info about port operator marchwood

Discussion in 'RLC' started by lami, Nov 8, 2008.

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  1. Hi, im joining the regular army and gonna do my basic on march 9th. I chose the port operator trade because thats what i studied back in my home country. I am told i will be posted in marchwood southampton.

    Can anyone shed some light on what life is like at the base in marchwood, is it a good trade? what are the chances of getting a job on the ports at southampton after my time in the army is up?

    when its time for deployments to iraq or afgan, will we be based there or do we just drop stuff off and leave?

    do we travel a lot over the world?

    I asked the army for dvd's or booklets on the trade but they said a specific one is not available.

    thanks for your replys.
  2. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Hi Lami,

    guessing you are non-UK based.

    The Port Operator role sits within 17 Port & Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps.

    Bit of an article (from a former 20 Regt RCT officer ) is HERE

    Hopefully a serving 17 Regt Port Op will chime in on this thread.
    But, from perspective of a former 165 Regt rope-dope:

    > Can anyone shed some light on what life is like at the base in Marchwood.

    The base is on the Western shore of Southampton Water. Three pubs in the village,post office chemist etc . Nearest shops ( and closest Railway station) in Totton, about 4miles away.

    Nightlife locally limited. Southampton easy to reach by boat (when there's an RFA alongside) , but £25 taxi ride away if no boat service running.

    Accommodation recently revamped to one man one room standard and cookhouse given a once over.

    17 P&M used to be colloquially known to the rest of the Army as " 17 Sport & Leisuretime " - mostly out of jealousy that they invariably win Tug of War competitions and have a strong Rugby side - The Dolphins. A number of Fijian soldiers in the Regt may help.

    > is it a good trade?


    what are the chances of getting a job on the ports at southampton after my time in the army is up?

    if you pass trade quals I'm guessing container handling jobs in any modern docks will be open to you. Don't know what S'ampton is like for hiring at present.

    >when its time for deployments to iraq or afgan, will we be based there or do we just drop stuff off and leave?

    17 P&M deployed en masse to Umm Qasr in Iraq for Telic 1 ( and subsequent surge parties). Most were there for three months and then came back to Marchwood.

    >do we travel a lot over the world?

    In comparison with some trades - yes. To my knowledge they also have regular taskings in Falklands,Belize,Sierra Leone , Norway, etc. I suspect have also a passing aquaintance with Karachi by now.

    Occasional one off tasks including a recent trip to Tristan Da Cunha.

    Not limited to seaside.....have been known to unload aircraft and railway wagons at inland locations!

    some more pics here.


    ( Why be a Docker when you can work on the water ? ;-D )

    Good luck feller,

    Lee Shaver
  3. Sorry to hijack slightly, but if anyone knows where I can obtain a "Sail Army" sticker from I would be most obliged.

    Happy to explain by PM!
  4. Lee Shaver, Thanks for the info you have given me. I noticed you passed on the "ïs it a good trade", is it because you dont know or is it because yout hink its not a good trade?
  5. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer


    'cos although I've worked with a bunch of them it wasn't my trade......just used to ship them thither and yon as ordered.

    ( and only as part timer at that :) )

    Most of our lot seemed to enjoy it and I currently work with a lass who wanted to go Port op but wasn't allowed so I guess it has its fans....

    'horses for courses'.....being paid to mess about in boats made my day !
  6. i hearrd because its driver/port operator, you can be deployed to afgan as a driver.
  7. Possible but I have my doubts about that rumour. Port Ops are pretty busy folk these days. They operate Marchwood mil port (the Sea Mounting Centre) and also deploy to other ports worldwide when required, depending on the capabilty of the indigenous ports that feature as part of the surface lines of communication (eg if we use a swept-up civ port, mil port ops may not be required).
  8. Thanks for the info, its seems there is not much info around to know as much as u like with this army trade.
  9. I spent two years there a little while ago - not as port op, but vehicle Spec.(Now deceased)

    Porties spent a lot of time chaining things down inside ships or on top of ships.

    Some lucky boys got to operate shore cranes or very big pieces of container moving kit, and would have been sorted for civvy life in Southampton.

    We will all probably have a shortened life expectancy from breathing deeply on diesel fumes in the hold of many many boats.

    Falklands Port Ops have a good bar if thats any help.

    Place itself is spot on for weekends.
  10. Oh i see, so not everyone will learn to operate cranes?
  11. Seen as no Port Ops have decided to post, here goes.

    You will more than likely spend your whole career at Marchwood unless you are one of the lucky ones that escape to Cyprus for a short while.

    If you ask for crane courses you will more than likely get them. SMC both shore mounted S&P and mobile crane. You will also gain some plant such as Hyster and Case. You will also work on rail and road transport as Marchwood has both.

    Marchwood is a really nice area, shame about the drive round to Southampton which can knock up to around £25 in a taxi after a night out.

    You will get the opportunity to deploy to Iraq for short Port task groups and six month tours of the Falklands. Other jobs include sunny ones such as Belize.

    Several of the Regiment are on Herrick 9 at the minute with some in the Transport Troop. Its the Army and if you volunteer you can get away to most places with out much hassle as long as you are right for the job.

    Promotion can be very good if you switch on and do well, same as most other trades really.

    The job prospects in the area are the same as the rest of the UK, if you are right for the job then they may employ you.
  12. its so good to hear from an actual port op, i always wanted to be one. Back home i did a diploma course in shipping but didnt get a job on the ports because of the amount of people applying. Im really excited and hope it goes well. I also love traveling and would love to go on some trips.

    do we sal with the ships or do we fly?
  13. Where do I say I'm a fucking Port Op.
  14. sorry bout that m8, dont need to get upset. Genuine mistake
  15. Lami,

    (I wasn't a port op either by the way....I was REME attached)

    Port ops normally fly (although I believe some travelled with the ships...depending what they were and who owned them).

    It wasn't 'sport & leisuretime', it was '17 sport & pastime' once you've heard it a thousand times it becomes a bit tedious...especially as it was bloody hard work. I deployed with them when they unloaded gear for Macedonia & Kosovo at Thessoloniki in Greece. The place was a fcking stinking sh1thole, but we were lucky in that we flew out for a couple of weeks...unloaded etc....flew back for a bit, flew out again and so forth, so at least it broke the tour up and we didn't get too hacked off. We helped with the unloading & loading, which was very grotty hard work at whatever hour the ship arrived/sailed, and as mentioned before...very smokey.

    All in all a great bunch of lads (though I left 8 years ago). I was there for 4 years in & pastime right enough!! and for my last couple of years from 1998....hard graft...little sport and no pastime. :D