have given way :o gas turbine pro­pulsion,

  • tactical data systems will be fitted in all major and some minor fleet units,

  • New generations of subma-ines. MCMVs and patrols craft will be in service,

  • hopefully, we will be operating STOVL aircraft from carriers and advanced armed helicopters from our destroyers,

  • new command and control systems will be in service to provide information in real time to cope with the speed of modern warfare, and the highly accurate and very destructive modern weapons.

This technology brings one of our biggest problems: keeping the technicians who are in great demand outside the service and also the engineer officers, when there is a national and international shortage.

Social attitudes. If the differences in service and civilian life styles increase to such an extent to make voluntary military service unattractive to the general cross section of society, we will have problems. Much is said about changes in social attitudes and expectations. We in the Navy must expect the attitudes of our people to change also. I must say that the quality of our young men and

women is at least as high as it has ever been and they still come to us lor the best reasons.

The incidence of working wives has in­creased significantly over the past years and, when married to naval personnel, this acts againsts posting mobility. An increasing number of naval wives are in the navy themselves, and this of course poses posting problems.

Marital relationships have become more complex — higher divorce rates. People are wanting more leisure time and these factors tend to exacerbate Navy s separation problem.

Young people do not seem to want to make a life-time career commitment as readily as the service enjoyed in the past. They want more variety and don't want to be pinned down

Service constraints. There are some constraints on our freedom to solve our own problems. Because the Defence Force is an in­strument of the Federal Government and conditions of sen/ice involving financial expendi­ture are allied to the public service, we are not able to make any fast changes or have too many unique solutions.

Secondly, the Defence Force cannot escape the necessity to maintain a consistent and com­paratively rigid disciplinary system, commensu­rate with the ultimate role of combat.

Thirdly, unlike most civilian employers, the Defence Force must rely on its own resources to develop personnel to meet the requirements of commissioned and non commissioned rank. The universities can recruit a professor, a firm can get an executive and Qantas can recruit a senior avionics technician, but the Navy can hardly advertise for a qualified destroyer captain.

Page 16 — Journal ol the Australian \aval Institute

Civilian manpower Navy is more dependent on civilian manpower than the other services — in our dockyards, in our supply organisation, naval technical services. We have about 10,500 and the recent cuts are making life very difficult for us.

So much for the problems and I have only named a few. It follows that if we are getting sufficient numbers coming forward to join the Navy, then the answer must be that we have to work harder at keeping them in.

Each year about 2.000 male sailors leave the
RAN and this places a big strain on our training
resources. The overall re-engagement rate is
At 30 June 81 • Our ceiling was 17300

Personnel borne 17298

Shortfalls • Officers — required 2238

  • borne 1998

  • shortfall 240

Sailors — required 13504

  • borne 13131

  • shortfall 373 Officer Wastage

  • Male officers 6.7%

  • WRANS officers 27%

Total officer wastage 7.8%
We have done a numDer oi siuoies to find the

reasons for people leaving — a questionnaire before departure for officers is one of them. Doing what is seen to be a worthwhile job is the most quoted important reason for remaining in the RAN, with the opposite — a perceived poor posting, allied with an unwillingness to change location (for wife's job or wife's or children's education) the big disincentives. Recognition in terms of pay of course comes across as impor­tant, particularly when some calculations are done on overtime' and compared with civilians. The reasons are complex and sometimes I suspect we don't hear the real ones — a bad household move for example — and I know the loss of mail concessions (fortunately temporary) had an effect quite disproportionate to its financial value.

The strong points are that the DFRDB pension scheme is seen to be a very good one and the leave provisions are reqarded as fair

Action being taken

Well, what are we doing about ail this? — Let us look first at the financial area.

Last July the government gave Mr Justice Coldham a reference to look at the adequacy ot Defence Force remuneration. This was primarily in the area of work value as no such assessment had been done since the Kerr/Woodward work in 1972. The Coldham review has resulted in an interim pay increase of approximately 4% in defence salaries last December and we are looking forward to what is hoped will be the second leg of the double' when the enquiry com­pletes.

The work value aspects of the review are now finalised and in for printing. Justice Coldham has said his report will be made public during the third or fourth week of this month (August 1981). Of course his work on associated allowances is still to come.

There are now annual reviews of all allow­ances that complement salary such as submarine pay. seagoing pay, flying pay, hard lying pay etc and uniform maintenance.

Recent approval was given to the payment of a remote locality allowance and this, it is hoped, will be extended.

Greater assistance to alleviate rental pay­ments in posting localities where rents are high has been given.

The committee of reference has been asked to give a view of the re-mtrcduction of a re-engagement incentive scheme. A re-engagement bounty was introduced in 1973 for the payment of $1000 (tax free) for those who re-engaged to serve three years beyond an initial six year en­gagement. This was removed in the 1978-79 budget. The question being asked of the com­mittee — is such a bounty justified? Should it be a fixed sum or should it be selective (ie., only given to those categories where retention is low). The Army for instance argue that this could be divisive and they don't have the same problems men­tioned previously as navy or air in the technical specialisations.

One area we are looking at is employment beyond the 20 year mark. The present retirement scheme (DFRDB) makes important provision for a lump sum payment at this stage, and a pension, but if our people do take this option, we do not normally bring them back, under the present regulations.

Approval has been given for the re-imburse-ment of legal and estate agent fees associated with the sale of a primary residence on posting to a new locality. (This now brings the services in line with the public service.)

In the non financial area


There has been an increase in the money allocated to buying more married quarters where the rents are high (Sydney, Cairns) or where there is an unsatisfactory rental market (Darwin)

Also an improvement programme has begun on disposing of sub-standard housing and improving others.

This improvement in habitability is also being extended to accommodation and amenities at sea and also ashore.

We have recently had ministerial approval to lease the Highway Motet in Darwin for use as the interim Coonawarra wardroom. We hope that similar arrangements will soon be approved in Sydney for our submariners.

Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute — Page 17

We are working to slow down posting changes — and to give as much notice as possible — this is not aways easy, especially when there are shortages both in numbers and special categories. The pierhead jump is still with us.

Personal care

Few other organisations offer their employees full medical and dental care and, additionally, in Naval Health Benefits Society, naval members have a comprehensive means of covering family needs at a very competitive premium. I expect this will become more impor­tant as the new government health scheme takes effect.

The RAN central canteens fund assists with projects to improve amenities in ships and bases — TV hire, film subsidies etc. and we have recently purchased a caravan park in WA to add to the two we own at Forster and Lake Burrill in NSW. These provide cheapen holidays for naval families. The fund is also able to lend money at low interest rates to service groups such as the RAN Ski Club and RAN Sailing Association.

The RAN Relief Trust Fund (funded from the Central Canteens Fund) also provides small but useful low interest loans for housing and furniture, assistance and grants for emergency house­keeping, and $500 is sent immediately to the widow of any serving member.

Defence review

Another recent government announcement that I believe could have an important effect on morale and retention is the decision to review the defence organisation.

The present organisation came into effect in 1975 and has been running now for six years. You will remember the changes effected were the abo­lition of separate Navy, Army and Air Ministers and the Service Boards. In its place was created a much stronger central defence organisation, with expanded divisions (covering strategic and inter­national policy, force development, establish­ments, procurement) and the creation of the Post of Chief of Defence Force Staff.

This led to a greater number of officers being required in the central divisions and to some extent distorted our officer structure with the requirement for relativity between public service grades and service ranks, where there was mixed staffing.

There have been many expressions that the organisation is ponderous, with an over abun­dance of committees, and the Katter Committee remarked on the complicated and time con­suming procedures for getting weapon and service equipment. One of the terms of reference is for the reviewing committee to look at how the department is organised to go to war.

This review I believe has the potential to give more purpose to some service people who feel that they are not fully in the decision-making chain.

Page 18 Journal ol toe Australian \aval Institute


No discussion on manpower, however brief, would be complete without a mention of the Reserves.

Here, unlike Army, Navy has not got a large requirement for Reserves. Our strength is, at the moment




















3345 Inc. 129 fts.

On 1 Aug. 81 changes to the RANR administrative procedures were approved.

The previous system of 12 RANR lists (with varying levels of training commitment), have been condensed into four major groups.

Group 1. Active Attached Reserve personnel attached to one of the six port divisions who train on a regular weekly basis.

Group 2. Active Unattached Reserve — Personnel not attached to a port division and not required to train on a weekly basis, but who under­take training on a biennial or as required' basis — this includes merchant marine, legal panel, survey branch etc.

Group 3. Inactive Reserve — Personnel who have no training commitment and comprise:

  1. Officers reaching 55 years

  2. Officers and senior sailors below retiring age who are transferred administratively or volun­tarily.

Group 4. Retired Reserve. Officers and sailors who reach the compulsory retiring ages of 55 years and 60 years respectively.

We have reserve personnel in the legal, medical, seaman, engineer, intelligence and naval control of shipping, and we could not operate effectively in any emergency without them.

Recently, a decision has been made to give each State Capital Reserve Division an attack class patrol boat of its own. which will ensure their continuing proficiency, and I know has had a great effect on their morale. For the first time in many years, we are increasing our Reserve numbers.

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