AS Ops (less relays) vrs IS Eng?

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by polar, Oct 23, 2005.

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  1. Am I looking at this the wrong way but isn't CS just describing a modernised Switch Bitch? And so with comorant does it mean the AS Ops are basically back to being glorified RRelay ops but now on high pay band (with the old switch bitch skills kicked out of the door).
  2. Its obvious to me that the old stovepiped trades are becoming increasingly obsolete in the face of technology and circumstances. Its time for some fresh thinking. With a smaller Army, more operations, and convergent technology we cannot afford to keep the silos in the operator and tech trades.
  3. Polar, not too far off actually. The Core Element operator (AS Op) is basically a new Switch op and the Bearer Module operator (also AS Op) is a radio relay op. The kit is slightly more gucci though and there are far more bits which are configured through computer software. The Local Area Support wagon is similar to the SAS/MC as it provides the local area subsystem and interface to subscriber communities - that's manned by IS Engrs who look after the IP networking and the management system, while an Inst Tech sets out the equipment, fibre distribution and looks after the PBX and related equipments. I still think that Ptarmigan analogies are entirely suitable for most people to consider the role equivalents.

    I totally agree, Fozzy, that a major problem is stovepiping of not just systems but people and trade structures as well. And that's why the trades will almost certainly all merge into more flexible structures. Of course the trade off is that we end up with a "jack of all trades / master of none" syndrome, unless it is managed VERY carefully.

    I do believe, though, that the specific bits of Cormorant - i.e. who does what bit and where do they cross over - are still far from perfect. I personally believe that the original training needs analysis (TNA) was rather naively carried out. Those who carried out the TNA seemed to fail to understand the difference between systems administration and systems management. So we ended up with the ludicrous situation where the systems manager (basically Sqn Ops team or Tp Comd/SNCO) was lumbered with the hand-on programming of all the phones (one extremely long-winded and repetitive job I can assure you), the DC2Ks (which provide VPNs for management and non-secret IP subscriber LANs) and all the the IP addressing admin. This led to a stupid situation where you had crews getting their radio and ATM trunks in then sitting back while the YofS or similar was typing phone numbers into a computer program for about 24 hours! Call me old fashioned but that is sysadmin not management. It seems strange that many of the Inst Techs are trained to program the Meridien PABX down to command-line and carrying out extensive diagnostics but they're not trusted to use the GUI application and left absolutely frustrated. On the IS side, the TNA had not even considered the IP addressing to be the realm of the IS Engr. Fortunately, the Supvr IS delegated that bit with the speed of a thousand gazelles.

    Because the whole 'who does what' bit was so fuzzy, we ended up with a situation where some of the better IS Engrs at 2 Sigs started exploring the system beyond their original terms of reference, such as lots of work on the Passport and understanding all the WAN routing etc. The thinking was basically 'well, no one else seems to want to get involved' and it has really marked out (in my opinion) the men from the boys. It was needed at the time, although it caused a few people to feel that their comfort zones were threatened. Quite a few key personnel have recently switched around the Regts and I hope that people will start to settle into more clearly defined roles. My own belief is that I think the IS Engrs should start to back off the networking side and allow the techs to master the Passport network, which they haven't really done up till now. And I also think the system managers need to start delegating a lot of the administrative and engineering tasks to operators and IS Engrs, otherwise we end up with a micromanagement situation where far too much hands-on configuration is done by people at the supervisory-level and the crews never truly learn any more than small parts of the system.

    As usual, I'm more than happy to develop this thread and I welcome comments if you think that I'm mistaken in my observations. I hope we learn from these mistakes and that Falcon starts off on the right foot understanding trade skillsets and who should be trusted to do what. Finally, just to comment on the title of the thread, I believe that the Techs and IS Engrs are far more similar to each other in Cormorant that either of them are to the AS Op.
  4. Although I'm in a unit that has no AS Ops, we seem to have a similar system - REEBOK, which you may have seen at Imphal. We're running things slightly differently, the PSI IS Eng looks after the servers with the assistance of a few (RS) operators/techs. The cabling is initially sorted out by PSI Tech/RS Ops/Techs, latter on the TA YofS/SNCO when they arrive move into the HQ and control the comms/fault finding. Normally the YofS tries to sort out all the email address problems (especially on RLI where addresses can be difficult to find).

    On the job front I have seen the odd problem with people wanting to just sit behind a computer screen, checking that the trunk links are in (Satellite/ISDN), but thats sorted with a little prompting. Also I don't think we are going to deep into IS, thats being left to Corsham but we are having to find ways around security restrictions (i.e. finding ways to get to command prompt to diagnose problems).

    Suppose the oddest thing I've found is that Techs are not as useful as operators, our operators realise that we are supporting someone and they need to get the kit working to do that, whereas the tech just wants to get the kit working. (I don't see a diffference in the ability of techs/operators - they would all be IS Eng in regulars - just their training/employment gives them different ideas)
  5. I trust they are being educated as to the urgency of their task??
  6. I see the year at Blandford proved useful :D
  7. What ya mean year .. the TA course takes .....

    Two weeks!! (excluding the retrades etc otherwise we are talking 5 years)
  8. Boots CBH are a very good motivater :lol: :lol:
  9. Oh right. Sorry, I thought it was the regular YofS getting involved in email addressing.
  10. Yes he does but ......

    polar goes quiet as he knows most of RHQ log onto here (and the first sentence isn't a dig), plus he would like certain TA IS troop rumours to be true (and be R of that troop or Y of its Sqn)
  11. I do believe, though, that the specific bits of Cormorant - i.e. who does what bit and where do they cross over - are still far from perfect. I personally believe that the original training needs analysis (TNA) was rather naively carried out. Those who carried out the TNA seemed to fail to understand the difference between systems administration and systems managementst

    Just a quick 1 for you CS, I taught Cormorant for three years so I will probably have trained you!!! Just for your info there was no TNA's carried out and the CIT Team at York taught what was relevant to enable SFT 2.1 to happen. Believe me all the CIT Team know the difference between Sys Admin and Sys Management!!!

    The TNA's were only done about a year after we had started to deliver the training to the hordes from 2 and 30, and we had a major input into those TNA's. Another point for you is now that the training has moved to Blandford there is only 1 generic operator cse for both BM and CLASP ops. PM me if there's anything else you want to ask. :wink:
  12. I reckon you may well have trained me mr bandit. And a bloody poor job too...I'm rubbish! :D

    A civvy company was tasked by Cogent to do the TNA. Can't remember its name but it'll come to me.
  13. I'll tell you who did the TNA's in close conjunction with CIT (Y) it was VEGA and they got paid a Feckin mint for it too :roll: