Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CHALLENGES YET OPPORTUNITIES

No one check on me. It is just my own self test and challenge, not to prove that I am an iron lady but to tell them that when there is a will, there is a way. First of all is physical and mental test. On the very first sailing from Lumut to Kota Kinabalu with KD KEDAH in December, I caught by a little bit headaches and hardly move around. They called it as sea sick. I tried to not think about it much and just follow the way the ship move, roll and pitch, up and down synchronize with the current. Officer on Watch told me that it was at state five. I was looking for fresh air outside the helicopter deck and breathe deeply, hoping the oxygen run through all into my body and for the most part into my head. People also told me that eating and drinking is a must and do not miss them. Exercise in the evening also might help to reduce the sickness. Well, these are the ways how the sailors survive from sea sick. However, after a certain times sailors will immune with the situations. For being a sailor, I have passed this test.

Doing technical jobs onboard ship is not similar as when you are on base – which are more on management things. We are directly dealing with systems and equipments as the task here are more on operating and maintenance. This is the other challenges which I have to face. There are five integrated system fitted onboard ship and every inches in this medium big ship has electrical parts of equipments. It connected to one another and controlled by Ship Control And Monitoring System (SCAMS) for machinery parts, Management Information System/Ship Management Information System (MIS/SMIS) for internal management and reference, Combat Management System (CMS) for guns and sensors, Integrated Navigation System (INS) for navigation and last but not least Integrated Communication System (ICS) for internal and external communication. It becomes more complicated when each system are handled by very limited staff while the maintenance jobs are many more than hands available.

Theoretical is definitely different compared to practical but without knowing the theory it seems that finding a needle among the bushes. You may find it but in hard ways or it just your lucks that you can find it. However, we are not always getting that lucky days. Same goes to me, I tried to implement all four years theory that I had studied in colleges and all the knowledge I knew into something that I can help my staff for fault finding or any research for the better solutions. Again, when I go through all this, it is easy to say than do. Still management is my expertise compared to do the maintenance. Nevertheless, I had learnt and saw by myself many parts of equipments in details into the ICs along this period. I believe I won’t never know if I not being onboard ship.

In the direction of knowing systems and equipments better, training and studying system is a continuous job where we will always facing with a new defect and finding whenever maintenance jobs take place. I won’t able to learn all system in a short period but by times I had learnt a lot when I go through it consistently. It is not only that. Being onboard ship asked me to work with integrity. Integrity is complete honesty in any situation. I must determine what is really right and really wrong. Right even transcends the violation of regulations. I must oppose what is wrong and support what is right even if it costs me my life or my career. I believe this integrity attitude is apply to everyone no matter where and who we work for. But I really felt it here especially when our ships is in the middle of sea having any firing evolutions or exercises. No matter who he is one mistake can cause a disaster to the whole ship.
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