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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 11:39 
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I don't know whether people have been following the saga over the contract for operating the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism's four patrol vessels (the Sarah Baartman, the Ruth First and the two others the names of which I can't remember).

The DEAT currently contracts the operation of these vessels out to Smit Amandla. Smit Amandla mans and maintains the vessels that then carry the DEAT fisheries inspectors who carry out the actual inspections.

The contract came up for tender, though and, lo and behold, a new empowerment company called Sekunjalo won the tender. If I put it mildly (and I'm choosing my words carefully, Eugene!) Sekunjalo's main strong points in winning the bid were not, uhm, marine operations but, shall we say close connections to certain people in government. Sekunjalo also run a fisheries arm so clearly there would be a conflict of interest if Sekunjalo were both responsible for fisheries inspection and for fishing a bit themselves. At least, the Cape High Court thought so.

Now, they're apparently considering asking the SAN to take over operation of these vessels.

http://mg.co.za/article/2012-03-19-navy ... ender-deal

I'll try and dig out a reference, but Defenceweb's Leon Engelbrecht reported that the navy were actually asked to do this job years ago, but came up with a tender price that was ridiculously high.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 12:21 
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Benguela wrote:
Defenceweb's Leon Engelbrecht reported that the navy were actually asked to do this job years ago, but came up with a tender price that was ridiculously high.


I can imagine why too - firstly they would want to overman the thing with overranked people and the salaries would be much higher. And probably demand it be fitted out with every latest greatest gizmo they can think of - none of which is actually necessary for the job.

The SAN does not easily adapt to the idea of a coastguard.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 12:25 
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There are rumors that we are getting them. But they are just that rumors nothing more right now. But eugene is correct. The SAN dose not want to be a coast guard.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 13:40 
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Well in all fairness, our country is not in a position to have a meaningful Coast Guard. So the Navy should be responsible alebit with an increase in budget accordingly. They should not think of themselves as just a coast guard but rather a Navy that has a Coast Guard arm.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 14:03 
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Foxtrot wrote:
Well in all fairness, our country is not in a position to have a meaningful Coast Guard. So the Navy should be responsible alebit with an increase in budget accordingly. They should not think of themselves as just a coast guard but rather a Navy that has a Coast Guard arm.


A simplistic view, unfortunately. I used the analogy before - and was taken to pieces by someone - but you are asking high-tech sailor to mutate into PC Plod, the constable on the beat, and do it effortlessly. A formula one driver having to drive the tuk-tuk on occasion. The mindset does not take kindly to it. Why not ask the army to take over the police's job? Or the Air Force to run the airways on the side? Different jobs, different equipment, different training. different approach. Just becasse the thing floats does not mean it's all the same!


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 14:13 
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If the police got there act together they would make better coast guards.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 14:43 
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Eugene wrote:
Foxtrot wrote:
Well in all fairness, our country is not in a position to have a meaningful Coast Guard. So the Navy should be responsible alebit with an increase in budget accordingly. They should not think of themselves as just a coast guard but rather a Navy that has a Coast Guard arm.


A simplistic view, unfortunately. I used the analogy before - and was taken to pieces by someone - but you are asking high-tech sailor to mutate into PC Plod, the constable on the beat, and do it effortlessly. A formula one driver having to drive the tuk-tuk on occasion. The mindset does not take kindly to it. Why not ask the army to take over the police's job? Or the Air Force to run the airways on the side? Different jobs, different equipment, different training. different approach. Just becasse the thing floats does not mean it's all the same!


What I'm suggesting is you don't have fully fledged Navy Sailors and Officers running it. The Navy takes over the role it being almost another department within the Navy and so can have its own levels of training or you could use them as a training tool as they will most likely be used more often than most of our other vessels and so prospective sailors and officers can learn the ropes on them while they do a vitally important job as well. To me it just makes more sense to have it with the Navy as they already operate vessels like these although I do concede that if it were possible it would be best to have the Police do the job but they just don't have the infrastructure, training and money needed to do it. It would cost far more for the Police to do it than would the Navy since they would have to start from square one.

