British officer served aboard HMS Ark Royal, 1987-1988; served as supply and secretariat officer at HMS Excellent Shore Station and Royal Naval Supply School, GB, 1988; served as assistant secretary at Marine Engineering Training School in GB, 1988-1990; served as captain's secretary aboard HMS Sheffield, 1990-1992; served with Naval Party 2010 attached to RFA Diligence in Falkland Islands, 1992; attended junior staff course at Royal Naval College in GB, 1993; served as supply officer Supply Dept, HMS Cochrane Shore Station in GB, 1993-1994; served as assistant secretary to Naval Secretary's Dept, Portsmouth Naval Base, GB, 1994-1995; served as supply officer aboard HMS Invincible, 1996-1998; attended senior logistics officers' course at HMS Raleigh in GB, 1998; ; served as logistics officer aboard HMS Herals, 1998-2000; served as flag secretary on staff of Commodore of Mine Warfare, Fishing Protection and Diving Vessels, Portsmouth Dockyard, GB, 2001-2002; served as staff officer to Commander of Amphibious Forces, Royal Marines, Whale Island, Portsmouth, GB, 2002-2003; served as logistics support staff officer with HQ, Maritime Component, Bahrain, 2003-2003; served as staff officer with Commodore of Amphibious Forces, Royal Marines, Whale Island, Portsmouth, 2003-2004; served as staff officer (SO2) with Management of Joint Defence Inventory, Defence Logistics Organisation, Ministry of Defence, Boscombe Down, GB, 2004-12006; served as staff officer (SO2 Logistics Operations)with HQ, Joint Force Support Organisation in Afghanistan, 2007; served as staff officer with Joint Mounting Cell, J4 Logistics Division, Permanent Joint Headquarters, GB, 2007-2008; served as staff officer with Counter-Piracy Team, European Operations Headquarters at PJHQ, GB, 2008-2009
REEL 1 Recollections of background in Dalky, Dublin, Eire, 1964-1986: family background and social circumstances; education; studying economics at Dublin Institute of Technology, 1982-1983;; sporting activities and recreations; attitude to British including influence of Northern Ireland conflicts, political situation and impact of Falklands War, 1982; interest in Royal Navy and maritime subjects; failing exams and decision to leave DIT, 1983; work as clerk for shipping company; 1983-1985; background to securing nationality residency waiver to allow recruitment into Royal Navy. 1985; Attending Admiralty Interview Board at HMS Sultan, Gosport, 1/1986: reception; ignorance of candidates on Eire; psychometric tests and essay. REEL 2 Continues: personal motivation; command tests and scenarios; interviews; passing for acceptance as RN officer; medical, question of eyesight defects and reactions to acceptance only as supply and secretariat officer. Recollections of conditions of service, lifestyle and daily routine as cadet with Black Division, Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, 4/1986-8/1987: overnight accommodation with Republican family during journey via Belfast, Northern Ireland; personal morale; reception; personal equipment; room accommodation; origins of cadets; kitting out. REEL 3 Continues: preparing for kit and room inspections including assistance from senior cadets and battle dress uniform; morning PT and sports kit; importance of personal administration; food rations; drill; seamanship training and subsequent use of contractors for basic tasks; NBC training; marine engineering training; weapon engineering training; general nature of syllabus to provide common core for naval officers. REEL 4 Continues: introduction to supply and secretariat training; conduct expected from officers; nature of junior gunroom and question of drinking habits; weekend activities including sailing on river, recreational visits to Dartmouth, attending church and coffee mornings; relationship with cadets and instructors; flight in Wasp helicopter; visit to HMS Jupiter at Portland; practical coastal navigation exercises; assessment and question of failure rate; opinion of instructors; practical leadership training and cross country exercise on Dartmoor. REEL 5 Continues: nature of practical leadership exercise on Dartmoor; leave periods and question of detachment to Sea Cadets; voyage on 2nd term detachment aboard HMS Apollo, Dartmouth Training Sqdn to West Indies, 9/1986-12/1986, including joining ship at Plymouth, nature of ship as Leader Frigate, messdeck, beer ration, latrines, organisation of training, refuelling off Azores, bridge duties as 2nd officer of watch, daily orders, engine room duties, seamanship duties, duties in S&S department duties in weapons engineering department including unreliability of Sea Cat missile. REEL 6 Continues: voyage on 2nd term detachment aboard HMS Apollo, Dartmouth Training Sqdn to West Indies, 9/1986-12/1986, including cocktail parties, white mess uniform, watch system at sea, harbour routine, banyan party, route around