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Britain's Biggest Warship - 3 Part TV Series

#41
there was quite a lot of celebrating at sea when it was scrapped.


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You are talking out of your hoop again! At best you were a junior officer (maybe even in the in the Cadets?) at the time. The rank and file matelot, who I'll admit neither knew nor cared about the manning costs, greatly lamented the Field Gun competition.

So any celebrating was probably over a large pink gin or two.*


*Other Wardroom drinks are available!
 
#42
Does the current, more inclusive, toy town version of the field gun comp use significantly less manning (sorry person-ing) than the original?

I imagine that personpower commitment to the original version probably paled by comparison with Army Rugby!
 
#43
I can’t help but think this would have been better if they had waited until the carrier is fully operational - can’t help but think this will provide ammo to the ‘waste of money they don’t even have planes’ Brigade.
I thought it was great as it was, rarely are new ships commissioned these days, showing the effort that has to go in to every aspect was enlightening.

Watching that I almost developed an unwavering respect for the fish heads. Almost ;-)
 
#44
...I imagine that personpower commitment to the original version probably paled by comparison with Army Rugby!
...or indeed the 42 Regular and Reserve bands and the hundreds of officers attending ICSC(L) every year!

Regards,
MM
 
#45
Watching that I almost developed an unwavering respect for the fish heads. Almost ;-)
Indeed. For all the talk in threads passim about the cultural differences between the Army and Navy (manning the equipment vs equipping the man etc), this programme neatly showed that there's far more commonality than differences. A more than respectable demonstration of the collective skills in building a ship's crew from scratch to operate and then eventually fight a brand new vessel, with all of the pressures ranging from day-to-day faults through to scrutiny of the media.
 
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#46
And the rest. That PO stoker who coached the field gun team, Big Harry or whatever his name is. Sure I've seen him before somewhere. I think it might have been outside Madame JoJo's in Soho and I'm sure he was wearing a blonde wig, sparkly dress, size 14 stilettos and a five o'clock shadow.

Interesting to hear about the lean manning provisions. I bet there's a reason why the Yank carriers have 10 times the number of bomb handlers that HMS QE has. What happens if there's battle damage, a computer failure or, perish the thought, a leak in the engine room causing the high voltage power grid to shut down? Those 300 Yank matelots are there to manhandle 2000 lb bombs from the deep magazines to the flight deck at an acceptable rate to keep the air wing busy. Unless QE's bomb handlers all wear their pants outside their trousers and have a big S printed on their chests then dead ammunition robots will mean idle jets on the flight deck.
Having been in a USN Carrier, I doubt very much the 300 bomb handlers are about to pass hand over hand the various types of ordinance up ten decks, regardless of how good they are..

The reason why USN Ships are manned like they are (which means an Arleigh Burke has about 150 more people than a T45) is because they have very different ideas about manpower. As an example, there is a cadre of people in the USN carriers whose sole career responsibility is to look after the catapults: no secondary duties, no wider whole ship requirements. They look after four catapults, from AB to WO2 (PO3 to SCPO in USN-ese) and that’s it.
 
#47
You are talking out of your hoop again! At best you were a junior officer (maybe even in the in the Cadets?) at the time. The rank and file matelot, who I'll admit neither knew nor cared about the manning costs, greatly lamented the Field Gun competition.

So any celebrating was probably over a large pink gin or two.*


*Other Wardroom drinks are available!
Most of the WRs I served in the early 00s didn’t really care - Field Gun was a SR’s sport. Most of the WE Tif’s I had under me considered the Field Gunners as sea dodgers and waste of (double) rations: they were the ones covering the gapped posts for those that were training....
 
#48
Does the current, more inclusive, toy town version of the field gun comp use significantly less manning (sorry person-ing) than the original?

I imagine that personpower commitment to the original version probably paled by comparison with Army Rugby!
Having done Brickwoods, you effectively train at lunchtime and after work, for about six weeks before hand.

As I understand Field Gun, there was a three month, full time, period of phys/early training, and then a further sustained period before the Royal Tournament. I think each crew had something like 75 to start with, reducing to 30 or so for the actual runs.
 
#50
Having done Brickwoods, you effectively train at lunchtime and after work, for about six weeks before hand.

