For those of you who follow “Sea Patrol”…

… I apologise! I had no idea so much ‘drama’ can take place on an RAN vessel.  It would seem it ALL happens aboard ‘HMAS Hammersley’.  Sheesh – why wasn’t I posted to Boats (Nickname for Patrol Boats in the RAN – Attack Class, Fremantle Class and now Armidale Class) eh?

Channel Nines - "Sea Patrol"

Relax Sea Patrol fans – I’m not going to bag your taste in TV drama – I promise! It’s just that this is where I’ve come to see the new sea going uniform for RAN personnel now and for the life of me I can’t help cracking up when I think on it. Once – a long time ago – I wore a RAN uniform.  Sea going time then had you wearing blue King Gee overalls (sleeves cut-off, down or rolled up) or you wore your 8’s (General Purpose work shirt and pants).  All your working kit was a shade of blue.  If you worked above decks – you could also wear King Gee shorts – especially when operating in the tropics.

If you worked below – there wasn’t a single thing you didn’t do without your overalls on.  It made sense to have some sort of general wear uniform that protected you from every day sea-going jobs and also gave good protection against those other hazards – fire and gas.

They were easy to get hold of, they made them for other general purpose type roles that you often found out on Civvie Street and were relatively cost effective. It wouldn’t have cost the Australian tax payer much to keep Australia’s sea going fleet (which frankly isn’t a lot on the scale of things) clothed and relatively safe.

In through the victualing door walks someone who know better and out through their Stores window goes the KISS Principal.  Again! Would someone please tell me WHY there’s a need now for every sailor – serving on a sea going vessel in the middle of the ogin – to wear CAMOUFLAGE?

Image from - the unofficial guide to Channel Nine's "Sea Patrol".

I was playing army games in this country when they ditched the old jungle greens and changed over to the ‘new’ lightweight DPCU camouflage uniforms.  They were funny things in the early days; touted as being fire ‘retardant’ , they were allowed a set number of washes before they lost their ability to ‘retard’ fire.  It was a funny time.  However, despite all the noise surrounding the intro of this new uniform – you at least understood it: good camouflage was a key factor worth considering in a country’s army!  You have a particular need to hide from people wanting to shoot at you when you’re trying to keep your head down, so it makes very good sense.  But a navy?  Go figure!

Most personnel are closed up in a ship at sea – especially in Action Stations.  You only see key personnel outside the superstructure and if the shape of the particular bit of kit they happen to be standing on at the time doesn’t give the game away, than there’s clearly a problem with your educational process – that or where you come from there isn’t a pressing need to know what a SHIP actually looks like! Do we REALLY need to hide these sailor’s from someone else’s eye so badly?

So we create a grey camouflage pattern – for whatever reason – and we make our sea going sailors wear it. They must have fair cracked themselves up with all sorts of silly-bugger jokes when it happened:

“Any of you buggers seen my overalls anywhere – I can’t find ’em?”

“Nah mate – that’s the point!”

It fair bamboozles me!  Some bean-counter has approved a Dept of Defence ‘Initiative’ and Hey-presto – our proud RAN personnel now get themselves a brand-new piece of kit!  Wonders will never cease to amaze me!  You wouldn’t believe the amount of funding that went into developing the disruptive pattern camouflage. It’d fair boggle your mind! That was just for the Army – way back when – and then what happens is some pillock get’s it in his head (I used the word ‘HIS’ deliberately) to run this new set of overalls out to the fleet.  What a great idea!

To top it off – it’s a walking oxymoron.  Who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a new ‘camouflage’ uniform for our Royal Australian Navy and THEN, puts HIGH VISIBILITY tape all over it?  I have to tell you – the sailors I know (who still serve at sea) can’t help but laugh really loudly at this.  Once again the Dept of Defence Logic Team are hard at work undoing the KISS principals of us mere mortals.  It’s such a bloody shame they use so much of our tax dollars to do it though – don’t you ‘think’?

Geez… bring back “Patrol Boat” willya?  At least THAT was believable!

Belongum – Out!


About Belongum

People bring 'things' to me. Not necessarily PHYSICAL things as such - mostly just the loose bits and pieces floating around in their 'brain-box'. Sometimes, they also bring themselves - and THAT isn't anywhere near as simple as it sounds. I come here to pass some of this 'brain-box business' on to the ether world, and to empty my head. Besides folks - I love a good yarn - so come and join me!
This entry was posted in Australia, bulldust, Camouflage, funny, Military, Patrol Boat, RAN, Royal Australian Navy, yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to For those of you who follow “Sea Patrol”…

  1. Cellobella says:

    LOL… you’ve just made Sea Patrol worth watching… just for the laugh…
    Hey CB – yeah, I’ve got mates who refer to it as their “giggle-time”. I laughed so much at the first one when I stumbled over it – hope you had a good festive season – cheers! 😉


  2. Hello Mr Belongum! Long time no speak. Sorry, I’ve been incommunicado – totally because I felt like being so – and am just finding my way back into the world. Hope all is well with you and yours and that Chrissy and New Year celebrations were indeed celebratory. That drink you mentioned? I’m totally up for it – do you know if there’s a meet-up planned for January? And will you be around for it? Perhaps we could catch up then?

    Oh, and Sea Patrol? Totally hate it. HATE. IT. Mostly because it makes me laugh at the sheer ridiculousness/idiocy/crap of it. That and Lisa Mccune. And I have no military experience to call upon, just common sense and a healthy sense of the ridiculous LOL.

