1.0     Introduction

After Phase 1 initial training, Officers and Ratings will move on to Phase 2 specialist training in order to learn the specialist skills they will need to do their job, delivered through a combination of time at sea and in the classroom. This is the start of a training process that will last right through an individual’s career. Many of the qualifications an individual gains along the way will be recognised and valued by civilian employers, as well as the Royal Navy. The exact length, location and content of professional training will depend on the role, or roles, undertaken by an individual.

This article outlines the Phase 2 specialist and Phase 3 career training undertaken by Royal Navy (RN) personnel; Royal Marines Phase 2 & 3 training is discussed here. The article will look at the roles within the Royal Navy (RN) and the training hierarchy. The article will then provide a brief overview of the training organisations (colloquially termed Defence Training Establishments) located at the various on-shore units which provide Phase 2 & 3 training to Royal Navy personnel.

The Royal Navy with the Royal Marines combine to form the Royal Naval Service. The Royal Navy is made up of both Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks (known as Ratings).

1.1     Royal Navy Roles

The RN offers a variety of roles which are typically categorised into a number of branches as follows:

  • Warfare: watching, warning, making decisions and taking action in conflict and peacetime (includes Royal Navy Police).
  • Engineering: maintaining RN ships, submarines, planes and helicopters round the clock.
  • Logistics: making sure everyone has everything they need, where and when they need it.
  • Medical: keeping every member of the team healthy and fighting fit.
  • Chaplaincy: providing support and advice to all of us, regardless of rank.
  • Aviation: operating fast jets and helicopters over land and sea, from ships and shore bases.

Table 1 provides a breakdown of RN roles by branch: Table1, Royal Navy Roles

2.0     Training Hierarchy

With regards to on-shore units, the Royal Navy’s military training landscape has undergone a number of changes over the past 20 years. Figure 1, below, presents the ‘current’ (April 2014) Royal Navy training landscape.

00,08a - Figure 1

Figure 1: Royal Navy training landscape

2.1     Chief of Naval Personnel and Training

The Chief of Naval Personnel and Training (CNPT), a Vice Admiral and the Second Sea Lord, is the Naval Service’s Principal Personnel Officer (PPO). CNPT is responsible for ensuring that sufficient men and women of the right quality are recruited and trained to meet the needs of the service. The CNPT is a member of the Navy Board with responsibility for all personnel and training issues.

2.2     Flag Officer Sea Training Organisation

The Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Training) (ACNS(T)), a Rear Admiral, is the head of the FOST organisation. FOST has overall responsibility for naval training and maintaining standards from the initial training of recruits through to whole-ship training ready for operations. As such FOST operations can be divided into three inter-related functions:

  1. Recruit (Phase 1) training: initial training of recruits and officer cadets in naval skills;
  2. Specialist (Phase 2) training: special to arm training, to prepare ratings and officers for their first appointment; and
  3. Career (Phase 3) Training: continuation training and professional development.

From the Naval Bases at Plymouth, the Clyde in Scotland and a small team at Northwood in Middlesex, FOST provides Operational Sea Training (OST) for all surface ships, submarines and Royal Fleet Auxiliaries of the Royal Navy by a dedicated team of experts, led by FOST.

Over 100 ships and submarines from the Royal Navy and navies of NATO and allied nations benefit from FOST’s training expertise each year. Training is delivered as and when required throughout a unit’s life. FOST also supports both individual and collective training ashore for submarines.

2.3     Commander Core Naval Training

The Commander Core Naval Training (COM CORE TRG), a Commodore, has oversight and responsibility for all Initial Naval Training or Phase 1 training undertaken at BRNC, HMS RALEIGH and for all phases of training undertaken at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone. COM CORE TRG is also responsible for all through life career development and continuous Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) training for all Officers in the Naval Service.

3.0     Training Organisations

3.1     Britannia Royal Naval College

The Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) has been at the forefront of education and development of Naval Officers in Dartmouth since 1863.

The BRNC has four key outputs:

  1. Initial Naval Training (Officer) (INT(O));
  2. Through-life command, leadership and management training across the Royal Navy (via the Royal Navy Leadership Academy);
  3. Defence diplomacy (i.e. training of international officers); and
  4. Outreach.

The Commander BRNC (CBRNC), a Commodore/Captain, is responsible for the standard and output of the Royal Navy’s Leadership Academy. CBRNC is also responsible for the Initial Naval Training (Officer) programme, ongoing training of the leadership of the Royal Navy and in over-all charge of the Initial Naval Training (Ratings) programme at HMS Raleigh. The Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh is the deputy of CBRNC. Finally, CBRNC is responsible for the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB), although not a member.

3.2     HMS Collingwood

HMS Collingwood, commanded by a Captain and based in Fareham, is the Royal Navy’s largest training establishment. It is the headquarters (HQ) of the Maritime Warfare School and Surface Stream, which also has  units in Portsmouth (HMS Excellent, HMS Temeraire and Horsea Island) and Cornwall (HMS Raleigh), delivering training in Warfare, Weapon Engineering, Diving, Physical Training, Chemical Biological Radiation Nuclear (CBRN) and Damage Control, Sea Survival, Seamanship and Military skills.

Collingwood Command provides Executive, Duty of Care and facilities management functions for trainees at Phase 2 and 3 training within their Warfare and Weapon Engineer programmes and lodger organisations, including the Royal Navy Leadership Academy, Maritime Warfare Centre and Fleet Intelligence Centre.