West Indies, shore leave visit to Florida, US, visit to Bermuda, successful search for storm damaged yacht and enjoyment of cruise; return to Dartmouth, 12/1986; relationship with junior cadets and status as midshipman; Christmas Ball, 12/1986; assisting junior cadets and role as assistant divisional officer; concentration on academic studies in 3rd and 4th terms; question of length and relevance of course. REEL 7 Continues: assisting in running exercises as 'mentor' for junior cadet; recreations; final examinations; passing out parade, 8/1987. Recollections of period as junior officer under training aboard HMS Ark Royal, 9/1987-3/1988: joining ship at Portsmouth; deck system; role of training officer; nature of cabin accommodation and wardroom; food; special relationship with officers of S&S department; organisation of S&S Dept; attachment to various departments and use of 'Task Book' in preparation for oral Fleet Board assessment. REEL 8 Continues: operational sea training based at Portland including cleaning programme, initial test to determine level of efficiency, status of aircraft carrier, working up exercises, tactical exercises, concentration on countering anti-submarine threat, damage control, final exercise and assessment; embarkation of Fleet Air Arm units; working up as combined unit and air defence exercises; effects of storm, 10/1987; detachment to HMS Bronninghton during Exercise Purple Star off west coast of Scotland, ca 11/1987-12/1987, including nature of exercise, role as minehunter locating mines for diving teams, nature of ship, crowded accommodation and water shortage. REEL 9 Continues: detachment to HMS Bronninghton during Exercise Purple Star off west coast of Scotland, ca 11/1987-12/1987, including role as 2nd officer of watch on bridge, extended 'defence' watches, use of activated rudder to travel at very slow speeds when mine hunting under control of operations room, brief visits ashore, memories of nervous captain, duties as 'officer of day' in harbour, effects of rough seas during voyage back to Portsmouth; visit to French ports, 12/1987; participation in Exercise Northern Lights in North Sea; attachment to various ship departments; visit ashore and reaction to prostitutes during visit to Hamburg, Germany, 3/1988; leaving ship and journey back to GB, 3/1988; passing oral examination at Fleet Board and commission, 3/1988. REEL 10 Recollections of training as supply and secretariat officer at HMS Excellent Shore Station, Whale Island, Portsmouth and Royal Naval Supply School, HMS Raleigh Shore Station, Torpoint, 5/1988-12/1988: course organisation and syllabus; duties on attachment to S&S Dept at Royal Naval Station, Yeovilton, including question of status and training as supply officer and fraud investigation; move to RNSS, 9/1988; nature of syllabus including antiquated nature of bureaucracy and equipment; unrealistic assessment test of typing officer's report; passing curse and question of sea posting. Recollection of period as assistant secretary at Marine Engineering Training School, HMS Sultan Shore Station, Gosport, 12/1988-8/1990: role of unit; role administering production of ratings' reports; role maintaining classified books library and registering establishment files. REEL 11 Continues: unchallenging nature of role and applications for sea posting; move to deal with administration of officers' reports and role as captain's personal assistant; relationship with captain; background to securing sea posting. Recollections of period as captain's secretary aboard HMS Sheffield, 9/1990-5/1992: question of supernumerary nature of post; reception on joining ship at Devonport; nature of ship's office including personnel and correspondence roles, use of OASIS computer terminal and office equipment; relationship with Captain Chris Rodis. REEL 12 continues: relationship with Captain Chris Roddis; advanced anti-submarine role of ship; role as captain's secretary including assisting in production of captain's reports; role as deputy supply officer on food services; cabin accommodation; nature of wardroom including composition, question of cliques, opinion of 1st lieutenant and supply officer, drinking habits, evening meals, food and film nights; sea trials based at Devonport; Iraq situation; voyage with Task Group (TG) to Gulf; composition of TG. REEL 13 Continues: question of role of TG in Gulf; surveillance missions on ships suspected of arms smuggling in Eastern Mediterranean; review of naval deployments in Mediterranean; Iraqi Scud missile attack on Israel; action stations due to unidentified aircraft; action station on after section base with damage control role including composition of team, equipment employed, training exercises, importance of learning ship's layout, competitive approach with forward team; cruising and defence watch; role as overall damage control officer on