Bases and stations
HMS Excellent is a renowned naval training base located on Whale Island in Portsmouth. It has a rich history of more than 100 years and offers a range of specialised training programmes to sailors.
Role of the base
The base is dedicated to honing essential skills and ensuring the readiness of Royal Navy teams. It houses Navy Command Headquarters and training facilities like the Defence Diving School and the Phoenix Damage Repair Instructional Unit. These sites train our teams for sea duties and operational deployments.
At HMS Excellent, various units operate to deliver training for critical situations.
Located on Whale Island, the purpose-built fire school replicates ship compartments for realistic training in firefighting techniques to sailors. It utilises gas-powered fires and smoke generators, allowing trainees to develop their firefighting skills in a safe and controlled environment.
Phoenix Damage Repair Instructional Unit
Simulating flooded ship compartments, this unit on Whale Island teaches sailors damage control techniques using hydraulics to mimic ship motion and has played a role in saving ships from sinking.
Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour named HMS Excellent serve as the Royal Navy's school of gunnery.
Late 19th Century
Whale Island is built using spoil from excavations for naval base docks.
HMS Excellent moves ashore as gunnery training needs grow.
Whale Island is greatly enlarged by landfill during Portsmouth Harbour's development.
Excellent becomes part of the naval base, ceasing to be a separate establishment.
Excellent is recommissioned after closure of HMS Phoenix, becoming the school for fire-fighting and damage control.