    HEY Mandi… mate – it’s been awhile! Sure – it’d be good to have a coldie – I hope things have been good for you and yours eh?! Good to see you’re back! I sorta chose to do the same thing myself – just run out of steam! Yeah – I just CAN’T take Lisa McCune seriously in that role… I mean her and PJ – you know… I’ve just NEVER been able to get past that lol 😉 Hope to see you sometime soon Mandi – you take care – and best to your family! 🙂


  3. Talula says:

    Ok Belongum! I’ve gotta crawl out from under the rock I’ve been snoozing under this fall and give a shout out here. just gotta say it — “You sure have a knack for understatement!” It’s almost as good as your yarnin’ skills!”

    maybe the camo look was planned with ‘shore leave’ in mind? Be a little hard for the Shore Patrol or M.P.’s to throw your mates in the brig if they can’t see ‘um, eh? “Now who threw that first punch?” Little less paperwork for the officers, maybe?

    Hope all is well in OZ; Talula.

    Hey Talula – how are you mate?! All is good here – our Christmas is a nice summery thing; the water beckons our boys and we can’t help but follow them! As to the RAN’s new uniform HAHAHAHahaha… Hope you’re doing okay mate – all the best to you over your way – cheers!


  4. mummabare says:

    long time since I looked at your blog! how neglectful of me 😉
    Can’t bring myself to watch sea patrol…mostly because I’m too busy to watch telly lol. Hope the kids are well! And happy new year!

    Hey Kristi… mate – you’re blogging again – yay! You’ve been fishing too… I’ll need to find out where you guys go – because our boy got himself a fishing rod for his birthday lol Oh boy… here we go!!! Hope 2010 is a goodie for you!!!


  5. bennymay says:

    if you’re interested in a personal story about vaccines and the government check out
    Will do Bennymay – Standby!


  6. James says:


    Just noticed you have added my gardening blog to your blogroll, thanks for the support!

    I am subscribing to your feed. Look forward to reading more from you!

    Cheers James – thanks for dropping by mate! I look forward to reading yours as I’m hoping to achieve a nice garden in out sandy ‘soil’ here 😉


  7. bobdownsometimes says:


    I am a sea going sailor… LOL, it took me 9 months after the introduction of the new uniform to get it. I don’t think the purpose is to hide us… but to make us look like a unified force. Just like the chair force now wear aus cam’s like the army. but in response to the new uniform for navy, the Pongo’s have decided to change there’s there getting “digital cams” basicly the same colours, just little squares instead of playboy bunnies…

    But Holy hell reflective tape?? lol

    I miss my soft grey overalls already!! Boots are good but… lol

    Hey bds (not going to play with your callsign AT ALL mate! Haha)… Man that cracks me up! I mean – by the time you fellas all ‘standardise’ them blooming pongo’s go and shift the goal posts again! You have no idea how much we laughed when the new cams came in in the 80’s.

    Yeah – a tongue in cheek shot at them wot make the ultimate decisions around what we (wore) wear whilst playing silly buggers at sea. You gotta love it yeah?! I remember the damage and the use of powder when our ‘combat coveralls’ had to be washed the first time at sea… hoe bloody funny was that! They were so heavy – so bloody hard – they nearly killed the junior sailors washing machines haha!
    As to those OTHER public servants – the chairforce will be most upset! They’ll have to get all their kit fitted again – sheesh — how will that go down eh? I mean which sporty day would they have to give up to make THAT happen…? Hahaha… ahhhhh – yer… I do miss the puss sometimes – mostly at times like this. Thanks for dropping by bloke. – oh Techo, Birdy, Bubblehead, Dibby or Submariner even (we let them in here)? That then begs the question – Officer, Senior or Junior sailor mate???


  8. David Kensington says:

    The new uniforms are absolute shit. No one can get them replaced and they fall apart at the drop of a hat. Plus due to them not being available you end up half the time having your stuff ripped off when they are washed. The velcro straps on the jacket and pants fall apart so you can’t secure them when you have to fight a fire or go into action stations. The buttons pop off and the zippers either get stuck closed or keep coming undone.There are no straps to pull your oppo out of a fire or toxic hazard like the old grey or blue ralls. As for all the bloody badges, 50 blokes in one mess all removing 4 velcro badges each night, how noisy is it. Whoever came up with this shitful uniform needs to be shot or forced to work at sea in them for a week. Another great initiative by the Navy. FOC – bring back the grey or blue ralls, they worked and were sturdy.


    • belongum says:

      Yeah – I know exactly what you mean! It’s always designed by some person (bloke – I’m bloody sure of it) who has NO IDEA of what it’s like to have to do the job of the person who has to wear the bloody thing in situ!

      The fun we had when we changed to cams. But then – we said the same thing of the old grey ‘combat coveralls’ – being used to the old King Gees of course. But at least they actually protected you from the heat. You could grab a handful of these ralls and drag your oppo out if you had too – they had some guts to ’em.

      I cant believe they done the bell bottoms in too – but hey, maybe I’m just an old stickler for the old ways eh?! Cheers for dropping by!


  9. bobdownsom says:

    I’m a jnr sailor, up on patrol boats. darwin is my town of choice. well the town the navy decided i needed to go to … meh… anyway

    I’m a true jnr sailor too. 1 divorce so far, going for 2 soon.

    And i’m a RO basicly. love it sometimes. but others. they suck.

    I miss having a 9 to 5 but … after 5 years of bs, don’t know much else. but yes the new uniforms suck arse. mainly from a quality control point of view. all i want is something that will put up with the day to day wearing. i’m not a techo, they keep there ralls for the real dirty jobs. i’m an office bitch and they fall apart on me. the i said the boots were ok. they suck too now.


    Living it up darwin style, *ie drunk*



  10. J.Davies says:

    hey guys the uniforms are decent enough im a sea going sailor over in the west i find the boots comfy enough but yeah totally agree we ont really need the whole camo thing going on but ey looks better tha the grey ones ha ABBM Davies HMAS Warrimunga


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