3.2.1  History

The present HMS Collingwood was commissioned in early 1940 as a new-entry training camp for hostilities-only ratings. The establishment comprised four training divisions and a gunnery section responsible for the final three weeks of a class’s training. Shortly after, a separate signal section was added under a Signal Commander for the training of Ordinary Signalmen and Ordinary Telegraphists. After the war, the Electrical Branch was formed to maintain, design and prove increasingly complex radars, sonars and communications systems.

HMS Collingwood became the School of Electrical Engineering in 1946 and took over the training of all officers and ratings, with the exception of the Fleet Air Arm, in the maintenance of electrical and radio equipments in the Fleet. Subsequently the branch became responsible for weapons engineering and became known as the Weapon Electrical Engineering branch, later still becoming the Weapon Engineering sub-specialisation on passing responsibility for electrical generation and distribution to the Marine Engineers.

On the demise of HMS Mercury, the home of communications training since 1941, history turned full circle in 1993, and a Communications Faculty was added to HMS Collingwood. Further expansion followed in 1995 when training of junior Weapon Engineer Officers transferred to the site following the closure of the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, Plymouth.

3.2.2  Maritime Warfare School

In 2002 HMS Collingwood became the lead establishment for the Maritime Warfare School (MWS), in support of the closure and transfer of warfare training from the former HMS Dryad.

The MWS is now part of the FOST organisation, delivering Warfare Training on five sites as discussed above.

3.2.3  Aim of MWS

The aim of the MWS is train Officers and Ratings for the Fleet “who are ready to fight and win”.

3.2.4  Courses

There are a variety of courses delivered by MWS which include:

  • Navigation Training Unit: initial warfare officer training is conducted by the unit and it is responsible for training future generations of navigators for the Fleet.
  • Principal Warfare Officer Training Element: The Royal Navy Principal Warfare Officers (PWO) Course has set the world standard for Warfare Officer training and is at the hub of the Maritime Warfare School’s training effort. The Course marks a watershed in a Warfare Officers career and successful completion is seen as a pre-requisite for Sea Command.
  • Underwater Warfare Training Element (UWTE): delivers training to personnel of the Warfare Specialist team in Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), to ensure the Royal Navy can succeed in delivering Maritime Force Protection, Maritime Security and Maritime Manoeuvre. This includes the protection of the Independent Nuclear Deterrent, Task Group and Single Ship Force Protection.
  • Command and Executive Training Element (CXTE): individual’s will have gained experience as a Warfare Officer, as a Navigating Officer and now it is time to prepare for the next step, become the Commanding Officer of a warship.
  • Communications Warfare Training Element (CWTE): is responsible for the training of Royal Navy Communications and Information Systems (CIS) personnel.
  • Weapon Engineering Training Element
    • Weapon Engineering Principles Unit
    • Weapon Engineering Training Unit (WETU): has responsibility for the design and delivery of RN Weapon and Sensor maintainer courses for equipment fitted to all classes of Capital Ships (frigate size and above).
    • System Engineering and Management Training Unit (SEMTU): delivers courses across all aspects of Weapon Engineering (WE), Principles, Engineering Management and Administration.
    • Explosives and WE Trade Safety Training Unit: is sub-divided into three discrete Training Elements; Health & Safety; Explosives Element; and Small Arms and Close Range Training Elements.
  • Warfare Rating Training Unit (WRTU): is responsible for training Warfare Ratings, individually, in the use of sensors, weapon systems and command systems to detect, locate and engage threats and targets in the sea and air. The WRTU is a collective of AWT, AWW and UW Training Elements.
  • Above Water Warfare Training Unit (AW TU): is responsible for training officers and Warfare ratings in the use of radar and other advanced equipment including ships weapon systems to identify threats and targets in the sea and air. The AW TU consists of 2 main Training Elements:
    • Above Water Tactical Training Element (AWT TE): takes new Phase 2 trainees and Phase 3 trainees and prepares them for employment within the Operations Room on their first ships and for progression through ranks. AWT TE is divided primarily into a Command Systems Section responsible for teaching the Warfare Specialists in operating the highly sophisticated systems fitted to the various platforms of today’s fleet. This is a vital role using some of the world’s most advanced electronic systems to contribute to the Action Information Organisation (AIO).
    • AIO: Is an organisation in every ship that collects all information from all possible sources and displays it in a format; which enables action decisions to be taken by giving the command tactical appreciation.
    • Above Water Weapons Training Element (AWW TE): is responsible for the training of officers and ratings in the operation of weapon systems and tactical deployment. Responsible for training in both guided missile systems and Close Range Weapon Systems from Automated Small calibre Gun (30mm ASCG) upwards in calibre to the very latest Sea Viper Guided weapon system fitted to the Type 45 Destroyer.

3.2.5  Victory Squadron

Based at HMS Collingwood, Victory Squadron (VS) provides the Duty of Care and Naval General Training (NGT) for all RN Warfare and Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) ratings undertaking specialist training at MWS, prior to them joining the Fleet in their first complement assignment.

Under the direction of the Officer in Charge (OiC), a Lieutenant Commander, the key objectives of the VS Staff are to provide leadership, develop a naval ethos and to maintain and improve professional standards. Previously known as the Phase 2 Training Group, Victory Squadron was formally renamed by Rear Admiral Snow CBE, FOST at an inauguration ceremony on 6 May 2011.

Trainees attend various classes targeted at their chosen specialisation. These specialisations include Warfare, Seamanship, Weapons Engineer (Engineering Technician), Divers, Mine Warfare, Communication and Information Systems and Weapons Engineer (Engineering Technician) [Submariner]. Classes are taught by both civilians and service personnel, with the subjects varying from academia to hands on practical sessions; with examinations being modular in nature.

Trainees also receive physical and personal development where they will engage in a variety of activities from normal team sports to more esoteric pursuits such as the rifle club. Other activities include Leadership training in Talybont-on-Usk, performing ceremonial training, adventurous training, attending the Basic Sea Safety Course (BSSC), helping with the Armed Forces Day by providing honour guards or supporting the Collingwood Open Day. Trainees also continue to receive Naval General Training (NGT) with inspections, drill and musters of various forms.

All trainees are accommodated in six-person messes whilst at VS, with rounds being conducted on a regular basis, along with ‘Clean Ship’: an evening when all the trainees work together to ensure the cleanliness of the whole area once a week. At the end of their Phase 2 specialist training in VS, the trainees will graduate as more confident, capable and resilient Able Seamen or Engineering Technicians ready to join their unit.

3.2.6  Royal Navy’s Leadership Academy

The Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA) became a unified organisation on 01 July 2009. Under the Command of the Commodore BRNC (Commodore Naval Core Training System (NCTS)), the Officer Commanding RNLA has delegated authority to deliver Leadership Training, in accordance with 2SL’s directive.

Since its inception in 2007, the RNLA has developed and is now comprised of 3 Squadrons and an HQ split across 3 sites. Royal Arthur Squadron and the HQ are based at HMS Collingwood, whilst Royal Sovereign and Powerful Squadrons are based at BRNC Dartmouth. The HQ is also responsible for the Outdoor Leadership Training Centre (OLTC) at Talybont-On-Usk, Brecon in South Wales.

CLM and Divisional training is provided to RN personnel throughout their careers, principally in support of promotion, recognising that those selected will be required to exercise greater levels of Leadership than hitherto. All Ratings receive an element of team building while undergoing initial (Phase 1) and specialist (Phase 2) training before being accepted on to the trained strength; this acts as a precursor to subsequent formal CLM training once selected for promotion which is conducted by the RNLA, utilising on-site resources and facilities at Erlstoke (Salisbury Plain), and the OLTC.

Therefore it is the role of the RNLA to train future leaders so that they can further develop and realise their full potential. The short videos below provide some insight:

3.3     HMS Excellent

The home of the Naval Headquarters and front-line training units, HMS Excellent is commanded by a Commander and located in Portsmouth Harbour. HMS Excellent is a unique shore establishment which has its roots in more 100 years of naval history. It is the home to the modern Navy Command Headquarters in Leach Building, plus training sites that prepare personnel for life at sea or deployed operations.

HMS Excellent ceased being a naval establishment in its own right in the mid-1980s when it came under the banner of the neighbouring naval base. But it was formally re-commissioned in 1994 when HMS Phoenix, the school of fire-fighting and damage control, closed.

3.3.1  Defence Diving School

The Defence Diving School (DDS) is the centre for all military diving training in UKs Armed Forces and is located on Horsea Island, next to Port Solent on the north shore of Portsmouth Harbour

DDS is a Joint Service Training Establishment providing military diving training to both Royal Navy and British Army personnel. All Navy clearance divers and British Army divers carry out their basic training at the school’s HQ. The facilities are first class and include a 1,000m (1km) salt water lake, a 5m diving tank, recompression chambers, surface and underwater engineering facilities, classrooms, conference rooms, catering facilities and a specialist diving clothing store. In addition, DDS possesses four diving tenders (boats) based at Whale Island for work in the Harbour and the Solent. Advanced diver training is conducted at Weymouth, Falmouth, Plymouth and the west coast of Scotland.

For RN personnel aspiring to become a Navy diver they must first attend and pass the Potential Diver Assessment’s (PDA). The aim of the PDA is to assess the potential diver’s attitude and aptitude to undertake military diver training, as well as test the individual’s physical fitness against a strict criteria set by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM).

Under the watchful eye of a Leading Physical Trainer (LPT) and RN Diving Instructors, the two and a half day programme begins with the Diver Personal Fitness Test (DPFT)which must be successfully passed to gain a recommendation to enter the Royal Navy as a Clearance Diver (note it tests to the minimum standard required).

Further physical assessments include a 1000 metre lake swim in a dry-suit and fins, and a team-building challenge based on a 30 minute mud-flat crossing exercise. Trial self-contained breathing apparatus dives to a maximum depth of five metres will take place in an enclosed dive tank and Horsea Island Lake. The potential diver will also receive briefings on the RN Diving Branch.

Please view Mine Clearance Diver: Get Fit to Apply for further details on what is required.

3.3.2  Fire-fighting Training

Every Officer and Rating must complete fire-fighting training at one of the Royal Navy’s specialist fire schools.

Nothing is more dangerous on board a ship or submarine than fire – confined spaces, toxic substances, intense heat, claustrophobia, and ammunition ‘cooking off’. Everyone receives fire-fighting training at a state-of-the-art purpose-built fire school on Whale Island. It replicates compartments on board a warship such as engine rooms, machinery control rooms, mess decks, galleys and passageways. The fires inside are gas-powered – making them environmentally-friendly – and supported by smoke generators, can be controlled by tutors. Courses offered to personnel range from two days to a week for more experienced fire-fighting team leaders.

3.3.3  HMS Bristol

Once a guardian of the Fleet against air attack, and a veteran of the Falklands War, HMS Bristol is now a training and accommodation ship in Portsmouth Harbour. Designed to defend a class of aircraft carriers which were never built, HMS Bristol was the only Type 82 destroyer ever built for the Royal Navy. She served her nation for 20 years – and saw action in the Falklands in 1982 – in an air defence/command ship role before she was decommissioned in 1991. Two years later she was converted into a training and accommodation ship to replace HMS Kent. Today she is moored at the tip of Whale Island in Portsmouth Harbour. Hosting up to 17,000 visitors, including Sea Cadets, annually for 50 weeks a year, she provides the closest thing to a sea-going experience without leaving port.

