Royal Navy sailors gave children an end-of-term treat by hosting them on board their warship the Plymouth Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll.
Around 60 children and ten members of staff from Year one at Crofton Hammond Infant school in Stubbington, Hampshire, were given a guided tour by the crew during HMS Argyll’s weekend break from training.
Commander Tim Neild said:
“It has been a real pleasure to host the children from Crofton Hammond Infant School onboard, particularly as they are our future.
“It was good to see the smiles on so many faces as they toured the ship and hopefully the visit to the ship and of our helicopter has given them some lasting memories.
“Our interaction with the school was an excellent opportunity for us to build on the strong relationships we have with the community and hopefully they have enjoyed their time with one of the Royal Navy’s most capable operational warships.”
Jacky Halton, the school’s head teacher, said:
“It was quite a challenge for the ship’s company and my staff to take 60 young children aboard a warship, but it was more than worth it.
“The children were thrilled to visit a warship and are lucky to have had this opportunity at such a young age.
“Many of the children are already saying they would like to join the Navy when they grow up!”
The young visitors, wrapped in their winter woollies, were given a tour of the top deck weapon systems and displayed their climbing prowess when safely navigating the ladders between decks from the bridge to the operations room, the sickbay and the ship control centre.
The visit came after an arduous eight-week period of sea training followed by a successful firing of its Seawolf anti-air missile system.
The special guests went on board for the rare opportunity when HMS Argyll called into the unfamiliar surroundings of Portsmouth for a well-earned break.
On leaving Portsmouth, HMS Argyll supported the training of newly-trained helicopter pilots from 702 Naval Air Squadron from Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station by practising landing on the ship’s flight deck, as well as hosting the Navy’s newest frigate captains for their final training before arriving back in her homeport of Plymouth in time for Christmas leave.
The ship will next complete an intensive maintenance period to be ready for any duties in the New Year.
Naval Today Staff, December 21, 2012; Image: Royal Navy