defence watch; defence watch routine and consequent fatigue; patrols protecting sea communications through Suez Canal; ship's role protecting capital ships using Sea Wolf missile and maintaining electronic surveillance during Gulf War, 2/1991-4/1991; photographing ship in Corinth Canal. REEL 14 Continues: visit to Greece including cocktail party and skiing; visit to Palermo, Sicily and Alicante, Spain; return to Devonport, 5/1991; leave; continued requirement for Gulf patrols; working up exercises based at Portland; voyage out to Gulf, 9/1991; question of length of deployment; 'Rock race' at Gibraltar; passing through Suez Canal, Egypt, including use of bribery to secure passage at head of convoy, Egyptian entertainer, visit to Pyramids, extra lighting and precautions against Egyptian thieves; arrival at Jebel Ali port, United Arab Emirates; relieving outgoing ship, 10/1991; assisting in training of Arab states naval forces; nature of 'showing flag;' visits; joint naval exercises to establish common operating standards. REEL 15 Continues: hot climate and maintaining air conditioned environment; patrols off Iraq; supplies situation during deployment; role acting as 'plane guard' for US carrier; joint naval exercises to establish common operating standards; question of Iraqi threat from converted minelayers; question of threat from Iranian motorboats and submarines; Christmas cocktail party, 25/12/1991; sever botulism attack, lockjaw symptoms and hospitalisation, 12/1991; medical state on rejoining unit; organised PT sessions on flight deck. REEL 16 Continues: PT sessions on flight deck, effects of illness and recovery; relief in station; recreational visit to Egypt and Israel; return to Devonport, 4/1992; reactions to leaving ship, 5/1992; question of crew morale and opinion of 1st lieutenant; prior rest period at Hong Kong, 1991; background to dismissal of weapons engineer officer over under-performance of Sea Wolf missile. Recollections of period as 1st lieutenant and supply officer with Naval Party 2010 attached to RFA Diligence based at Mare Harbour, Falkland Islands, 7/1992-11/1992: forward support role of ship; sea route; flight out. REEL 17 Continues: flight out via Ascension Islands to Mount Pleasant airfield; reception; climate; composition and organisation of RN, Army and RAF personnel; reception; sea-going capability and role of ship; nature of ship; relationship between Royal Fleet Auxiliary crew and naval party; relationship with RFA officers; role of Commander British Forces and staff; capability of providing 'Z' berth for submarine HMS Trenchant; role of Commander (Weapons Engineer) and Lieutenant Commander (Engineer) in commanding naval party; role as supply officer; relationship with Commander (WE). REEL 18 Continues: cabin accommodation; cases of homosexuality and changes in sexual code of conduct; cabin accommodation and wardroom; role as 1st lieutenant including influence on morale, relationship with regulating petty officer and chief bosun's mate, question of alcoholic/incompetent personnel, drafting procedure and managing disciplinary problems; supply officer role; including MT and cashing cheques. REEL 19 Continues: Falklands battlefield tour including nature of terrain and visits from Argentinean bereaved relatives to cemetery; role maintaining condition of Falklands War naval monuments; relationship with Falkland civilians including nicknames; nature of Port Stanley and isolated Falkland farms; establishing temporary shore based during ship refit in GB, 10/1992; flight back to GB, 11/1992. Attending junior staff course at Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, 1/1993-3/1993: composition of course; syllabus including staffing procedures and international affairs; research project on Chinese Communism; recommendation for advanced staff course. REEL 20 Continues: requirement for time management skills; social life; question length and function of course; assessment. Recollections of period as supply officer (tenders), Supply Dept, HMS Cochrane Shore Station, Rosyth, 3/1993-11/1994: amalgamation of supply officer posts; role performing logistics functions for smaller ships and resolving identified problems by acting as interface with base functions; maintaining frequent visits to all ships in flotilla, differences in standards and influence of senior officers; story of incompetent officer's cashbook and negligence of his captain; importance of quality of food and story of deteriorating standards of cook with personal problems. REEL 21 Continues: state of morale in flotilla and base depot; nature of wardroom; refitting role of dockyard; buying flat in Edinburgh; reactions to closure of base, 11/1994. Recollections of period as assistant secretary to Naval Secretary's Dept, Victory Building, Portsmouth Naval Base, 11/1994-12/1995: background to posting; requirement for redundancy