Oxford URNU Type 23 frigate engineering visit

Oxford University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) recently conducted an engineering visit to HMS Argyll and HMS Richmond in refit organised by Lieutenant Steve Jones at T23 COM in Devonport Naval Base.

Oxford URNUAfterwards they were also fortunate to visit HMS Courageous, a decommissioned Churchill Class Nuclear Submarine.

Shortly after arriving on board HMS Argyll the group were taken on a tour of the engine spaces by the Assistant Marine Engineer Officer (AMEO) who gave an in depth explanation of how the ship's propulsion systems function.

They were then taken on a tour of the Bridge by two Officer's of the Watch before stand easy in the Wardroom with the rest of the Ship's Officers.

Seeing HMS Argyll as a fully functioning warship perfectly set the context for the next stage of the visit as the group saw HMS Richmond in refit at the Frigate Support Centre.

HMS Richmond was approximately 18 months behind HMS Argyll in the ship's life cycle and the difference in material state was remarkable.

In the Year of Engineering 2018 the visit was genuinely fascinating and it was amazing to see the level of detail the engineers go into during a refit.

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer Oxford URNU

Babcock Engineer Chris Harrison took the group on a detailed and fascinating dock bottom tour prior to walking them thorough the many compartments on board the ship.

During the tour he answered many questions from the Officer Cadets who were in awe at the large scale engineering work that was taking place.

After some dockyard 'Oggys' the group then headed over to HMS Courageous in the afternoon for a tour led by Mr Jim McDonald, a former Oxford URNU Coxswain.

HMS Courageous is a decommissioned Nuclear Attack Submarine which was part of the Fleet from 1971-1992 and is the only museum of its kind in the UK.

Chief Petty Officer Gary Maskell, Coxswain Oxford URNU, said: "The attention to detail on board HMS Courageous which ensures historical accuracy was amazing to see and thoroughly worth a visit".

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer Oxford URNU said: "In the Year of Engineering 2018 the visit was genuinely fascinating and it was amazing to see the level of detail the engineers go into during a refit.

“It was remarkable to think that in 18 months the ship will be fully operational with a Ship's Company on board from its current material state".

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country's leading universities.

The URNU's mission is: "To develop an understanding of the Naval Service in undergraduates, so that those who go into civilian employment are positive advocates thereof and to facilitate a Naval Career for those who choose one."

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.