“Selling warships is unique and dealing with foreign navies and governments is incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding. We benefit from more flexibility than other national surplus sales agencies too.”
What’s your role and what does it entail?
I’m a Navy Sales Team Leader and part of the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA). I lead a small team that looks to dispose of assets that the Royal Navy don’t require anymore, preferably by selling them to customers, the general public or foreign navies. This can involve anything from a piece of testing equipment used to support ship building to a warship.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, finishing my career in Bicester supporting operational units in getting their stores and supplies at the right time and place, building a knowledge of defence inventory management. I was approached to join DESA while still serving. Because of my inventory management background, I wanted to help increase the flow of inventory out of Defence to sell and make money to fund the Royal Navy directly.
What’s the most memorable project or piece of work you’ve been part of here?
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the sales of naval platforms to Brazil, Lithuania and other countries. It’s very satisfying to see a warship the Navy no longer requires serve more years with a foreign navy and, in turn, help them increase their capability.
What makes your role with DE&S unique or different to doing the same role somewhere else?
Selling warships is unique and dealing with foreign navies and governments is incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding. We benefit from more flexibility than other national surplus sales agencies too.
Why is what you do important?
The DESA navy team generates vital income for the Royal Navy, as well as ensuring a safe, compliant disposal service. Sales can also support wider national interests and provide a platform for vital export opportunities for UK Defence industry.
We’re currently working together with Navy Command to develop a policy that draws together all the work we’ve completed over the last five years. This should enable better forecast planning which will provide a more fluid and successful sales process.
What do you think are the greatest myths or incorrect perceptions people have about working for DE&S?
That it all happens in Abbey Wood! Although we’re headquartered at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, DE&S hires a wide range of civil servants, military personnel, and contractors across 150 locations across the globe.
What makes DE&S a great place to work?
I’m a Royal Navy Reservist and I’ve recently joined the Reserves Network, where we can share advice, guidance, insights, and personal experiences. I think DE&S is a really supportive employer for Reservists.
DE&S really embraces flexible working and everyone is set-up with the equipment they need to work from home.
The breadth of opportunities available to everyone within the organisation also makes this a great place to work. There’s a great deal of support for personal development within the organisation – I’d definitely recommend taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer to build on your skills.