3.3.4  Phoenix Damage Repair Instructional Unit

The Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit – known throughout the Navy as DRIU, pronounced ‘drew’ – is a mock-up of a flooding ship which rocks and rolls as sailors try to plug gaps in the hull using wood.

Split over three decks, DRIU simulates compartments of a ship with water rushing in through various holes. Sailors are expected to stop the inrush of water using blocks of wood and hammers. Key to the success of the DRIU is its realism – thanks to hydraulics it rocks and rolls up to 15 degrees to port and starboard, simulating the motion of a ship. The techniques taught in the simulator meant that sailors were able to save both HMS Endurance and HMS Nottingham when both were close to sinking due to severe flooding.

The DRIU is sited at the Phoenix NBCD School, HMS Excellent, and was built in 1993. The new unit simulates flooding damage to a ship and provides essential Damage Control training for new entry recruits right through to advanced courses. Trainees are expected to perform under stressful, demanding conditions but safely complete the training with confidence in the equipment, organisation and procedures.

Students also realise just how difficult it is to undertake tasks in cold water or when the ‘ship’ is rocking around. Each exercise consists of a student safety briefing, instruction and tour of the unit followed by the practical training run with the actual exercise in the water lasting approximately 45 minutes. Two groups are trained daily with up to 24 personnel on each run; over 9000 students per year.

Additional Naval Training includes Ship Team Training (STT) where personnel can carry out the specific roles they are assigned to on their own ship. Visitors include other military services, Merchant and other foreign Navies, Local Area Fire Brigades, Marine fire Officers, schools and potential recruits. Corporate business or other organisations can also use the unit for training or team building exercises through an income generation partnership with Flagship Limited.

3.4     HMS Raleigh

HMS Raleigh, commanded by a Captain, is the Royal Navy’s largest training establishment in the South West with a main site covering 239 acres. Part of the FOST organisation, Raleigh provides a diverse spectrum, ranging from the 10-week initial induction for all new Rating recruits to specialist training in areas such as seamanship, submarine operations, logistics, military and board and search skills.

First class resources are used to make training as realistic as possible with a decommissioned minesweeper, the former HMS Brecon, providing recruits with their first taste of life onboard ship.  The vessel is also used for seamanship training, board-and-search training and to give trainee chefs and stewards the opportunity to experience life in a ship’s galley.

Other facilities include extensive rifle ranges and a sinking ship simulator used to teach sailors vital skills to deal with an emergency at sea. As well as the main site, HMS Raleigh consists of a ‘sea sense’ training centre on the River Lynher,  Pier Cellars, close to Torpoint in South East Cornwall and Gutter Tor refuge on Dartmoor, both of which are used as a base to conduct leadership and team-working exercises. On a typical day there could be around 2,000 people on site, which includes Royal Navy and civilian staff based at HMS Raleigh and personnel under training.   HMS Raleigh also provides training for Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel and members of the Royal Navy Reserve.  The base is home to the National Sea Cadet Training Centre and the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth.

3.4.1  Defence Maritime Logistics School

The Defence Maritime Logistics School (DMLS) trains Royal Navy personnel as Logisticians in a number of disciplines, such as Logistics Officers, Supply Chain Specialists, Chefs, Stewards and Writers.

DMLS is one of four schools that form the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration (DCLPA) which is command by a Brigadier and headquartered at Deepcut.

The training on offer employs modern coaching and learning techniques and the latest technology. While there is some classroom time, trainees also undertake practical project work in ‘Real Working Environments’ such as ‘Galleys’ (kitchens), offices and storerooms which replicate what they would experience at sea. The training delivered by DMLS is based on three streams:

  • Core Training: provides professional training for Supply Chain Specialists, Chefs, Stewards, Writers and Logistics Officers. Courses vary in length from 12 to 36 weeks and the DMLS provides the full range of professional skills required to be successful Logisticians in the Royal Navy.
  • Advanced Training: as Naval Logisticians advance through their careers, they return to the DMLS for further career courses to give them the advanced professional and management skills they require for promotion and other more specialist roles. DMLS also provides training to personnel of other Branches as well as to Logistics personnel in the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Marines.
  • Personal Development: Personnel are also required to build on the wider skills that they have developed during INT. Sport and keeping fit is very much part of the programme as is developing character and leadership through Adventurous training, practical leadership tasks and giving presentations.

The courses delivered by DMLS are varied and aim to provide high quality logistics personnel who support and sustain RN vessels at sea and ashore.

  • Chefs Squadron: trains Navy Chefs in culinary skills and food hygiene. Training takes place in the School’s modern Galleys which are similar to those in a warship, although we cannot fully replicate the effects of the sea!
  • Catering Management Squadron: Chefs also ensure RN vessels have enough food to remain at sea and conduct their operational tasking. The Catering Management Squadron teaches personnel to run a catering account and manage the Ship’s Provisions Rooms. It also ensures that senior personnel know how and when to store ship and keep account of the Ship’s endurance.
  • Stewards Squadron: Stewards receive similar training to Chefs in food hygiene as well as basic culinary skills. They are also responsible for the management of the Ship’s Funds and are trained on the Information Systems that account for this money.
  • Writers Squadron: Writers are pay, personnel and HR experts. The Writers Squadron trains disciplines such as people accounting, pay and allowances and Information Management. The training teaches them to use the latest HR Information Systems.
  • Supply Chain Squadron: Supply Chain Specialists are responsible for Ships’ onboard stores holdings which keep equipment and weapon systems working. The Supply Chain Squadron trains them in managing a stores account and a Ship’s storerooms and how to get high priority stores to a Ship when they are not held onboard.
  • Command Squadron: The Command Squadron trains all Logistics Officers in how to manage a Logistics Department at sea. This requires them to understand the role of each Logistics discipline as well as developing the necessary management skills to run a department of some 40 personnel.

