Maritime reservists experience life at sea

Fifty four Royal Naval Reservists joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, Argus for their first taste of life at sea.

The new entry recruits climbed onboard at the weekend as part of a regional forces weekend which tied in with RFA Argus attending the Bournemouth Air Festival.

The exercise was open to all RNR units and provided the new recruits – who come from a broad range of backgrounds from teachers to engineers and a priest – with opportunities to develop the core maritime skills they will need to serve.

The recruits also had an opportunity to take part in familiarisation training with the Royal Naval Reserve’s WARSEARES Branch and Air Branch, with exercises ranging from room clearance to damage control.

I quickly felt comfortable, and that’s a compliment to those instructing and supporting us.

Hannah Crowson

New recruit Hannah Crowson, from HMS Sherwood, who is also a care worker from Spalding, said: “It put into perspective all the training you’re working towards.

"It was daunting seeing everything come together and how it works, but I quickly felt comfortable, and that’s a compliment to those instructing and supporting us.”

While recruit Mike George, a builder from Southampton, linked to HMS King Alfred, added: “It was brilliant, exciting, it really got the adrenaline going.

"I’m really enjoying my time in the Royal Naval Reserve it’s something very different to my civilian job.”

Reservists are trained to the same standards, and deploy on operations alongside their regular colleagues, so it is important they are able to integrate.

Warrant Officer Roy Moore, unit WO at HMS Flying Fox, said: “In the RNR you get people from all walks of life which is great. 

"Providing new entry training on RFA Argus is a welcome opportunity for our instructors, it keeps their skills up, and it sets recruits up well for HMS Raleigh, or Dartmouth.

“The exercise in Argus provided valuable sea time where the recruits can understand and appreciate a moving platform and integrate with other elements of the Naval Service.”