Portsmouth News: "New Head Of The Royal Navy Reserve Plans Huge Shake-Up Of Britain's Part-Time Force"

soleil

War Hero
"The new head of the Royal Navy’s reserve forces has pledged a radical overhaul of how Britain recruits its army of part-time sailors.

Pioneering officer, Commodore Melanie Robinson wasted no time setting out her vision for the future after taking the reins of the 3,900-strong force of sailors this week.

The 27-year naval veteran, who was one of the first women to go to sea and command a ship, now becomes one of just four female naval officers to have achieved flag rank as Commodore maritime reserves – and the first reservist to do so.

And setting out her stall from day one, the ambitious officer said: ‘I am determined to lead a step-change in how the maritime reserves recruits, employs and deploys its personnel.’

First on Cdre Robinson’s to-do list is to swell the reserve numbers. She also hopes to simplify the force’s structure and improve opportunities for part-time sailors and their full-time counterparts.

Speaking during a ceremony on HMS Victory, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Cdre Robinson said: ‘I will shortly set-out a future vision for an auxiliary naval force fit for the 21st century. A force that takes full advantage of its unique capacity to tap-into skills and talents unavailable as part of the regular service.

‘Under my command, we shall redesign the reserves, the way it’s run and the people structures that support it, setting the conditions and outlining the offer to Britons seeking to “protect their nation's interests” but on a more flexible basis better tuned to their availability.’

Her proposals for the future reserves include a wider employment offer, a better employment model, and proactive and recognised use of civilian skills to boost the navy’s fighting prowess.

‘The reserves' greatest strength is our capacity to recruit and employ a fantastic diversity of personnel, allowing the Royal Navy to draw upon otherwise unaffordable skills, both from existing personnel and future recruits.

‘From manning offshore patrol vessels to providing specialist skills, today marks the beginning of a reserves renaissance across the next 12 months.’

The reserves grew 4.3 per cent last year, from 3,750 in 2018 to 3,910 by October."
 
"The new head of the Royal Navy’s reserve forces has pledged a radical overhaul of how Britain recruits its army of part-time sailors.
By trying to recruit a navy instead?
 
Spending less time doing forms in triplicate and actually doing training that is interesting, well resourced and professional would be a nice way to start getting numbers up. But what do I know...

(Oh and remembering that the RNR exists outside of Portsmouth, Plymouth and London.
 
I think she read @Ravers dits and thought that is such a terrible waste of talent I need to do something to bring that hunk of magnificence and knowledge back to the Navy. Or maybe she just wants a Sopwith Camel for her Grand kids.

Either way, something needs to be done along these lines to stop the drain of knowledge, and make it worthwhile for both parties.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
"The new head of the Royal Navy’s reserve forces has pledged a radical overhaul of how Britain recruits its army of part-time sailors.

Pioneering officer, Commodore Melanie Robinson wasted no time setting out her vision for the future after taking the reins of the 3,900-strong force of sailors this week.

The 27-year naval veteran, who was one of the first women to go to sea and command a ship, now becomes one of just four female naval officers to have achieved flag rank as Commodore maritime reserves – and the first reservist to do so.

And setting out her stall from day one, the ambitious officer said: ‘I am determined to lead a step-change in how the maritime reserves recruits, employs and deploys its personnel.’

First on Cdre Robinson’s to-do list is to swell the reserve numbers. She also hopes to simplify the force’s structure and improve opportunities for part-time sailors and their full-time counterparts.

Speaking during a ceremony on HMS Victory, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Cdre Robinson said: ‘I will shortly set-out a future vision for an auxiliary naval force fit for the 21st century. A force that takes full advantage of its unique capacity to tap-into skills and talents unavailable as part of the regular service.

‘Under my command, we shall redesign the reserves, the way it’s run and the people structures that support it, setting the conditions and outlining the offer to Britons seeking to “protect their nation's interests” but on a more flexible basis better tuned to their availability.’

Her proposals for the future reserves include a wider employment offer, a better employment model, and proactive and recognised use of civilian skills to boost the navy’s fighting prowess.

