HMS Richmond Sailors Hold High Altitude Training
A group of sailors from the Portsmouth based HMS Richmond have carried out team work training using HMS Raleigh’s high ropes course, as the ship undergoes a maintenance period at Devonport Naval Base, in Plymouth. HMS Richmond sent eight Junior Ratings to the Royal Navy training base in Cornwall to test their mettle on the facility which stands 13 metres high. The equipment is mainly used to help new recruits develop their team work skills and build individual trust and confidence during their 10-week initial naval training course.
The high ropes course provides a range of challenges from climbing ropes and ladders, to crossing walkways and balancing on a high beam. The ultimate test is a leap of faith from a standing platform to a trapeze. Personnel are attached to the facility by harnesses and supported by their shipmates on the ground by ropes.
For HMS Richmond’s team of sailors the training gave them an opportunity to experience training out of their usual comfort zone.
Engineering Technician, Paul Craster, aged 22 from Croydon, said:
“Training on this builds confidence in each and every one of the team because you find that you have more in you than you thought you had while also finding out what other people are about. Being on a ship we’re used to the ground moving, but up there, 13 metres high and standing on top of a beam, is something completely different.”
Leading Engineering Technician Nick Smith, aged 30 from Lincoln, added:
“When you’re at sea you really need to trust the people you are with and your equipment. In a fire-fighting situation for example you have to trust the lads to watch your back while you watch theirs. This facility is good for team building.”
HMS Richmond returned to Portsmouth from her most recent operational deployment last July. The ship had been deployed for seven months operating as far east as Brunei and as far south as the Seychelles, deep into the Indian Ocean. Initially the ship was tasked with counter-piracy patrols before conducting wider regional engagement in the Far East, which included international exercises with Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.
The Type 23 frigate arrived at Devonport Naval Base in September 2011 to begin an upkeep period. As well as general maintenance, HMS Richmond is being fitted with upgrades to her weapon and command systems. The programme of work is scheduled to complete in June. HMS Richmond will then undergo a period of trials before undergoing operational sea training to ensure that the ship and the crew are ready for any future tasking.
Naval Today Staff , February 15, 2012; Image: royalnavy