A search around the web revealed that it stood for Maritime Commissioning Trials and Assessment. This sounded intriguing and a call to the department made my mind up. It was working away from home, but it also offered many visits back to Plymouth during the working week.


In short, I was there for about 18 months and I loved it. I joined in October 2006 and was part of a small team of 4 called the Signature Survey Team who visited ships and submarines at their request to carry out Noise Reduction or Radar Cross Section surveys.


We were trusted by our management to make all our own travel arrangements, conduct the survey on the various shock mountings or fitted Radar Absorbent Sheeting (RASH), deliver the results and compile the report. There was a lot of work involved and a lot of arranging and de-conflicting to do, but generally speaking, the team worked very well together. It was not uncommon to be out of the office for 3 or 4 weeks on the trot as we travelled north and west conducting surveys.




L & M type Mounts

Y type Mounts

J type Mounts

One of my contributions to the organisation before I left was to design and construct a spread sheet to enable the survey results to be recorded more efficiently.


Having previously been compassionately drafted back to General Service, I was subsequently drafted to the Type 22 frigate, HMS Cornwall. This required extensive re-training, so I spent a considerable amount of time on various courses at HMS Sultan learning about my new ship.


I effectively left MCTA in July 2007. Although, I kept my desk, I didnt spend much time in the office as I joined HMS Sultan on loan to commence training for my new job.

I was glad to leave HMS Raleigh Fire School, the internal politics, back stabbing and dubious management made it an unpleasant working environment. As it was only a loan draft, I was never going to be there for long. I was subsequently offered MCTA in Portsmouth. Well I'd heard of MCTA, but didnt know much about the organisation.

Maritime Commissioning Trials and Assessment