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 prior to them joining the Fleet
Under the direction of the OiC, Lt Cdr Prideaux Hattle, the key objectives of the VS Staff are to provide leadership, develop a naval ethos and to maintain and improve professional standards
History of Victory Squadron
Victory Squadron (VS) provides an environment that allows ratings undergoing professional Warfare or Weapons Engineering training to complete their course and graduate into the fleet. VS is also responsible for consolidating naval core values and naval ethos during this process.
Previously known as the Phase 2 Training Group, Victory Squadron was formally renamed by Rear Admiral Snow CBE, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at an inauguration ceremony on 6 May 2011. VS will continue to be inspired by history, preparing ratings to join a globally renowned operational fleet as robust sailors ready to fight and win.
Duty of Care
The primary responsibility of all staff at VS is their Duty of Care to the trainees. Whilst Duty of Care permeates the entire Royal Navy, it is most prevalent during early stages of training and especially towards younger members of the service; however it is not restricted to these groups. Central to this are the core values of the naval service: Courage, Commitment, Discipline, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty. Duty of Care is provided by a military, pastoral and welfare support regime including welfare advice and the mentoring of trainees by staff.
Day to Day Life
From Monday to Friday every week the trainees attend various classes targeted at their chosen specialisation. These specialisations include Warfare, Seamanship, Weapons Engineer (Engineering Technician), Divers, Mine Warfare, Communication Information Systems and Weapons Engineer (Engineering Technician) [Submariner].
The classes are taught by both civilians and service personnel, with the subjects varying from academia to hands on practicals; all are aimed towards getting the trainees ready for their first complement assignment at sea. Examinations are modular in nature, requiring determination and team effort to pass every stage of the course.
Time is also devoted to further physical and personal development at the Sport and Recreation Centre where the trainees can engage in a variety of activities from normal team sports to more esoteric pursuits such as the rifle club.
Other activities the trainees engage in during their time here include Leadership training in Talybont-on-Usk, performing ceremonial training, attending the Basic Sea Safety Course, helping with the Armed Forces Day by providing honour guards or supporting the Collingwood Open Day.
Trainees have also taken part in the gruelling Nijmegen Marches; taking part in the Queens Diamond Jubilee River pageant onboard ships used in the Dunkirk evacuation with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships Association; and providing teams for the Junior Leader’s Field Gun.
The trainees also continue to receive Naval General Training (NGT) with inspections, drill and musters of various forms. It is expected that at all times they maintain their self discipline and uphold Naval Core Values and Royal Naval Ethos. These are the foundations of the Royal Navy and give us an enviable reputation amongst the navies of the world.
At the end of their Phase 2 training in VS, the trainees will graduate as a more confident, capable and resilient Able Seamen or Engineering Technicians ready to join their unit.
All trainees are accommodated in six or eight man messes whilst at VS. Trainees are still expected to maintain high levels of organisation and cleanliness at all times within their messes. To ensure these standards are met rounds are 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.
During the evenings there are numerous sports and recreational facilities available around the base for individuals of all ages. The Chaplaincy run a coffee room open to all rates and ranks, HOWE building contains a bar and the VS accommodation holds numerous recreational areas. As the trainees time at VS progresses they are gradually allowed more leave in the evenings so that they can enjoy time outside of the base in the Fareham and wider Portsmouth areas.
The Royal Navy encourages personnel to devote some time on a regular basis to adventurous training. The activities are many and varied: Parachuting; Mountain Leader Courses in the highlands of Scotland; white water rafting in Bavaria, Germany; yachting both around the UK & worldwide and many more.
It provides challenging outdoor training and controlled exposure to risk, giving personnel the confidence to cope with events out of their comfort zone. Whether looking for a new experience or honing an old skill, the trainees have the opportunity to add even more to their growing repertoire of talents.