programmes and subsequent impact on RN; opinion of Naval Secretary Rear Admiral Alan West; review of role administering naval honours and awards system; role preparing briefing notes for West; role vetting and proposing ships' names; relationship with West including visit to Hong Kong, 1/1995 and his former role commanding HMS Ardent. REEL 22 Continues: relationship with West including question of his involvement in leaving secret papers on canal towpath, question of manipulating promotion prospects and his success in reaching First Sea Lord and role in Trafalgar 2000 celebrations; relationship with Commander Whittaker; question of sea posting. Recollections of period as supply officer aboard HMS Invincible, 1/1996-3/1998: role of various supply officers; review of subordinate staff and responsibility for cash, pay and records; question of role of special duties officer; damage control role in after section base; logistical role in exercises acting as flagship; nature of Operation Bolton in Gulf, 1/1998-3/1998, including situation. REEL 23 Continues: nature of Operation Bolton in Gulf, 1/1998-3/1998, including situation, planned coalition response, aircraft and helicopters carried, question future replacement carrier size due to limited capability of Invincible, scale of night sorties flown over Iraq, position with destroyer escort in North Iranian Gulf, pattern of operations, maintenance and rest days, stores taken on board form barge off Bahrain, results of sorties over Iraq, damage to 1022 radar aerial on mast and loss of long range radar capability, repairs to radar and shore leave at Duba, relief on station by HMS Illustrious, 3/1998; shipboard celebrations and civilian welcome on return to Portsmouth, 3/1998; lack of publicity of Operation Bolton; reactions to leaving ship, 3/1998. Attending senior logistics officers' course at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint, 4/1998-7/1998: learning management control of logistics services aboard ship; opinion of course. REEL 24 Continues: composition and quality of students. Recollections of period as logistics officer aboard HMS Herald, 8/1998-12/2000: reactions to posting; role as oceanographic ship in measuring attributes of sea water and role of hydrographic ships; management role as logistics officer; initial period in dry dock at Devonport; sea trials and training; patrols surveying Eastern Mediterranean; question of replacement; illustrations of changes in nature of oceans and necessity of constant monitoring; relationship with hydrographic officer; ship's secondary role providing logistical services for attached minesweepers during Mediterranean exercises. REEL 25 Continues: question of increased variety of roles aboard frigate; relationship with captains; nature of oceanographic patrols taking soundings and water samples; question of outstanding leave and memories of tour around Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, 11/2000; leaving ship at Cyprus, 12/2000. Recollections of period as flag secretary on staff of Commodore of Mine Warfare, Fishing Protection and Diving Vessels, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1/2001-3/2002: composition of squadron; relationship with Commodore Goldman and organising farewell dinner; relationship with Commodore Richard Clapp; secondment as logistics officer aboard HMS York, 5/2001-8/2001, including remedial action required to improve situation in logistics department and relationship with senior officers. REEL 26 Continues: secondment as logistics officer aboard HMS York, 5/2001-8/2001, including injuring knee during PT, successful operation, handover to replacement and return to Portsmouth; relationship with Captain Les Sim; lack of continuity on personal reports. Recollections of period on staff of Commander of Amphibious Forces, Royal Marines, Whale Island, Portsmouth, 3/2002-1/2003: background to post; memories of Major Generals Rob Fry and Anthony Milton; working alongside naval staff of Maritime Force and prior combined operations staff and command arrangements; composition of staff and role as maritime logistician staff officer; question of establishing staff including training needs, exercises and necessity for lobbying; question of effectiveness of Major General Anthony Milton; contingency plans for Operation TELIC. REEL 27 Continues: question of involvement in contingency plans for Operation TELIC, 11/2002; participation with exercise control staff in wargaming Operation TELIC plans at Norfolk, Virginia, US for staff of maritime forces based at Bahrain; question of political and media manipulation of intelligence; attending conference in US on 'force flow' into Iraq theatre, 1/2003. Recollections of period as logistics support staff officer with enhanced HQ, Maritime Component, Bahrain, 1/2003-5/2003: question of command and liaison with staff of US Gulf Fleet; composition