Oxford URNU Midshipman acquaint with MCTA and HMS Queen Elizabeth

On 15 Jan 18 Midshipman Nick Chrumka, Deputy Senior Midshipman of the Oxford URNU, started a week long engineering acquaint with the Maritime Capability Trials and Assessment organisation of the Royal Navy.

He was integrated into Team 2, headed up by Lt Cdr David Joyce MBE, who looks after the T45 Destroyers, the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier as well as other large capital ships to ensure their readiness for sea.

The week gave Midshipman Chrumka a fantastic insight into how the team conduct engineering assessments with day one being a crash course on the power generation on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This included the large Rolls Royce gas turbines through to the large diesel backup generator and the 13 high voltage transformers on board delivering 440V to the Ship’s vast array of dependant equipment.

The acquaint week was a fantastic insight into RN engineering for a potential RN Engineer Officer and was particularly fitting with 2018 being the Year of Engineering.

Midshipman Nick Chrumka

The second day started with a look at the Ship’s propulsion system and the 4 large electric motors that drive the 2 huge propellers capable driving the Ship at up to 25 knots. This also involved an update on the stern seal which was being replaced during the week.

Later that day HMS Dauntless, a Type 45 Destroyer, ‘docked down’ preparing for refit.

Midshipman Chrumka was given an in depth tour of the hull underneath the Ship whilst tagging along with the current, post Dartmouth, Marine Engineer Young Officers from HMS Sultan.

The tour looked at the steering and propulsion systems of the Type 45 along with the salt water pump intakes and outtake.

Midweek he was given a tour of the Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team (MASTT) by Lt Cdr Honeybell.

This department is responsible for trialling new autonomous underwater vehicles in a project leading the way in removing sailors from the minefield.

The tour looked at the various trial autonomous vehicles along with the arsenal of vehicles and equipment used for deployment of the vehicles.

In the afternoon he went to sea in HMS Exploit with Lt Cdr Houghton of the 1st Patrol Boat Sqn and conducted foul weather clothing trials.

An afternoon of bouncing around on the Solent in a P2000 is always a welcome outing for an URNU student so this was an enjoyable end to the day.

The following day was more Weapon Engineering based and involved looking into the weapon and control systems on board HMS Dauntless along with a breakdown of the aviation protocols on board.

This was followed by a tour of the Ops Room, SCC, Flight Deck and the Bridge.

That afternoon a detailed breakdown of HMS Dauntless and the planned refit was briefed to Midshipman Chrumka along with a tour of the work being conducted internally on board the Destroyer.

Midshipman Chrumka said: “The week saw a packed programme of acquaints fit for a budding engineer which was far outside the usual remit of the URNU training programme.”

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU said “The acquaint week was a fantastic insight into RN engineering for a potential RN Engineer Officer and was particularly fitting with 2018 being the Year of Engineering.”

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.