Royal Navy’s Maritime Warfare School (MWS), HMS Collingwood welcomed officers from the French Navy recently as they paid a return visit from the French equivalent of the base, Centre D’Instruction Navale (CIN) St Mandrier.
The aim of the visit was for the French officers to witness the training delivered first hand, which included tours and briefs in the Fareham site of the Maritime Training Composite Training System (MCTS), the Bridge Simulator, and the new Faraday training classrooms.
Frigate Captain Erick Caliendo, Commanding Officer of the CIN Operations School, said of their visit: “Thank you for the very warm and professional welcome we have received in HMS Collingwood, it is very useful for us to compare how training is delivered at both MWS and CIN.”
Commander David Johnston Royal Navy, Executive Officer, HMS Collingwood said: “It is hugely beneficial to both navies that we continue to maintain this liaison; it contributes to the UK-French Defence Co-operation Treaty and enables us to share best practice and ensure our countries’ sailors are ready to support our ships on the front line.”
The role of the St Mandrier is very similar to that of Collingwood, it is the French Navy’s (FRN) central school for all Warfare and Engineering (ME and WE) training.
French Navy personnel transfer between the Fleet and the school throughout their careers in a fashion similar to RN personnel moving between the Fleet and the MWS.
CIN enjoys a close physical proximity to the FRN main dockyard in Toulon as well as a Naval Air Base, approx 30 minutes away, which they use to conduct joint training with helicopter forces.
The relationship with CIN is part of a wider programme of Defence Cooperation between France and the UK, established following the annual UK-France Bilateral Summit in 2010, this relationship has become one element of the overall effort to realise the ambitions of the treaty.