3.4.2  Military Training Unit

The Military Training Unit (MTU) at HMS Raleigh is the lead school for all Military Training within the Royal Navy. MTU provides cutting edge weapons training for personnel of all levels, ensuring they are fully prepared to protect themselves or their units on operations at sea and ashore.

The MTU mission is to provide training for personnel in Ships Protection and Skill at Arms Training for RN personnel deploying on land Operations and Above Water Warfare (AWW) Career Courses. Future Commanding Officers and Executive Officers also attend the MTU for a one day update on Ships Protection Force issues, a brief on the current role of the Unit and the assistance and advice on offer regarding training or procedures that may affect the capability of the personnel employed on board their ship.

Personnel attending Career and Instructional Technique courses receive qualifications to allow them to teach weapon handling and military training throughout the Royal Navy. The MTU has the most up to date facilities available to the Royal Navy, including: two 25 metre ranges and a 600 metre range, 6 outdoor weapon training stances and 2 indoor weapon simulators. There are also several weapon training and multimedia classrooms for indoor instruction.

3.4.3  Board and Search Training School

Board and Search training is an intensive 3-week training course. The training teaches individual skills and the roles and responsibilities of the team, and a collective training period where the team carry out a number of practice boarding’s by day and night.

In recent years boarding operations have been focussed on stopping the illegal maritime trade of narcotics and piracy. Each ship has a boarding team of 15 led by a junior officer, and assisted by a senior rating. The team is made up of a cross-section of the ship’s company who can use their own expertise in a particular area, such as the engine room, to cast an expert’s eye and pick up any suspicious areas or activity.

To prepare ships’ teams for this important role they undergo an intensive training package at the Board and Search School prior to deploying. The training teaches the team how to board, secure and search the ship. It covers a range of scenarios, testing the sailors’ reaction to various situations including crew unrest. RN personnel are primarily trained to carry out compliant boarding operations, where permissions have been granted for the team to come onboard. However there is no such thing as a routine boarding, and the training at the Board and Search School also teaches teams what to do if the situation onboard escalates. On operations RN teams sometimes work alongside Royal Marine boarding teams who are tasked with securing the vessel so that the RN team can carry out the search.

During the course each member of the team undertakes a series of military tests to prove their physical fitness and their weapon handling skills. The course teaches the sailors how to board a suspect vessel either by boat or by helicopter by descending to the deck on the suspect vessel by rope. This technique is known as ‘rapid roping’.  Training starts on a 50 foot gantry and moves on to live descents from a helicopter at heights ranging from 30 to 50 feet.

In addition to lectures, the team carry out realistic practice boarding of the MV Cossack, a land based purpose built mock up of a typical merchant ship. They also take to the water and board the training ship Brecon, moored in the River Lynher, and carry out boarding’s out at sea on a vessel specifically engaged for training. Instructors from the School or the ship’s crew role-play merchant seamen to give the team a real taste of interacting with the crew of a suspect vessel. The training completes with a final exercise when the teams are assessed by the instructors at the school to ensure they are competent to carry out this important task during deployments anywhere in the world.

3.4.4  Royal Navy Submarine School

Based within HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy Submarine School (RNSS) provides training to Officers and Ratings specialising in Weapons Engineering and Warfare operations. Courses range from initial professional training to allow submariners to operate beneath the waves to later career courses which prepare personnel for promotion and to use new equipment.

Where possible training at RNSS is scenario based in purpose built simulators which replicate systems and compartments found on a submarine. Instruction also takes place in the classroom and on ‘live’ pieces of equipment.

Officer and ratings selected to join the ‘Silent Service’ transfer to the Submarine School as soon as they complete their initial training. This is with the exception of Marine Engineering and Logistic branch personnel, who proceed to HMS Sultan and DMLS respectively, to learn their trade.

With professional training complete all students must undergo Submarine Qualification (SMQ) training to earn their ‘dolphins’. This training takes place ashore and at sea and is designed to give students a thorough knowledge of the submarine and its systems. It is an essential requirement for operating safely in a challenging underwater environment. As they move through their careers submariners will return to RNSS at each stage to undergo courses to qualify them for promotion to the next rank or rate, or to learn how to operate and maintain new pieces of equipment.

All submariners must be multi-skilled to carry out not only their professional jobs, but also other duties such as driving and controlling the submarine as planesmen, ship controllers and system watch-keepers. Therefore a whole range of training is carried out at RNSS to equip submariners with the skills required. As such the RNSS delivers the following training:

  • Basic Submarine Professional Training: Warfare, Weapon Engineering (WE), Logistics and Medical officers undergo a Basic Warfare Course at RNSS in navigation, systems and the use of the periscope. This prepares them for the role of watch-keeper in the submarine control room. Warfare ratings sub-specialising in Tactical Systems, Sonar or Communications and Information Systems, and Weapons Engineering Technicians learn their trade at RNSS.
  • Phase 3 Career Courses: Warfare Officers return to RNSS after their first sea posting for their Intermediate Warfare Course which teaches them to be navigators (see Section 3.2.4).  As their careers progress they undergo their Principal Warfare Officer (SM) Course to qualify as a Watch-leader controlling the submarine’s operations at sea. WE Officers undergo training to become the Deputy WE Officer and then the Charge WE Officer. RNSS also provides training for Warfare and WE Ratings to prepare them for promotion.
  • Submarine Qualification Course (SMQ): once fully trained in their specific branches Warfare, Weapons Engineers and Logistics Ratings, assigned to the Trafalgar Class submarines, will begin their Submarine Qualification training. The training begins ashore at HMS Drake in Plymouth and completes at sea. Personnel assigned to the Astute or Vanguard Class undergo training at HMS Neptune in Scotland.
  • Submarine Escape Training: safety is paramount on board submarines therefore all submariners must undergo escape training to learn how to operate the equipment and the procedures for evacuation. This training takes place at the Submarine Escape Training Tank (SETT) in Gosport.
  • Other Training: RNSS also trains teams to embark torpedoes and missiles, and how to load them into the torpedo tubes using a full size weapons handling rig which mirrors the equipment found onboard the submarine. RNSS also conducts a limited amount of training for submariners from other countries.

