Northwood Combined Cadet Force visit HMS Collingwood

Members of the Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood and St Helen's, Northwood Combined Cadet Force visited HMS Collingwood recently to experience a taste of Naval life.

Northwood Combined Cadet Force visit HMS CollingwoodStudents from the School's Naval section of its well-respected Combined Cadet Force arrived on Thursday evening and stayed in typical Naval accommodation on board HMS Collingwood overnight.

The following morning saw the Cadets enjoying Ceremonial Divisions in the presence of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, with music from the Band of the Royal Marines.

The cadets were then shown the 4.5" Mark 8 Gun whilst Petty Officer (PO) Alan Bates explained the mechanics of the gun and how the 37 kilogramme rounds were fired.

The Cadets experienced more hands-on activity when they moved onto the Automated Small Calibre Gun (ASCG), sitting in the firing seat as PO Bates demonstrated its state-of-the-art computer controlled aiming system.

The group also visited the Close Range Training Simulator where they tried their hands at firing from the deck of a ship using the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and viewed the Phalanx Gun system which is fitted to the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers and which fires ninety 20mm rounds every 1.2 seconds.

Leadership is a core skill within the Royal Navy and the Cadets were then tested during a Leadership and Teamwork Training session which saw them split into two groups to take on challenges like crossing ‘open water’ on ‘islands’ to retrieve essential supplies using just planks, pallets and tyres.

Cadet Maya Kateli said of her visit, "I'm having a great time. It's definitely good to work together because we are in different years at school so it's nice to get together like this."

It was Cadet Ben Marcus' second visit to HMS Collingwood and he commented, "It's been really good and everything I've done has been different from what I did on my visit here last year."

I'm having a great time. It's definitely good to work together because we are in different years at school so it's nice to get together like this

Cadet Maya Kateli