‘The reserves' greatest strength is our capacity to recruit and employ a fantastic diversity of personnel, allowing the Royal Navy to draw upon otherwise unaffordable skills, both from existing personnel and future recruits.

‘From manning offshore patrol vessels to providing specialist skills, today marks the beginning of a reserves renaissance across the next 12 months.’

The reserves grew 4.3 per cent last year, from 3,750 in 2018 to 3,910 by October."
Cue a lot of officers starting to build and fence off their particular fiefdom! :rolleyes:
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
A few nice quotes from the RN senior officer’s book of bollox in there.

Over the years I must’ve heard 20 or so Commodores / Admirals promising serious change and to make everything awesome.

They all say the same thing. Nothing ever changes.

I genuinely think we’re an organisation that is beyond change now. We’ve embedded ourselves in so much process that any new idea that’s not quite the norm won’t even get off the starting blocks.

It’s just an endless cycle of people agreeing that something is a really good idea but not implementing it because computer says no.

Recognise courses you did in a different arm?

Computer says no.

Recognise civvy quals and equivalents of courses?

Computer says no.

Recognise courses you did as a regular?

Computer says no.

Employ you in a role the RN desperately needs and you’re qualified for?

Computer says no.

Work out a way of sending you abroad for a week without having to do a 3 day mobilisation course everytime?

Computer says no.

Work out a way so you don’t have to do a 350 mile round trip everytime you want to put in an expense claim?

Computer says no.

Let you do a respirator fit test at the Army base 45 mins away instead of Pompey which is 6 hours away?

Computer says no.

**** off the absolute joke of a recruitment process that can take over a year?

Computer says no.

Devise fit for purpose promotion courses for the most effective part of the reserves?

Computer says no.

Give the biggest unit in the North of England a couple of boats for training?

Computer says no. (Even the sea cadets manage this).
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
A few nice quotes from the RN senior officer’s book of bollox in there.

Over the years I must’ve heard 20 or so Commodores / Admirals promising serious change and to make everything awesome.

They all say the same thing. Nothing ever changes.

I genuinely think we’re an organisation that is beyond change now. We’ve embedded ourselves in so much process that any new idea that’s not quite the norm won’t even get off the starting blocks.

It’s just an endless cycle of people agreeing that something is a really good idea but not implementing it because computer says no.

Recognise courses you did in a different arm?

Computer says no.

Recognise civvy quals and equivalents of courses?

Computer says no.

Recognise courses you did as a regular?

Computer says no.

Employ you in a role the RN desperately needs and you’re qualified for?

Computer says no.

Work out a way of sending you abroad for a week without having to do a 3 day mobilisation course everytime?

Computer says no.

Work out a way so you don’t have to do a 350 mile round trip everytime you want to put in an expense claim?

Computer says no.

Let you do a respirator fit test at the Army base 45 mins away instead of Pompey which is 6 hours away?

Computer says no.

**** off the absolute joke of a recruitment process that can take over a year?

Computer says no.

Devise fit for purpose promotion courses for the most effective part of the reserves?

Computer says no.

Give the biggest unit in the North of England a couple of boats for training?

Computer says no. (Even the sea cadets manage this).
Ravers,

Chin up, Empowerment is coming.

Seriously, the Centre has noticed stuff is happening to the 'Empowered' bits of the Army and are intent on rolling out to the Andrew and the Crabs. DomC is going to put us through the rinser anyway, so we might as well get in first. Dom C and Bojo are going to ensure this is a transformational Government. So, your new 1* doris really has no excuse.

Embrace it Ravers... everything is gonna b kool. :cool:
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Ravers,

Chin up, Empowerment is coming.

Seriously, the Centre has noticed stuff is happening to the 'Empowered' bits of the Army and are intent on rolling out to the Andrew and the Crabs. DomC is going to put us through the rinser anyway, so we might as well get in first. Dom C and Bojo are going to ensure this is a transformational Government. So, your new 1* doris really has no excuse.

Embrace it Ravers... everything is gonna b kool. :cool:
I’ll believe it when I see it.

