SA NAVY RESERVES
BRIEFING TO THE PORT FOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE:
15 MARCH 2005
ADMINISTRATION OF RESERVES
•VOLUNTEER STATISTICS JAN 2004
•VOLUNTEER STATISTICS JAN 2005
•POSTS FOR RESERVES IN SA NAVY
•FEEDER:INFLOW FROM MSD
•PRESENT DEPLOYMENTOF RESERVES
- The core business of the SA Navy is fighting at sea.
- The singular purpose of the South African Naval Reserve is to provide competent, trained uniformed reservists to the SA Navy, so as to meet the fluctuating personnel needs of the SA Navy, on time, every time, so that the SA Navy may execute its core business.
- In peace time the Navy Reserves are utilised to support the Navy in all its elements and structures and in war time are utilised to augment the capabilities of the SA Navy.
- From ± 1960 to 1990, the primary feeder of personnel into the Navy Reserve, was the "National Service System". In terms thereof, white male citizens of South Africa, initially by ballot and later by statutory obligation, had to undergo military training in the various arms of service. Upon completion of an initial period of military training and service (varying from 9 months in the 1960’s to eventually 2 years in the 1990’s), such white males were obliged to render further service in the Reserve Force for a period of at least 10 years.
- This group of people formed the main "feeder" group for the Reserve System. Individuals who joined the Navy Reserves, continued their naval training, by attending various courses in the SA Navy. Hereby these reserve members, not only increased their naval knowledge and skills, but were also able to have themselves promoted to higher ranks as a result of their increased knowledge, experience and service.
- During the period 1992 to 2002, the average age of the Navy Reserve increased and it became "top heavy" because of the lack of inputs into the junior ranks. The lack of training courses and operational experience during this period, also resulted in the Navy Reserve sometimes not being able to keep up to date with the technological advances in the Navy itself.
- During the aforesaid "stale period", Reserve Units played a major role to maintain, as best as they could, the operational skills of the Navy Reserve and to motivate these reserves to continue their volunteer service to the SA Navy and the country.
- Although permission was granted during this period, for Reserve Units to recruit new reserve members "of the street", which included many blacks who had previously not undergone military training, this was soon stopped for financial reasons.
- Due to the high cost of training and equipping members of the SA Navy, the present policy is that only South African citizens with prior applicable qualifications, training, skills and experience in the South African Navy, or the maritime industry, maybe recruited for voluntary service into the Navy Reserves.
- The Military Skills Development ("MSD") – Programme which was initiated in the SA Navy from 2003, was inter alia intended to revitalise the feeding of competent and trained sailors into the Navy Reserve. The MSD is now the primary entry point of citizens into both the Regular- and Reserve component of the SA Navy. The first group of trainees who started their training in 2003 and completed such training in December 2004, became available for recruitment into the Navy Reserve in January 2005.
- Due to the personnel requirements of the Regular Force of the SA Navy, to man to new ships etc., the majority of the 2003 MSD intake, were selected to continue their careers into the Core Career Stage ("CCS") in the SA Navy. A relatively small number of members could be recruited for service into the Navy Reserves.
- It is anticipated that, more trainees from the 2004 and 2005 MSD – intakes will be available for recruitment into the Navy Reserve, due to the Regular Force’s requirements having probably been met to a greater extend.
- Other than in the previous national service system, which obliged only white males to undergo military training (including naval training), the intakes into the Navy MSD programmes is strictly in terms of representivity guidelines. This should result in obtaining representivity targets in the Navy Reserve, as members of the MSD are taken up into the Navy Reserve.
- Chief of the Navy has authorised an investigation to identify suitably qualified and experienced black individuals from the former Non-Statutory Forces, the Regular Force of the SA Navy and the maritime industry, who might be prepared to volunteer for service in the Navy Reserves. R Adm (JG) Papi Moloto, has been tasked for this purpose and his final report is awaited soon. This will hopefully identify some black individuals, who could be recruited into the Navy Reserve. From a similar exercise conducted by the SA Army, it is however not anticipated that a massive source of volunteers will be identified hereby and reliance will have to be placed on the output from the MSD to achieve representivity targets in the Navy Reserves.
DOD TRANSFORMATION DESIGN AND MIGRATION PLAN:
- The above plan provided for a "Core Force" approach in the DOD. All structures that are required to expand more rapidly than normal recruiting and career development time scales will allow are to have a part time component. This part time component (now referred to as the "Reserve Component") is to be structured in the case of the Navy as an expandable single permanent structure.
- The single permanent structure with expansion capability involves the following:
(a) The maintenance of a full-time establishment with additional part time posts;
- Part time personnel designated for such posts are members of the particular unit or structure;
- More than one member (approximately 3 on average) are kept on strength for each part time post;
- It is common cause that in terms of the requirements of the SA Navy, reservists were employed individually in various rolls, functions and posts in the Navy and not as a group. This differs from the SA Army, where a platoon or a regiment are deployed as a group.
ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM OF RESERVES:
- In line with the DOD Transformation, Design and Migration Plan during 2002, the Navy embarked on a review of its system of administration of Navy Reserves.