As I understand Field Gun, there was a three month, full time, period of phys/early training, and then a further sustained period before the Royal Tournament. I think each crew had something like 75 to start with, reducing to 30 or so for the actual runs.

I spent a bit of time at HMS Excellent (long, long ago), and was under the impression that the field gun crew there all had "day jobs" on the base, even if some of them were a bit, er, flexible.

I compare that with one regiment I was in, where Army sportsmen would be absent much of the year, and any involved in civvie sport at national level would be more or less gone permanently.
 
#51
A genuine Crustacean query: How will 'Lean Manning' and the relatively small scale of the ship's compliment affect the cleaning and maintenance regime? Will unused compartments be sealed, do modern materials mean less cleaning is required, or will the small number of guys have to do more cleaning pro rata (which can't be great for retention I'd have thought)?

Regards,
MM
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#52
I thought it was a decent programme which managed to cover a fair cross-section of the work to establish not only a new ship but what in some respects will be a new capability for the RN.
The Beeb seem to have moved away from making 'car crash' TV programs. With a crew close to 700, it would have been all too easy to focus on the relatively small number of sub-standard crew and shown them struggling. Instead, you got a good impression of the complexities of getting a hugely complex weapons system up and running.

And a program much the better for it.

Wordsmith
 
#53
A genuine Crustacean query: How will 'Lean Manning' and the relatively small scale of the ship's compliment affect the cleaning and maintenance regime? Will unused compartments be sealed, do modern materials mean less cleaning is required, or will the small number of guys have to do more cleaning pro rata (which can't be great for retention I'd have thought)?

Regards,
MM
There are 3300 compartments (counting the hangar as one compartment). A pragmatic approach has been taken - there are high use compartments and passageways that will be cleaned daily/twice daily (messdecks in use, eating areas, main passageways etc); there are some areas that will be cleaned on a rota (I think it’s either weekly or fortnightly); there are other areas that will be cleaned before embarkation and before disembarkation, and locked at all other times when not used. Your SACs and Cpls will be joining the cleaning rosters!
 
#54
The Beeb seem to have moved away from making 'car crash' TV programs. With a crew close to 700, it would have been all too easy to focus on the relatively small number of sub-standard crew and shown them struggling...
I'll reserve judgement until after the final episode but agree that initial indications are positive.

Regards,
MM
 
#55
I spent a bit of time at HMS Excellent (long, long ago), and was under the impression that the field gun crew there all had "day jobs" on the base, even if some of them were a bit, er, flexible.

I compare that with one regiment I was in, where Army sportsmen would be absent much of the year, and any involved in civvie sport at national level would be more or less gone permanently.
I think the ire was that they had day jobs on a base, whilst their oppos had day and night jobs on a ship...

I get both sides of the argument - I’ve got good friends who are ex-Field Gunners, and the benefits that they extol are easy to understand. But likewise, there was limited sympathy by those left behind to cover their workload.
 
#56
#57
Not seen the programme yet as suddenly had to drive into town last night. Doh!

Having done Brickwoods, you effectively train at lunchtime and after work, for about six weeks before hand.

As I understand Field Gun, there was a three month, full time, period of phys/early training, and then a further sustained period before the Royal Tournament. I think each crew had something like 75 to start with, reducing to 30 or so for the actual runs.
I think it took people out of the Fleet for about a year:


I imagine a lot of them were injured in the process.
 
#58
I’m impressed you got them back...
At the time Centurion which was drafty and a Popmey shore establishment seemed to ensure the Pompey crews stayed pretty close together and the GUZ crews were scattered to the fleet, not sure why :) as for WAFUS well who cared.
 
#60
Not seen the programme yet as suddenly had to drive into town last night. Doh!



I think it took people out of the Fleet for about a year:


I imagine a lot of them were injured in the process.
I think it was 6 months shore establishment, Drake and Excellent you were then illegible to run for another 5 years, I knew Killlock Seaman that had run it 3 times and AB Gunners a couple of times they lived and breathed it. We had one area full of weights etc that were in constant use by Field Gun crews preparing or maintaining fitness levels. I got to know a lot of them working Seacat.
 

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