of fleet, auxiliaries and amphibious task group; nature of duties in logistics support and humanitarian aid; conditions of service in billets; individual security precautions required. REEL 28 Continues: role as night watchkeeping officer logistics officer; build up of forces in Gulf theatre, failure of 'force flow' plan and role of staff tem based in Kuwait; crash of helicopter CH46, 27/3/2003; effects of collision and loss of Sea King helicopters; atmosphere in HQ on commencement of operations; success of operations; shortages due to delays in chartered shipping and importance of amphibious force stocks; duties on day watch and personnel management; initial role of RN hydrophonic survey ship; subsequent crew disciplinary problems during shore leave and role in developing successful 'decompression' programme TRIM to improve crew morale and subsequent use for troops employed in Afghanistan; problems adjusting to civilian life on return to GB, 5/2003; lave in Eire, 5/2003. REEL 29 Period on staff of Commodore of Amphibious Forces, Royal Marines at Whale Island, Portsmouth, 6/2003-8/2004: rebuilding of staff and role of Major General Anthony Milton commanding Maritime Component, Bahrain; amphibious exercises with French in Mediterranean; background to departure of Major General Anthony Milton and opinion of temporary replacement Major General David Wilson; opinion of Major General Jim Dutton; question of state of staff; deployment of maritime forces and Exercise Aurora 04 with US forces in Eastern Atlantic, including command arrangements, personality differences between senior commanders and conflict between staffs; relationship between Eire and GB; question of Irish personnel serving in GB forces and impact of Dublin funeral of Royal Irish Ranger killed in Iraq; personal reports and question of promotion. REEL 30 Recollections of period as staff officer (SO2) on Management of Joint Defence Inventory, Defence Logistics Organisation, Ministry of Defence, Boscombe Down, 9/2004-10/12006: role as naval supply expert in designing tri-service computer system to maintain logistical supply functions across services and supply chain; composition of project team and commercial partner to develop or adapt computer system background to choice of RAF USAS 2 computer system as basis for developments and varying reactions of navy and army; effects of relationship problems within team and with Army Land Headquarters; necessity for realistic planning on joint projects; development of pilot project; composition of staff. REEL 31 Continues: background to appointment as delivery manager for pilot operating capability; nature of project team and plan; success in developing pilot operating capability and trials at RNAS Yeovilton and RAF Lyneham; subsequent recognition of success of project. Recollections of period as staff officer (SO2 Logistics Operations)HQ, Joint Force Support Organisation at Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2/2007-7/2007: background to creation and role of tri-service unit organising logistic support from GB to front line; nature of prior training and exercise at J7, Permanent Joint Headquarters, Northwood, London, 11/2006-12/2006; prior reconnaissance and role in charge of continuation training; delayed deployment, 2/2007; handover procedure; multi-national composition of force. REEL 32 Continues: effects of workload; role supporting 3 Commando Bde and 12 Mechanical Bde in Lashnagar, Helmond including supply route from GB, types of supplies and conversion to land logistics; daily routine duties including monitoring situation, briefings and meetings; planning for convoys including vehicles and force protection considerations; prefabricated accommodation; climate and terrain; office accommodation and dust problem; IT and communications situation; internal security situation including confinement to base, question of carrying personal SA80 and gate security precautions. REEL 33 Continues: air visits to Camp Bastian, Helmond and development of airfield; role of helicopters; method of resupply of Lashnagar by road convoys and helicopter; nature of Camp Bastian including tent accommodation, ISO containers, roads, layout and water supply; use of Afghan civilian constructors; nature of monthly combat logistics patrols conveying supplies to Lashnagar and convoy force protection measures; IED threat and countermeasures; role resolving problems in supply chain and educational role; introduction of multiple rocket launch system; development of Camp Bastian infra-structure and question of short term outlook. REEL 34 Continues: question of Afghan mortar attacks on Kandahar Airfield and Camp Bastian; continued civilian airfield role at Kandahar Airfield including civilianisation of role and switch of military functions to Camp Bastian; question of unnecessary military personnel at Kandahar including