UK: HMS Richmond Trains Specialist Navigators
Nudging between the rocks in the Kyle Akin, HMS Richmond is safely guided through narrow waters separating the Scottish mainland from the Isle of Skye by specialist navigators.
The navigators have been tested to the limit over the past fortnight aboard the Portsmouth-based frigate, which has sailed the length and breadth of the British Isles to find them challenging waters in which to practise.
Seven students from the Maritime Warfare School Navigation Training Unit at HMS Collingwood in Fareham arrived on Richmond, which is fresh from training in Norway where she took part in an anti-submarine exercise with her sister ship HMS Westminster.
For the navigational training, 110 demanding pilotage routes – both by day and night – were planned over the two-week period.
The students on the course are already trained Royal Navy navigators. The specialist course takes their skills to the next level – allowing them to navigate capital ships, such as HMS Illustrious and flagship Bulwark, and task groups and give navigation instruction to fellow sailors.
The students had spent six weeks at Collingwood in the classroom and one week on the impressive bridge simulator at the Maritime Warfare School.
Following all the theory, the students have been putting their skills into practice with Richmond covering several thousand miles and conducting coastal navigation and anchorage serials at high speed along the south coast of England, the Irish Sea, Western Isles, Orkneys and Channel Islands.
“We were delighted to embark the Specialist Navigation Course in Richmond and to conduct some of the finest navigation sea training in the world,” said Richmond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Rob Pedre.
“This intensive course has also provided excellent training for my bridge and tactical communications teams in readiness for our forthcoming deployment.”
There was a brief break from the training to allow the ship’s company to enjoy the capital of Ireland; they enjoyed the sights and hospitality, their commanding officer paid a courtesy call on Dublin’s Lord Mayor Paddy McCartan.
HMS Richmond remains at sea providing support to further navigation training serials and conducting material preparations in support of her current tasking.
Naval Today Staff, March 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy