… 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?
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?
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!