3.4.5  Royal Navy School of Seamanship

The Royal Navy School of Seamanship provides career training for Seaman Specialists and seamanship safety training to all new entry recruits. It consists of a classroom based main school, a land based replenishment at sea training facility and a waterfront based sea sense training centre.

Safety is paramount at sea and during initial seamanship safety training a great deal of emphasis is placed on ensuring trainees completely understanding a ship’s hazards and are able to work safely on the upper deck of a vessel at sea. Great emphasis is placed on safety measures throughout seamanship training and trainees progress from theory in the classroom to practical exercises on the full size Replenishment at Sea Rig, which simulates the transfer of stores, fuel and other equipment from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessel to a RN vessel at sea.

Trainees also undergo training at Jupiter Point, HMS Raleigh’s waterfront based Sea Sense Training Centre. Jupiter point also provides coxswain and crew training in all RN service boats both powered and sail. Courses range from basis introductions to advanced tactical coxswain courses requiring a great deal of skill and experience. Also based at Jupiter Point is a former RN minehunter, HMS Brecon. Now called a Seamanship Training Vessel (STV), Brecon is moored to the riverbed and therefore cannot go to sea. However, STV Brecon still provides recruits with a very useful introduction to life at sea, additionally it allows Seaman Specialists to hone their seamanship skills such as anchoring, Swimmer of the Watch and the hoisting/lowering of sea boats.

Training carried out at the Seamanship Training Unit is practical based and designed to give trainees hands-on experience so they can operate safely at sea.

  • Basic Seamanship Training: forms an integral part of INT for new recruits. During their seamanship phase trainees learn basic terminology, how to recognise and wear safety and survival equipment, along with how to tie common knots, bends and hitches. Once recruits are able to operate safely at sea the training moves onto maritime navigation and how to crew and drive a seaboat. This will equip recruits with skills that should enable them to recover from emergency situations if required. Finally seamanship training completes with an introduction to replenishment operations, where trainees are taught how to take their part in the ship’s team that fuels and stores the ship, from a tanker, whilst underway at sea.
  • Phase 3 Career Courses: as their careers progress Seaman Specialists return to the Royal Navy School of Seamanship to undergo further training to prepare for promotion. This training is leadership and management based and requires a certain level of seamanship experience which will have been gained from time trainees will have spent at sea aboard RN vessels. Trainees learn how to plan and lead Replenishment at Sea (RAS) operations as well as to how anchor and berth the ship safely and correctly. Safety is obviously paramount and career courses demand that students stand back and take charge of evolutions rather than actually carrying out the work.
  • Other Courses: HMS Raleigh’s waterfront based Sea Sense Training Centre is sited close by at Jupiter Point. Here Seaboat Coxswains are trained to drive a variety of Service boats from high performance craft to slower inflatables. Training roughly follows the RYA Power Boat syllabus, courses range from basic navigation and boat handling to expert instructor level. Again safety is paramount, every step is taken to ensure training is delivered in a safe and controlled environment allowing boat driving skills to develop before moving to more advanced work in coastal waters.

3.4.6  School of Maritime Survival

The School of Maritime Survival provides RN personnel with vital skills in fire-fighting, damage control and first aid to maintain safety. All sailors must undergo this training before taking up an appointment at sea.

The school provides training in multi-million pound simulators to ensure that the training is realistic and equips sailors to deal with the worst case scenario. The training can be adapted to give new sailors basic introduction in survival skills or put experienced sailors into the worst case scenario and test their reactions. Training includes:

  • Damage Control Training: onboard Havoc, a sinking ship simulator, that rocks from side to side and fills with water, trainees must work together to save their ship.
  • Fire-fighting Training: basic fire-fighting training is carried out on the demonstration ground, which can simulate everything from an electrical fire to an oil based fire on a cooking range. More advanced fire-fighting training is carried out in simulators based on ships’ compartments. Fire fighting training is carried out in conjunction with a commercial company, VT Flagship. The facilities are also used by members of the fire service and other outside agencies.
  • First Aid Training: all RN personnel receive First Aid training to a minimum standard of level one, achieving the Maritime Coastguard Agency Elementary First Aid qualification before entering the Fleet. Advance training is provided to selected RN and Royal Marines personnel to enable them to administer immediate and effective first aid in operational theatres worldwide.
  • Chemical Training: Another function of the school is to fit, and issue a gas respirator to each sailor to protect them in the event of chemical warfare.

3.5     HMS Sultan

HMS Sultan, commanded by a Captain, is the home of Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE) and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School (RNAESS) whose primary function is to supply the Fleet with engineering Officers and Ratings.