As it currently stands no one is even empowered to fix the fucked showers at my unit.
 

Mattb

LE
Working out how to unfuck the whole Capita situation would be a good start. For an organisation that is struggling to recruit, making joining as difficult and long-winded as possible is not very helpful.

As for the headline, it's worth noting that she took on the post mid-massive-shake-up anyway.
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
I’ll believe it when I see it.

As it currently stands no one is even empowered to fix the fucked showers at my unit.
...and that little vignette tells us all we need to know about the state we're in.* :(






*not that those of us living on the same planet need telling.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Working out how to unfuck the whole Capita situation would be a good start. For an organisation that is struggling to recruit, making joining as difficult and long-winded as possible is not very helpful.
100% this.

Re my post above though, this has been the case for 7 or 8 years now. Everyone realises its a complete gangfuck but no one has done anything about it.

I fondly recall having a chat with a 4 ringer a good few years back about this very subject.

He wholeheartedly agreed that the Capita situation was entirely unacceptable and assured me that everyone high up understood.

And yet still, here we are and **** all has changed.

Do senior officers actually do anything apart from go round having fireside chats with people and telling them it’s all getting better?

I’m yet to see any evidence of this.
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
Working out how to unfuck the whole Capita situation would be a good start. For an organisation that is struggling to recruit, making joining as difficult and long-winded as possible is not very helpful.

As for the headline, it's worth noting that she took on the post mid-massive-shake-up anyway.
Actually, Capita is currently meeting its targets.. It took too long to unf*ck it, but unf*cked it now is.

Just the AR bit to sort, as AC capacity is now nil, due to Reg candidates piling through the doors.

True.
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
100% this.

Re my post above though, this has been the case for 7 or 8 years now. Everyone realises its a complete gangfuck but no one has done anything about it.

I fondly recall having a chat with a 4 ringer a good few years back about this very subject.

He wholeheartedly agreed that the Capita situation was entirely unacceptable and assured me that everyone high up understood.

And yet still, here we are and **** all has changed.

Do senior officers actually do anything apart from go round having fireside chats with people and telling them it’s all getting better?

I’m yet to see any evidence of this.
Ravers, see my post to Mattb, there ARE adults that understand and that get stuff done. Still too many drones in the system, but the ratio is (slowly) changing.

Y

etd rogue 'n'...
 
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In the op, is the figure of 3,910 the number who joined last year or the actual size of the actual reserves?
 

4(T)

LE
Don't the problems in RNR (and the other reserves, and even the regular forces) all just stem from that same issue - i.e. lack of government interest and thus lack of cash?


As a nipper I was in RN CCF and spent quite a bit of time at some RNR base in Harwich - courses, activities, ship visits, etc.

I vaguely recall that they had an actual minesweeper (not sure if in commission or obsolete), several motor craft, whaleboats, sailboats, a drill hall, armoury (lots of shooting on Colchester ranges and at Ganges), loads and loads of instructional kit - anchors, cordage, navigation kit, a couple of drill guns and so on. The place always seemed to be heaving with activity.
 
A few nice quotes from the RN senior officer’s book of bollox in there.

Over the years I must’ve heard 20 or so Commodores / Admirals promising serious change and to make everything awesome.

They all say the same thing. Nothing ever changes.

I genuinely think we’re an organisation that is beyond change now. We’ve embedded ourselves in so much process that any new idea that’s not quite the norm won’t even get off the starting blocks.

It’s just an endless cycle of people agreeing that something is a really good idea but not implementing it because computer says no.

Recognise courses you did in a different arm?

Computer says no.

Recognise civvy quals and equivalents of courses?

Computer says no.

Recognise courses you did as a regular?

Computer says no.

Employ you in a role the RN desperately needs and you’re qualified for?

Computer says no.

Work out a way of sending you abroad for a week without having to do a 3 day mobilisation course everytime?

Computer says no.

Work out a way so you don’t have to do a 350 mile round trip everytime you want to put in an expense claim?

Computer says no.