Furthermore if these vessel were suitable armed they could supplement the OPVs and IPVs should they be needed.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 15:18 
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The police do have boats but they not manned daily. If they ran there boats like there cars and patrolled day and night you will see a reduction of maritime crime.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 15:28 
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Hi Foxtrot,

I didn't have the time to post earlier, but that is more or less my way of thinking too.

As Eugene says, the reason why the SAN didn't do it initially was probably because - in Navy fashion - they wanted to over-man and over-complicate the running of these vessels.

Now naval vessels are always going to require a higher state of manning: to fight a vessel (or even just to do relatively complex operations in peace-time like boat work or helicopter work) requires a higher state of manning; naval damage control also requires more complicated safety specs and a higher state of manning.

But the DEAT vessels are civvy vessels, run on civvy lines. They do not need all the bells and whistes, we do not need to stick any guns on them and we do not need to paint their hulls grey and call them South African Ship. All they need to do is get fisheries inspectors from Simon's Town to Hermanus and hang around there looking after the perlemoen.

So why is it a good idea that the SAN does this? Some people think we're a navy and that puts us above the coast guard role. I think we can't turn our noses up at four nice hulls in the water. Specifically, what I think this can do for the navy is secure sea-time for our junior people, because for years we've constantly had trouble training up especially our junior bridge watchkeepers (and probably our junior engine room watchkeepers too) because of a shortage of serious sea-going billets. This can give our junior people all the sea-time in the world that they need.

My suggestion is this:

Keep their hulls red and white (or paint them white with a red go-faster stripe like the US Coast Guard). And don't call them "SAS" - they can stay plain old civvy "SA".

Then, seeing as Smit Amandla are losing the contract, recruit the current officers of these vessels - their captains and mates and their chief engineers and mates - into the SAN Reserve. Then send the vessels to sea with this mixed crew of "merchant sailors in SAN uniform" and regular SAN crew.

They'll be cheaper to operate along these lines and I doubt that we have enough bridge watchkeepers and engine room watchkeepers spare in any case.

The command structure for these vessels can be something like this: the DEAT tasks the vessels to do specific tasks (carry fisheries inspector from here to here on this and this day) and then the navy executes it.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 16:52 
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Benguela wrote:
Keep their hulls red and white (or paint them white with a red go-faster stripe like the US Coast Guard). And don't call them "SAS" - they can stay plain old civvy "SA".

Then, seeing as Smit Amandla are losing the contract, recruit the current officers of these vessels - their captains and mates and their chief engineers and mates - into the SAN Reserve. Then send the vessels to sea with this mixed crew of "merchant sailors in SAN uniform" and regular SAN crew.

They'll be cheaper to operate along these lines and I doubt that we have enough bridge watchkeepers and engine room watchkeepers spare in any case.

The command structure for these vessels can be something like this: the DEAT tasks the vessels to do specific tasks (carry fisheries inspector from here to here on this and this day) and then the navy executes it.


And how long do you reckon it will be before a draft to those vessels becomes stigmatized? People getting drafts there being pitied and ridiculed? "Poor old George, wonder what he did to get a draft to the Piet Pompies - must have really PO'd his last captain something real bad!" It's human nature - I've seen it happen even in the navy. Getting drafts to certain ships and bases immediately marking the poor sucker as being sent there as slightly sub-human. Such a "wing" will end up as being "not quite the fighting navy" very quickly. And often a dumping ground for misfits. Worst of all their is no way to redeem it - Piet Pompies cannot sail out and sink a battleship to prove its a real naval ship. How long before that "wing' is sucking on the hind tit as regards funds? Especially when cash is short for the "real" navy. One of the reasons many countries actually do have coastguards is that the segregation of the separate and different functions - and budgets - works better and more efficiently.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 17:01 
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Eugene wrote:
Benguela wrote:
Keep their hulls red and white (or paint them white with a red go-faster stripe like the US Coast Guard). And don't call them "SAS" - they can stay plain old civvy "SA".