3.5.1  Defence School of Marine Engineering

The Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE) is located within the HMS Sultan, Pillar building, and is one of four schools that form the Defence College of Technical Training (DCTT). DSMarE comprises three departments:

  1. Craft Training Department: delivers training for basic and advanced engineering craft skills. The department has two main workshop areas to achieve this:
    1. The Machine and Fitting shop: machine and fitting tools, including workshop technology classrooms.
    2. Allied trades workshops: coppersmithing, woodwork, composite repairs sheet metal work and welding.
  2. Training, Management, Policy and Academics (TMPA) Department: undertakes training planning, accreditation, training equipment acquisition, IS support, training quality control, course design and academic training delivery. The Department achieves its business primarily through four Functional Groups:
    1. Academic Training Group (ATG), Brunel Block.
    2. Training Technology (TTG), Majestic Block.
    3. ME Training Group (METG), Pillar Block.
    4. Training Resources (TR), Parsons Block.
  3. Marine Engineering (ME) Department: generates the delivery of all ME General Service and Nuclear Submarine career and specialist training. The Department achieves its output through five Functional Groups:
    1. Ship Systems Group (SSG), Parsons Block: with a staff of 36 Officers, Senior Rating and Civilian Instructors, is contained within Parsons Block and the Lifting Equipment School. SSG is responsible for surface ship marine engineering PJT courses and is the functional group for control engineering, ship husbandry, environmental compliance, ship technology, high fidelity simulators and slinging and lifting equipment training. Control engineering and diagnostics are taught in the case studies laboratories, where generic controls facilities are supported by type specific equipment. Additionally this section houses specialist training facilities which focus on digital and analogue control systems and hull vibration monitoring equipment.
    2. Ship Machinery Group (SMG), Watt Hangar, Morrell Block & Raper Block: provides facilities and instruction to trainees in the operation and maintenance of main and auxiliary machinery currently fitted in HM Ships and Submarines. Training focussing on specific equipment is also provided to Army and RAF personnel in addition to Officers and Ratings of a number of foreign navies.
    3. Electrical Technology Group (ETG), Faraday Block: is housed in the southern end of Faraday Block. The section is responsible for providing Power and Distribution Training at the career, ADQUAL and PJT level for Mechanics, Artificers and Officers. The instruction ranges from the use of test equipment in the practical fault finding facilities through to the use of sophisticated computer driven training aids such as the Type 23 Regulator Maintainer Trainer and the Type 42 Switchboard simulator.
    4. Nuclear Systems Group (NSG), Rutherford Block: Officers and Ratings of the MESM specialisation are provided with training on the detailed operation of the nuclear steam raising plant and associated propulsion machinery
    5. Systems Engineering Group (SEG), Parsons Block & Rutherford Block: is responsible for systems engineering courses in both surface ships and submarines.

DSMarE delivers around 5,900 trained personnel a year – this is chiefly made up of RN courses although other Navies and civilian courses run as part of income generation packages with the RNs partner in industry, Flagship Training Limited.

3.5.2  Nuclear Department

The Nuclear Department (ND), housed in Rutherford Block, provides academic training and education for naval and civilian personnel appointed to posts in support of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme (NNPP). Although a separate school within the Defence School of Electro-Mechanical Engineering, part of DCTT, the ND works very closely with the Nuclear Systems Group (NSG), part of DSMarE, to provide training for Officers and Ratings of the MESM specialisation.

Drawing on the expertise of both schools, comprehensive training packages are delivered which integrate submarine systems-related topics with essential academic underpinning knowledge in reactor physics, nuclear engineering, radiation protection and nuclear safety. As a result, trainees gain a thorough understanding of the design and operating principles of the submarine reactor commensurate with their responsibilities on-board.

The ND also provides training for RN and civilian personnel appointed to post in support of the shore-based elements of the NNPP, and several bespoke courses are provided for the wider UK nuclear industry. These courses range from short introductory-level courses targeting a wide audience, through to an advanced MSc-level course for nuclear design engineers. Specialist training is also provided in areas as diverse as health physics, instrument calibration, nuclear decommissioning and radiochemistry.

ND teaching is kept up-to-date by staff undertaking research in a range of nuclear fields, the results of which feed directly into MoD’s wider NNPP research programme. The ND has a range of training facilities including a Basic Principles Simulator used to illustrate the dynamic response of the plant and a suite of well-equipped laboratories used to provide practical training in radiation science, chemistry, materials and thermal hydraulics. The ND also has access to high-fidelity real-time Manoeuvring Room Simulators for each class of in-service submarine, operated by the NSG.

3.5.3  Royal Navy Air Engineering and Survival School

The Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School (RNAESS) trains the Royal Navy’s Engineering Officers, Ratings and Aircrew in the Mechanical, Avionics and Survival Equipment trades. RNAESS, housed in Daedalus building, is part of the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering (DSAE), which is one of four schools that form part of DCTT.

RNAESS is divided into six Functional Groups:

  • Headquarters
  • 764 Initial Training Squadron
  • Advanced Training Group
  • Common Training Group
  • Specialist Training Group
  • Training Support Group

Research also suggests that RNAESS is also made up of six wings, named after past Naval Air Stations or Fleet Air Arm Establishments, with each wing carrying out training or providing facilities as follows:

  • Goldcrest Wing: Mathematics & Computer Systems.
  • Falcon Wing: Communications and Radar.
  • Ariel Wing: Air Weapons, Electrical and Technical Publications.
  • Seafield Wing: Survival Equipment.
  • Condor Wing: Mechanical Systems.
  • Fulmar Wing: Training Standards Board, Training Administration, Training Design and Divisional.

