Cadets from Merchant Taylors’ and St Helen’s Schools’ Combined Cadet Force stayed onboard HMS Collingwood recently to gain a taste of Navy life.
The party of 50 cadets arrived in the evening and enjoyed a hot meal before being shown to their accommodation.
The following morning, the cadets were thrilled to be able to watch HMS Collingwood’s Termly Divisions where the naval personnel formed into platoons for a formal inspection by the Commanding Officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Andy Jordan ADC and Commander Operational Training, Commodore Simon Huntingdon OBE.
The Cadets then split into two groups to tour the Weapons Training Section, part of the Maritime Warfare School.
Here the cadets were shown the 4.5″ Mark 8 Gun whilst Petty Officer (PO) Alan Bates explained the mechanics of the gun and how the 37 kilogramme rounds were fired.
The Cadets experienced more hands-on activity when they moved onto the Automated Small Calibre Gun (ASCG), sitting in the firing seat as PO Bates demonstrated its state-of-the-art computer controlled aiming system.
Cadet Selvan Senthilkumaran said of his time sitting in the firing seat, “It was a really good experience but it was quite tough, much harder than I thought. When you’re in the Combined Cadet Force you read about it but I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
The groups also visited the Close Range Training Simulator where they tried their hands at firing from the deck of a ship using the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
Speaking of their visit, Cadet Bethany Brown commented, “Being on the Base is very special and watching the sailors parade at divisions was really cool. It fills me with a sense of pride that you’re part of something much bigger. Ultimately I want to join the Royal Navy as a medical officer.”