In the early 1980s most new RNZAOC soldiers of the Supplier Trade spent at least six months at 1 Base Supply Battalion at Trentham. At 1BSB, they underwent their initial trade training, known as Band Two Training, before being posted to units throughout the Army.
Each Band Two Trainee was issued with a blue training book and, under the direction of the Battalion Planning Officer, rotated around the unit undergoing On the Job Training, with their progress being recorded in the training book by section heads.
At the back of the book, there was a unit brief on 1 Base Supply Battalion, which today provides a snapshot of the Battalion as it was in 1983, which has been reproduced on this page.
1983 Unit Brief: 1 Base Supply Battalion, RNZAOC
1. 1 Base Supply Battalion is the central stockholding depot for the New Zealand Army
2. To provision, receipt, store, maintain whilst in storage, and issue all natures of stores, except munitions, to operational and base units in peace and war.
3. The Unit has the following additional responsibilities:
a. Repair and manufacture of textile stores.
b. The production and packing of NZ Army requirements for combat rations.
c. The disposal of surplus stores and vehicles.
d. The hire, loan or transfer of stores and vehicles to Government departments as directed.
e. The supply of foodstuffs and FOL to all Wellington-based units.
f. The Band 2 Level training for all RNZAOC soldier suppliers.
4. The Battalion is established as shown below. The actual manning levels currently fall below the establishment by one-fifth. This leaves the unit able to carry out its function adequately but other tasks need to be kept to a minimum.
|Level||Establishment||Actual Sep 83||Under Training|
|b.||Senior Non-Commissioned Officers||55||39||–|
Stock Holding Policy
5. The unit holds, in addition to reserves, 15 months’ worth of items procured from overseas. That’s three months forecast monthly demand (FMD) plus three months safety stocks plus stocks to cover a nine-month lead time. For locally produced items a stock of three months is held plus a lead time stock of three months. This stock may vary if dramatic differences exist in lead times. There is no economic order quantity (EOQ) buying permitted.
6. a. Provision Control and Accounts. Currently within PC&A the accounting for stores and provision calculations are done by NCR 33 and NCR 299 accounting machines, both of which are obsolete and lacking in an adequate spares backing. They convert information to punched paper tape which is transferred onto a disk for input to the S2 system, om a SPERRY UNIVAC 1100 60 E computer at Porirua. The S2 system was developed on an ICL 1903 computer and the conversion to the SPERRY UNIVAC proved difficult. The system has suffered severe conversion problems with the programme and only the implementation of the Defence Supply System Depot (DSSD), forecast for 1986/87 will the ledger cards be able to be held solely on a computer file.
b. Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE). Although the MHE situation within the Battalion is not critical neither is it ideal. There are 22 Forklift Trucks (FLT) comprising 13 different models, 8 of which are over ten years old. On average six vehicles are being repaired or awaiting spares at any one time, and only five vehicles can be used in both Bulk and Detail storage areas. Action is being taken to correct this situation and five FLT should be purchased in the Financial Year 1984/85, plus two Lansing Bagnall FRER 5/20 forward and high reaching electric trucks for the new warehouse.
7. The unit currently occupies 26 storage buildings in three areas: Mangaroa, Trentham Main and Trentham Vehicle Platoon, totalling 40 acres of land giving 116990 cu m of storage capacity. The buildings were constructed in the second quarter of the century and although adequate, are not ideally suited for modern storage methods. The wide separation between the three sites causes administrative and transport difficulties. The Capital Works Programme includes provision for a new storehouse in the north east corner of the main compound, which when built, will enable the Mangaroa area to be closed and the Stock Vehicle Platoon to be brought within the compound.
8. The new warehouse will be 85 meters long, 32 meters wide, with a clear span truss roof 10.6 meters high. The available storage will be 2692 sq m area and 28732 cu m in volume enabling the storage of 3360 Standard Unit Loads (SUL) plus 5121 cu m in block stacks.
9. The battalion is currently involved in five projects:
a. Maintenance of stock for the M113 Armd Vehicle Rebuild Programme.
b. Establishment and maintenance of stock and vehicle control for Scorpion.
c. Establishment and maintenance of stocks for the new GS B vehicle buy.
d. Purification of S2 records, and
e. Bulk store re-organisation to adapt to standard unit loads (SUL).
10. In the year to 31 Mar 83 the unit received 36931 demands for stores, 3.5% at Priority 1, 8% at Priority 2, 12.5% at priority 3 and 76% at priority 4. 7066 demands were not in stock and had to be placed on dues out giving a success rate of 81%. During the same period 19885 line items were receipted and $6047938 (2017 NZD 20042091.00) was spent on 6610 orders.
11. In summary, 1 Base Supply Battalion is one of the NZ Army’s largest and most complex units with a vital role in both peace and war. The two major problems facing the unit, dispersal of storage buildings and an unsatisfactory accounting system, will be solved by the planning that is in hand. To this end the building of the new storehouse and the implementation of the defence Storage System Depot, which are eagerly awaited, will do much to bring the Depot in Line with current international standards.
Copyright © Robert McKie 2017