Other buildings on the Sultan site which are used by RNAESS include:

  • Cockerell Hangar:  this is the home of the Air Engineering Craft Workshops. It is from within this complex that Air Engineering.  All Trade Technicians are instructed in Workshop Processes and Practices. These include Fleet Air Arm (FAA) ‘Tool Control’ procedures, Aircraft Sheet metal work and aircraft related Practical Wiring techniques. Air Engineering Technicians from both trade groups are instructed in Health & Safety at Work. Technicians of the Mechanical [M] trade are instructed in Aircraft Sheet metal Work, Airframe Repair and Battle Damage Repair techniques. Technicians of the Avionics Trade groups are instructed in Basic Sheet metal work, Aircraft Practical Wiring and Printed Circuit Board Modification and Repair Techniques. Air Engineering Officers are also given short acquaint courses in all of the subjects taught within the complex. The facilities are also used in conjunction with income generation, via the Establishment Business Development Office. To this end where off the shelf courses have not been available, ‘bespoke’ courses have been designed to meet individual companies needs.
  • Newcomen Hangar: houses the helicopter airframes maintained by the Aircraft Maintenance Section (AMS) and used by the Initial Training Group to instruct Phase 2 professional training for Air Engineering Technicians, covering practical aircraft maintenance and trade training.
  • Stephenson Hangar: a purpose built Hangar that houses 760 Engineering Training Squadron, which is used to train Air Engineering personnel in the supervision and administration of aircraft maintenance and line procedures. Also located in Stephenson building are sections teaching Management, Administration and Operational Training including Aircraft Husbandry and Corrosion, NBCD and Aircraft Decontamination.

3.6     HMS Temeraire

HMS Temeraire is located on Burnaby Road in Portsmouth and is home to the Director of Naval Physical Development (DNPD), a Captain, and is the alma mater for RN Sport, Adventurous and Physical Education (including Executive Health).

Co-located at HMS Temeraire is the Royal Navy School of Physical Training, a satellite of the Maritime Warfare School, which is responsible for training members of the RN to become Physical Training Instructors (PTIs). Under the banner of promoting a healthy lifestyle, HMS Temeraire’s first rate fitness facilities allow Service and permitted civilian personnel to train towards fulfilling their goals. HMS Temeraire boasts competition grade squash courts, a 33 metre swimming pool, a comprehensive cardiovascular suite, 2 gymnasiums, (marked for Netball, Basketball, volleyball and badminton) and an outdoor tennis court. Free access is available to all Service personnel and their dependants. User passes are available to Ministry of Defence staff and pensionable ex-service personnel at a nominal cost.

3.6.1  Royal Navy School of Physical Training

The primary purpose of the Royal Navy School of Physical Training (RNSPT) is to select and train RN personnel as PTIs, so that they are able to advise, support and provide opportunities for physical fitness, sport, recreation and adventurous training at all levels within the RN.

There is no direct entry route into the Physical Training (PT) Branch and therefore individuals must join the RN in another specialisation before applying for transfer. RNSPT conducts aptitude tests to determine the suitability of candidates wishing to transfer to the PT Branch. If successful, individuals are selected to join the 25-week Physical Trainers Qualifying Course, once manning clearance for the branch transfer has been granted.

Currently there are three Qualifying Courses every two years.The course covers a wide variety of both academic and practical subjects. Students learn instructional techniques and the practical aspects of taking PT classes, plus methods of fitness, diet & nutrition, circuit and weight training theory, anatomy and physiology, sports injuries, fitness testing and sports administration.

The course also covers basic coaching and officiating in a total of 23 sports, plus experience of adventurous training, including sailing, climbing and abseiling, as well as qualifications in first aid and as a Royal Life Saving Society Lifeguard. In addition, the School presents further career courses for PT Officers, Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers of the PT Branch.

4.0     Royal Navy Police

Royal Navy and Royal Marines candidates are not recruited directly but are transferred from other branches where they have qualified for promotion to Corporal or Leading Hand before being posted to the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration; having completed a 4-week suitability assessment. On completion of training individuals will be promoted to the rank of Corporal or Leading Regulator and posted to an operational unit.

Officers for the Royal Navy Police (RNP) are drawn from the rating corps as Senior Upper Yardmen and are commissioned following training at Britannia Royal Naval College or Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.

The Provost Marshal (Navy) (PM(N)), a Commander, is the head of the RNP and is the competent authority for developing RNP practice and standards. The post holder is responsible, inter alia, for RNP doctrine and policy, for monitoring progress of investigations and for advising the Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Commanding Officers on policing matters (HMIC, 2010).

To deliver the policing function effectively, the RNP is divided into three sections, each headed by a Lieutenant Commander:

  1. Regional Naval Provost Marshals (NPM) operating at three ports: Plymouth, Portsmouth and Faslane;
  2. RNP personnel at sea operating in the larger ships of the RN Fleet; and
  3. The RNP SIB (Special Investigations Branch) which, although shore-based, is globally deployable.

For those individuals considering a career in this specialisation details can be found in Section 5.2 below.

The management structure of the RNP can be found here. http://www.rba93.com/rnpolice.html

5.0     Promotion and Advancement

Both Officers and Ratings are required to pass certain, mandatory specialist qualification and leadership courses in order to be eligible for promotion and advancement. This section provides links to the relevant documents which outline these requirements.

5.1     Commissioned Officers

5.2     Ratings

6.0     References

HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary) (2010) Inspection of the Royal Navy Police Special Investigations Branch. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/publication/inspection-of-the-royal-navy-police-special-investigations-branch/. [Accessed: 10 April, 2014].


2 thoughts on “Royal Navy Phase 2 & 3 Training

  1. I am looking to join the navy but I wold like a job up on the bridge basically sailing the vessel. I have been thinking about joining as a seaman specialist but i was wondering if you could inform me of what optiond thete us for me to join as so I would be able to get a job like I want. Thanks

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