The Second Year of the NGP (MSD) Training
In the second year of the NGP (MSD) contract the
sailors are divided into various branches (or musterings) in the South
African Navy. Some of the musterings that the sailors are divided into
This is the mustering that is responsible for the maintenance of
security within the South African Navy. The second year NGP (MSD)
learners must undergo a 10-week long protection part 1 course that is
presented in Simons Town. Some of the things covered in this course are:
Roadblocks, searching of vehicles and buildings, Clearing of buildings,
cordoning-off of buildings, weapon handling that include the 9mm pistol,
shotgun, R5 rifle and LMG medium machine-gun, identifying of basic
explosives, evacuation procedures in the event of fires and bomb scares,
protection of the vulnerable parts of the base, escorting of VIPs etc.
After this course the sailors are sent to various Navy Bases where they
complete the rest of the year as Protection Force Personnel.
Engine Room Attendants Mustering (ERATS).
This mustering teaches the basic technical skills required for those
sailors that are selected to be attendants in the engine rooms of ships.
This six-week long course is presented at SAS WINGFIELD in Cape Town.
Some of the subjects that are presented include a basic mechanical
course, introduction to internal combustion engines, basic maritime
refrigeration, basic outboard motors, lubrication, hand tools, plan
maintenance, ship systems, propellers and shafting and safety in the
workshop. After their course the sailors are sent to various base
workshops and to ships.
The Navy also has a Public Relations section and some of the sailors
spend their second year in this mustering. The sailors all undergo the
Public Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA) Basic Principles of
Public Relations course. In their second year they are then exposed to
all the facets of the Public Relations field in the Navy, which includes
media releases, conducting visits, manning shows and exhibitions, basic
photography and office administration.
The Navy also manages its own personnel administration by means of
the Personnel section. The second-year NGP (MSD) sailors in this
mustering must undergo a three-week long course in Pretoria where the
following subjects are presented: Conventions of Service Writing, Signal
Writing, Managing the computer based Remuneration system, Human resource
Functioning, Human Resource Maintenance, Labour and Service Relations
and Client Service. After this course the sailors are sent to various
Navy bases where they apply these skills in the workplace.
Physical Training Section.
Due to the fact that the Navy is a fighting force, the physical
fitness of its members is of the utmost importance. Thus we have a
branch of trained physical fitness instructors who must ensure that the
physical fitness of the members does not deteriorate.
Teamwork is crucial for getting the accommodation up to standard
(Photo: Seaman M Venter)
|The sailors who
join this branch have to undergo the Joint Physical Training Sports and
Recreation Curse in Pretoria, which is nine weeks long. Some of the
subjects presented are: Fitness education; foundation of PT; the
importance of flexibility; Basic Anatomy; basic physiology, the
methodology of PT; fitness education; sport injuries and sport and
The learners are also expected to know the rules
of some sports, which will allow them to present it to their learners
when they are qualified Physical Training Instructors. These sports
include rugby, cross-country running, tug of war, volleyball, military
pentathlon, soccer and orienteering.
The Navy conducts its own hospitality service and hence requires
professional and dedicated chefs and stewards to fulfil this function.
The NGP (MSD) sailors who are interested to become chefs or stewards are
sent to Catering School in Simon's Town for an 8-week course entitled
Caterers Part 1. During this course they are introduced to subjects for
both chefs and stewards, which means that they can be used in either
field. Some of the subjects that they do on this course are: The basic
principles of cooking; hygiene, the principles of the occupational
Health and Safety Act (OHASA); wine and bar services, the art of
entertainment; equipment and utensils; victualling, menu planning and
Fire fighting Section.
Ship-borne fires are one of the largest threats in the maritime
industry and hence all Navy personnel are trained to combat fires. In
addition to this the Navy also has its own dedicated fire fighting
service to combat both shore-based and ship-borne fires. The formal fire
fighting qualification that the NGP (MSD) sailors obtain is 7 months
long and includes the following: Hazardous material awareness and
operation, fire fighting, advanced fire fighting, petro-chemical fire
fighting and bush fires. The course is very practically orientated and
although the theory part is important, it only takes about 20% of the
time. In addition to these qualifications the sailors in this branch
also does a basic ambulance course, which is the equivalent of First Aid
In any large organisation the logistic department is vitally
important to ensure the smooth functioning of all the facets of the
organisation. The course presented to the sailors is 5 weeks long and it
is done in Cape Town. Some of the subjects taken are: Stocktaking;
damage, loss and control of state property; receipt, storage and
transportation of equipment and material; packing, unpacking and
transportation of equipment and material; principles of accounting and
accounting documents and material controlling authorities. The members
are then sent to either shore bases or ships where they must apply their
knowledge within the logistic field.
The nature of the Navy's communication necessitates that all formal
communication is done in a secure format. Thus the communication section
is very important to safeguard the integrity of communication within the
Navy. The NGP (MSD) sailors that go into this branch has to complete the
Communication Part 1 course in Simon's Town, which is 9 months long.
Some of the subjects covered include Morse Code, Telex Net, Ceremonial,
Flags and Pennants, Voice and Radio Procedures, Flashing lights,
semaphore and Microsoft Word. Once the sailors have completed this
course they are sent as communication assistants to various shore units
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