HMS Exploit has continued her busy tempo of operations after Summer Leave period, by embarking 11 Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Navy College for Initial Warfare Officer Foundation Training.
As part of the new training system at BRNC, young warfare officers complete a 13 week package of simulator time, theory lessons, academics and a period at sea in a P2000.
For those in Exploit this was a coastal navigation training package in the vicinity of the South Devon and Cornwall Coast, day running daily from Devonport.
“IWOF running is an enjoyable break from regular URNU work with students. It’s good to train the future warfare officers, ensuring their embryonic navigation skills and OOW manship are developing,”
said Lt Si Shaw CO.
“I always tell them they can each make up to 10 mistakes a day in Exploit, I wont shout as the next time they are on the Bridge of a warship they’ll have to know what they’re about!”
The BRNC cadets all take turns as Officer of the Watch, Quartermaster, on the chart and on the radar. Each must display their ability to run the chart effectively before they leave BRNC and go to their specialist fleet time warship for nine months.
On the bridge they must display the required emergency actions of the OOW, make routine shipping reports and navigate the ship safely. Additionally, like URNU students, they man the lines when coming alongside and learn basic seamanship under the supervision of the NY.
The week saw Exploit saw daily from 4 Basin and proceed for coastal navigation training within a mile of the shore between Mewstone and Dodman Point.
“The BRNC cadets get stuck in on part of ship – the next time they enter and leave harbour they will be on the bridge, so it’s beneficial for them to learn what happens on the lines. It also gives us some extra manpower!”,
added AB Nick Bolt, Exploits Navigator’s Yeoman.
Following the busy week of IWOF tasking, Exploit embarked ten of her own URNU students from Birmingham and Warwick universities for the first sea weekend of the term. Each URNU aims to complete as many training weekends as possible, Exploit and Birmingham URNU led the way last year with 15.
“We embarked in Devonport and made passage around the coast to Cardiff, stopping at Falmouth and exercising with a 771 Search and Rescue Sea King off the Lizard. There were several gales heading in from the Atlantic, so the Boss didn’t want to hang about but press on to Cardiff and get in safely,”
added Mid Will Zealey.
“Entering Cardiff Barrage lock at 0200 in the pitch dark with no moon, was quite a sobering experience and definitely our trickiest entry into our Home port. We must navigate through two locks, conduct a hair pin turn into the Marina, sternboard onto the berth amongst multi million pound yachts. It’s quite a challenge!”,
commented ship’s Marine Engineer Officer CPO Tug Wilson.
Exploit had been away from base port since June 8 on summer deployment and then on other directed tasking in Devonport. Over the next few weeks she will take the board of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association to sea, enjoy several URNU sea weekends before entering refit in Oct 13 in Holyhead.
Press Release, September 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy