Cadets join HMS Albion for NATO deployment

Officer Cadets (OC) from Britannia Royal Naval College have been getting stuck in on board HMS Albion as the ship leads an international task group in the Mediterranean.

The group of 67 Cadets were taking part in their six-week initial sea time, which is designed to give them an insight into the daily working life of the ship.

Split between the various departments on board the Cadets have been helping out where they can and drawing on the wealth of experience from the crew in all areas, from the engine room to the galley. 

Officer Cadet Phillip Eddie said: "Getting stuck in and getting my hands dirty has been my favourite part of my training so far."

The Cadets have played a part in an amphibious exercise with HMS Albion's embarked Royal Marines and were keen to see how the skills they had learned in the classroom were put into practice at sea with the crew working together to fight fires and floods during regular exercises on board to maintain capability.

Getting stuck in and getting my hands dirty has been my favourite part of my training so far

Officer Cadet Phillip Eddie, BRNC Dartmouth

A few of the cadets were lucky enough to be picked as exercise casualties. OC Gareth McCabe said: "I couldn't believe how good the make-up was. I had to pretend to have broken my arm."

Prior to her deployment HMS Albion had passed an extensive programme of training and sea trials following a two-year period of modernisation.

The Cadets were with HMS Albion as she sailed from Devonport for the start of her Flagship duties with the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG 2), transferring across having spent a week on board HMS Ocean. 

They were put to work immediately, helping the Ship's Company with ceremonial duties leaving the harbour and then assisting with the stowing away of ropes and other equipment.

During their time on board the Cadets have enjoyed a port visit to Greece and also put on a charity BBQ in support of the ship's charity, Claire's House Hospice, as a thank you to the Ship's Company for sharing their experience with them during their time at sea.

Returning to the College the Cadet's next challenge will be their four-day Maritime Assessed Leadership Exercise (MARL) on the River Dart in early April.  Successful Cadets will commission as Royal Naval Officers at Lord High Admiral's Divisions later in the month.