question of hours, wearing civilian clothes and drinking habits; advantages of Camp Bastian as base and future training possibilities following resolution of conflict; nature of 'O' Group of HQ, 13th Mechanical Bde including role, opinion of Brigadier John Lorrimer and comparison with RN; relationship with RAF including question of over-staffing and over specialisation of officers; food rations and all-ranks messing arrangements. REEL 35 Continues: all-ranks messing arrangements; US canteens and food rations; introduction of Afghan catering contractors for food rations; personal communications with GB including telephone, internet, question of using mobile phones, aerogrammes, letters and parcels; state of active service personnel in Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and question of administrative over-manning at Kandahar; question of pressure of work and GB leave; role of military chefs in Camp Bastian, Lashnagar and FOB; concert party shows; shops and canteens; sport and recreations. REEL 36 Continues: handover to replacement Joint Force Support HQ, 7/2007; extended role maintaining continuity; reactions to end of posting; reduced workload during handover and importance of networking; question of fatigue and readjustment necessary on return to GB, 7/2007; leave trip to Caucasus, 8/2007-9/2007. Recollections of period as staff officer with Joint mounting Cell, J4 Logistics Division, Permanent Joint Headquarters, Northwood, London, 10/2007-10/2008: attitude to posting and role of PJHQ; role of JMC in organising transport to operational theatres; personal role organising 'Rest of World' and counter-terrorism requirements; contingency planning for possible emergencies; planning deployment to Kosovo, 2008; nature of underground bunker and construction of new HQ above ground; question of uniforms worn at PJHQ. REEL 37 Continues: reactions to move from Combat '95 to single service uniforms; including effects on status as naval officer and increased inter-service rivalry; composition of JMC; composition and role of PJHQ staff and divisions (J1-J9); composition of J4 Divisional daily routine and means of communications; work of cross-divisional planning teams; planning role; participation in Four Powers Defence Arrangements Exercise in Malaysia, 9/2008-10/2008, including composition of FPDA. REEL 38 Continues: participation in Four Powers Defence Arrangements Exercise in Malaysia, 9/2008-10/2008, including role as acting commander (SO1) in logistics staff component, reasons for volunteering, success in post, composition and organisation of logistics staff and nature of exercises. Recollections of period seconded under Operation Atlanta to Counter-Piracy Team, European Operations Headquarters at PJHQ, Northwood, London, 10/2008-12/2009: attending background to attending initial briefing and secondment; relationship with component forces; chain of command; enhanced role; selection for promotion to commander, 5/2009; background to piracy in Horn of Africa based on Somalia, resulting United Nations call for international cooperation and British role in supplying HQ; background to rapid production and approval of operational plan; reconnaissance of naval and logistical support facilities in Kenya, Tanzania and Djibouti. REEL 39 Continues: story of impact during visit to Tanzania of hijacking of Sirius Star including resulting offers of support, inadequate nature of Tanzanian navy and possibilities of improvement; nature of multi-national anti-piracy operations anti-piracy operations including providing escorts to humanitarian aid food ships into Somalia, origins of participating ships, patrols and focussed operations in specific areas; scope of counter-piracy operations; importance of publicising humanitarian of activities; developing collaborative approach between armed forces engaged in counter-piracy using internet 'chat' system; importance of speed in responding to piracy; liaison with civilian industry and shipping associations using internet website; daily vulnerability list of possible piracy targets; importance of developing ships' ability to resist piracy attacks; question of targeting ships passing through Suez Canal; review of situation in Somalia and origins of pirates. REEL 40 Continues: question of imminent posting as commander in PJHQ, 3/2010; importance of defence and question of effect of Afghanistan operations on position of RN; question of future aircraft carrier programme including failure of RN to communicate role illustrated by value of carrier based aircraft in Afghanistan operations; importance of RN in contributing to joint operations; question of dispute between RAF and RN over lack of commitment to joint operations and minimal RAF contribution to operations; question of joint service experience and abilities of senior officers; question of future career and promotion prospects.