Let you do a respirator fit test at the Army base 45 mins away instead of Pompey which is 6 hours away?

Computer says no.

**** off the absolute joke of a recruitment process that can take over a year?

Computer says no.

Devise fit for purpose promotion courses for the most effective part of the reserves?

Computer says no.

Give the biggest unit in the North of England a couple of boats for training?

Computer says no. (Even the sea cadets manage this).
But, but, but, computers were going to make every thing streamlined and efficent. Remember the paperless office. Go into any modern office and you will find realms of discarded sheets of A4 paper where someone has hit 10 copies of 26 page report instead of 1.

When I joined 10 Para in London 29 years ago, after being out of the regular army for 4 years, I went in on a drill night, spoke to the PSI, gave him details of my previous service. He sent off to REMRO for my documents. Next drill night it was a medical to check that I had two of everything I was meant to have two of.Got my kit the next day and on the weekend after was on the ranges at Senybridge firing the SA80 after being given a quick heads up on stripping it (Having done all my previous service with THAT rifle). The fandance was the next day.

The only thing that took a while was the parachute refresher course at Brize as apparently a lot of the static line PX4 chutes had gone up in flames in the fire in Donnington.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
But, but, but, computers were going to make every thing streamlined and efficent. Remember the paperless office. Go into any modern office and you will find realms of discarded sheets of A4 paper where someone has hit 10 copies of 26 page report instead of 1.

When I joined 10 Para in London 29 years ago, after being out of the regular army for 4 years, I went in on a drill night, spoke to the PSI, gave him details of my previous service. He sent off to REMRO for my documents. Next drill night it was a medical to check that I had two of everything I was meant to have two of.Got my kit the next day and on the weekend after was on the ranges at Senybridge firing the SA80 after being given a quick heads up on stripping it (Having done all my previous service with THAT rifle). The fandance was the next day.

The only thing that took a while was the parachute refresher course at Brize as apparently a lot of the static line PX4 chutes had gone up in flames in the fire in Donnington.
When I joined the RNR it took over a year. And even once I was in, it then took over 3 months for them to sort out my service number because I was an ex regular. In the meantime this meant I wasn’t on JPA, which meant I couldn’t be paid and couldn’t be issued kit.

From first walking in the door of my nearest RNR unit to being in rig and getting paid took 16 months.

Things didn’t get much better after that.

“Sorry shippers, the course you did in the regulars, has a different code to the RNR equivalent and isn’t recognised on JPA. Despite having exactly the same course content, you’ll have to do it all again. We all agree that this is a waste of time, effort and money. But rules are rules yeah?”
 
As a nipper I was in RN CCF and spent quite a bit of time at some RNR base in Harwich - courses, activities, ship visits, etc.

I vaguely recall that they had an actual minesweeper (not sure if in commission or obsolete), several motor craft, whaleboats, sailboats, a drill hall, armoury (lots of shooting on Colchester ranges and at Ganges), loads and loads of instructional kit - anchors, cordage, navigation kit, a couple of drill guns and so on. The place always seemed to be heaving with activity.
Point One: At that time your CCF OC could phone the unit, speak to CPO Helpful and organise some cadet activity that suited all parties. Today, as @Ravers indicates, the computer says no. Along with H&S, DBS, SO2 Bloggins making the paperwork endless (mostly because the day out wasn't his idea) and other endless HQ's being miffed that said CCF Officer is doing something useful without their interjection. Nobody wins.

Point Two: You would be right. 10 MCM was the RNR minesweeper squadron, tasked to NATO to keep the SLOC clear until the yanks arrived. 10 MCM was, I suppose, the RNR version of BAOR, in that much alcohol was consumed and much taxpayers shillings spent with little operational output - not their fault, just that WW3 failed to occur. 10 MCM, and all the equipment you list went as part of the peace dividend post the demise of USSR.

As in all things the circle turns. RNR units are to shortly get training RIBS and/or VR for RIB training. Our Seaman branch are now in demand on both OPV and QE Classes and the engineering branch are doing sterling work for the RN.
 

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