Then, seeing as Smit Amandla are losing the contract, recruit the current officers of these vessels - their captains and mates and their chief engineers and mates - into the SAN Reserve. Then send the vessels to sea with this mixed crew of "merchant sailors in SAN uniform" and regular SAN crew.

They'll be cheaper to operate along these lines and I doubt that we have enough bridge watchkeepers and engine room watchkeepers spare in any case.

The command structure for these vessels can be something like this: the DEAT tasks the vessels to do specific tasks (carry fisheries inspector from here to here on this and this day) and then the navy executes it.


And how long do you reckon it will be before a draft to those vessels becomes stigmatized? People getting drafts there being pitied and ridiculed? "Poor old George, wonder what he did to get a draft to the Piet Pompies - must have really PO'd his last captain something real bad!" It's human nature - I've seen it happen even in the navy. Getting drafts to certain ships and bases immediately marking the poor sucker as being sent there as slightly sub-human. Such a "wing" will end up as being "not quite the fighting navy" very quickly. And often a dumping ground for misfits. Worst of all their is no way to redeem it - Piet Pompies cannot sail out and sink a battleship to prove its a real naval ship. How long before that "wing' is sucking on the hind tit as regards funds? Especially when cash is short for the "real" navy. One of the reasons many countries actually do have coastguards is that the segregation of the separate and different functions - and budgets - works better and more efficiently.


Sell the ships. Navy needs proper vessels for the task at hand. Corvettes as mentioned in another thread.

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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 17:09 
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C-130 wrote:
Sell the ships. Navy needs proper vessels for the task at hand. Corvettes as mentioned in another thread.


Ah, yes. Big, expensive to buy, expensive to man, expensive to maintain, expensive to run and too few to make a difference. Just the right solution for a cash-strapped economy. A Rooikat to apprehend pick-pockets.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 17:17 
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Eugene wrote:
C-130 wrote:
Sell the ships. Navy needs proper vessels for the task at hand. Corvettes as mentioned in another thread.


Ah, yes. Big, expensive to buy, expensive to man, expensive to maintain, expensive to run and too few to make a difference. Just the right solution for a cash-strapped economy. A Rooikat to apprehend pick-pockets.


Currently they are unarmed and spend a lot of time alongside. So we either continue like this or make a plan. I really do not see how the poachers / illegal fishing vessels heave to when an unarmed vessel intercepts them. Tricky situation. Navy manned patrol vessels not a dedicated coastguard.

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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 17:52 
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OK okes, so we have two choices:

On the one hand, we can be a 'proper' navy, sitting in harbour in Simon's Town, chipping and painting our seven shiny war canoes and waiting for war.

Or we can do something on behalf of our government that may not look so glamorous, but that actually gets us four more vessels that we know are going to be at sea regularly giving our people a bit of much needed sea time.

Put it this way. What SA Navy ships currently get serious sea time?

2 x frigates or 3 max - for the most part 1 is in refit and 1 working up.
2 x submarines
1 x strike craft (pretty much)
2 x mine hunters (pretty much)
Protea
DKB

That's 10 max.

Someone offers us 4 more. That's a 40% increase. And we know that that someone else is going to pay us money to take them (the contract we're talking about is 800 million rand - albeit for 5 years, 10 years, whatever it is). But we say "nooit, that's beneath us". How long before the central government says "these people, we ask them to do something for us and they tune 'no' - they can't really be that serious about us needing a bigger navy, can they?"

By the way, Amatola and Mendi have been flogging up and down the Mozambique coast hunting pirates for the last year. How's that so different from what these DEAT vessels do and why should we be doing for the Mozambicans what we don't want to do for our own people?

As for being an unwelcome draft - that was exactly the point behind manning them with a mix of reservists on contract to do a specific job and training billets for the rest.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 18:15 
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actualy all 3 strike craft and 3 MCM can be brought in to action. Boat 9 isnot even comssioned yet has a crew and dose training.
You all so forgot the T crafts.


I say let the poliece form a proper water wing and the navy just helps with training and logistics.


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