- In the past, Navy Reserves were administered through 7 Reserve Units, located mainly in the port areas and in Gauteng. These were:
- SAS INKONKONI – Durban;
- SAS PORT REX – East London;
- SAS DONKIN – Port Elizabeth;
- SAS UNITIE – Cape Town;
- SAS YSELSTEIN – Simon’s Town;
- SAS MAGALIESBERG – Pretoria;
- SAS RAND – Johannesburg.
- Some of these units had a background of volunteer reserve service expanding over a 130 years.
- Reserve Units occupied premises which they used a base to conduct administrative duties, some training activities and as a mobilisation point for the members allocated to that particular unit. During the 1990’s, the strength of these Reserve Units varied from approximately 750 to 2 800 trained members per unit. After 2002, Reserve Units played a major roll in motivating and inspiring their members to continue their service to the SA Navy on a voluntary basis. Whereas, prior to 2002, Reserve Force members had a certain statutory obligation to render military service, after 2004, all such service was on a voluntary basis.
- Fortunately, many members of the SA Navy Reserve had previously elected to continue their service in the Reserves even after expiry of their period of statutory obligation in this regard. This culture of volunteering for this form of community service to the country, has become very much part of the Navy Reserve.
- In line with the prescriptions of the Transformation Plan, the Navy decided to integrate all its reserves into the "single permanent structure" referred to in the plan. In terms of the new plan of administration, all Reserve Units have been de-commissioned and the volunteer reserves are being administered by a Reserve Management Centre ("RMC"). This centre resorts directly under the Director Fleet Human Resources ("DFHR") in Simon’s Town.
- Although the RMC falls directly under DFHR, it is commanded by a Reserve Officer and partly staffed by members of the Navy Reserve.
- More than 1 600 posts have been designated for reserve members in the SA Navy. These posts span over a whole spectrum, from the Navy Office, to shore and training establishments, to ships, sub-marines and the protection services of the Navy. In terms of present naval policy, between 20% and 25% of all posts in the SA Navy, are provided for manning by Reserve members.
- Once allocated to a post, the reserve volunteer will become a member of the ship’s company of the unit to which he/she has been posted. That unit will provide for the reserve volunteers of the volunteer reserve’s training, promotion and administration. The RMC will attend to regulatory functions and overall contact with the reserves. To date approximately 460 reservists from former Reserve Units have been staffed into posts in the SA Navy.
- The change in the administration system of reserves and the de-commissioning of Reserve Units, has obviously also had emotional undertones and effected the moral and volunteer spirit of some reserves. By means of regional reserve representatives which have been appointed in various areas, a specific effort is made to convince former reserve members who have not yet volunteered for service in the new system, to come aboard and to continue their service to the Navy. It is deemed necessary in the interim to involve as many as possible trained and experienced former volunteer reserves into the system, whilst the input from the future MSD trainings is awaited to man reserves.
- As was stated above, with effect from the financial year 2005 / 2006, reserves have no longer a separate budget in the SA Navy. The budget for reserves has been totally integrated into the Fleet Command Budget. Training costs, S & T and victualling is provided for in the individual budgets of the user units that utilise the reserve member. The personnel costs are being catered for in the Item 10 budget of the Fleet Command. In FY 2005 / 2006, 30 000 mandays have been budgeted to accommodate the service by reserves in the Navy.
- The Failure to provide for a Feeder System into reserves during the period 1992 to 2003 has greatly depleted the number of reserve volunteers and has failed to rejuvenate the trained member corps in the Navy Reserve.
- The absence of the necessary Feeder System, has impacted negatively on attempts to achieve the Navy’s representivity targets in the Navy Reserve.
- The present negative image of Defence / Security Forces effects the willingness of young people to volunteer for service in the Reserve.
- The absence of training and utilisation of volunteer reserves during the period 1992 to 2003 has impacted negatively on the moral of volunteer reserves. It is well known that with volunteers, of whatever nature and including in the Defence Forces, you have to "use them, or loose them".
- The MSD output of trained individuals into the Reserve has been "low and slow". For obvious reasons the first priority for output from the MSD is to the Regular Force of the SA Navy. Due to increased requirements in this regard, the majority of the output has in fact gone to the SA Navy. It is also obvious that the output from the MSD system will initially only be from lower ranking ratings who have just completed initial training and junior officers. It will take time for these reserve members to be trained and promoted into middle and senior management levels.
- The closure of Reserve Units has definitely impacted negatively on . Many trained and experienced former volunteers of the Reserve Service, have perceived the de-commissioning of their units to be emotional and a motion of no confidence in the members of the unit and/or their contribution to the Navy. Unless these members are cultivated, motivated and utilised soon, they will apply their skills and resources elsewhere in the community and be lost for the Navy.
- The MSD output from the Naval Gymnasium will eventually rejuvenate the reserves and increase representivity.
- The ability of the Naval Gymnasium to produce highly motivated trained sailors, will enhance possibilities for recruitment into the Navy Reserves, even if such members leave the SA Navy Regular Force.
- The successful and speedy implementation of the new administration scheme of reserves will hopefully remotivate reserve volunteers.
- The investigation conducted by R Adm (JG) Papi Moloto may bring positive feed back and some temporally relief to representivity targets in the Navy.
DIRECTOR NAVAL RESERV ES: R ADM (JG)