Frequently Asked Questions
Here at RNCom we try to answer your individual queries via the website Help Desk as quickly as possible. However, you may be able to find the answer you are looking for by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions list to see if your query is amongst some of the more common questions we are asked.
1. I am an ex-service person and have some problems regarding health, adaptations and money - can you help me?
As an ex-service person or perhaps the widow/widower of an ex-service person you may be able to access help and support from one or more of the many service related charities and organisations such as the Royal British Legion, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Families Association (SSAFA) or the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust to name but a few.
More Information: Naval Charities
2. I feel embarrassed but I have got my self into debt and can't see a way ahead. It's getting me really down.
You are feeling the effects of the stigma that society has historically placed on those who have debts. It is important to remember that most people have debts to one degree or another. It is common and perfectly normal to feel anxious and isolated when coping with debt. Help is at hand and you have a number of options available to you.
More Information: Financial
3. My partner and I have separated and I have the children living with me. How do I ensure my partner contributes financially to the family?
If you have a private arrangement with your ex-partner this is considered acceptable as far as the Child Support Agency (CSA) is concerned. However you are recommended to have this ratified and it is best to get legal advice. If you are claiming benefits or if you are having difficulty you should contact the CSA as soon as possible to receive their support and advice.
Web site: Child Support Agency
4. We wish to visit our son who is serving with his unit in a base port area. Is there any accommodation available through the Navy?
There is a limited number of family rooms available within the Wardrooms and Senior Rates Messes on most bases, however eligibility will be dependent on your son's rank or rate. Alternatively you may wish to book Short Term Family Accommodation (STFAC) located in some of the Service Family Quarters estates. Or you may prefer a B&B details of which you will be able to obtain from the Tourist Information Board or local HIVEs.
More Information: Housing - Short Term Family Accommodation
More Information: HIVE Local Information
5. I have been drafted to another part of the country - how do I get a married quarter for my family?
You will need to contact the Allocations Officer for the Defence Housing Executive (DHE) in the area to which you are moving. You will be asked to provide details of your requirements according to size of family, eligibility, whether you have pets etc. A Service Family Quarter (SFA) will be allocated according to availability. Unfortunately under current legislation, SFAs are only available to married personnel.
6. My daughter has deployed on her ship and I am unsure how I can keep contact with her?
Contrary to popular belief the communication within the RN has arrived into the 21st Century, Flags have now been superseded by computers and e-mail is the common method of contact. However, there are numerous other options available, e-blueys (an Internet based cross between e-mails and snail mail!), familygrams, phonetex (radio telex), snail mail to name but a few.
More Information: Communications
7. My partner is serving onboard and is alongside somewhere - can I telephone him?
Yes you can ring a unit alongside wherever it is in the world once the local numbers have been published. If you telephone the ship's normal base port exchange they will be able to tell you if there is a number available. However, please be aware of your telephone provider's international charges before you ring a ship direct as this can be quite costly. For ship's contact numbers in the UK please check the Communications section.
More Information: Communications
8. My son is returning from deployment and he has said we can meet the ship when it arrives. How do I get to the dockyard and do I need a pass or anything?
All the details for meeting a ship post deployment will be published by that particular unit, normally forwarded by the serving person concerned or sometimes via the Link Letter Scheme (LLS). You will require special passes issued by your son's unit to enter the dockyard area. The unit will also arrange these via your son. Directions to each naval base can be found at within the HIVE Local Information pages as follows:
More Information: Portsmouth Directions (HIVE Portsmouth)
More Information: Faslane Directions (HIVE Faslane)
More Information: Plymouth Directions (HIVE Plymouth)
9. I am trying to contact my partner when he returns to base port but am unsure of when his ship is due in - can you help?
Estimated times of arrival (ETAs) are prone to short notice change. The planned ETA's are published by the units themselves, normally available a day in advance of arrival. If this has not been made available to you via the ship's Link Letter Scheme (LLS) then you can contact the RNCom Help Desk.
More Information: Advice / Help Desk
10. I am new in the area and I am trying to find out about local amenities and my next-door neighbour suggested the HIVE. What is the Hive and how do I contact them?
This is an organisation dedicated to providing local information particular to areas where the families of military personnel live near to main bases. For information on how to contact the HIVE nearest to you click more...
More Information: HIVE Information Offices