New fleet of power boats for Reserves

The Maritime Reserves has taken delivery of a new fleet of power boats as part of its transformation to better support the Royal Navy in its outputs.

Three years ago, Project Gemini set out a vision to have power boats located within Reserves training units. After hundreds of hours of hard work, dedication and commitment, that vision is now a reality, with HMS Calliope, HMS Cambria and HMS Eaglet each receiving two high-end specification Gemini RHIBs.

This is an exciting and positive transformation for the Maritime Reserves, as practical seamanship, navigation and hands-on operation of vessels and water-borne assets are essential for all Reservists. Boat-work skills, or “marinisation”, help to build teamwork and confidence, while also developing leadership experience and reinforcing the core values of the Royal Navy.

Project Gemini was established to oversee the introduction into service of six Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats for use by the Maritime Reserves. The RHIBs, based at the RNR Units in Cardiff, Liverpool and Newcastle will enable maritime training and experience that will strongly enhance the Reserves’ support to front line operations at sea. The training will be based around the internationally recognised RYA Powerboat Scheme which includes essential skills of seamanship, navigation and radio communications.

Commodore Mel Robinson, Commander of the Maritime Reserves, said: "I am delighted to see these Gemini RHIBs arriving at our training centres. They are the key to our marinisation training, and represent a significant step forwards in increasing the Seamanship focus at our waterfront locations. The Maritime Reserves is now even better placed to train and deliver suitably skilled Reservists to support the Royal Navy in operations at sea.

They are the key to our marinisation training, and represent a significant step forwards in increasing the Seamanship focus at our waterfront locations.

Commodore Mel Robinson, Commander of the Maritime Reserves

“The arrival of the RHIBs also represents a key stage in the delivery of one of the core commitments of the Maritime Reserves Directive; to take a 'sailor first' approach, focusing on the individual Reservist, and supporting them with the right training opportunities and equipment. This will position our people to seamlessly integrate into operational units, helping the Navy to continue to protect the UK’s global interests”.

Commander Graham Deighton, Commanding Officer of HMS Calliope, said: "The ‘buzz’ and excitement these boats are already generating amongst our Ship’s Company is phenomenal. We are looking forward to once again flying the White Ensign from the stern of vessels crewed by Royal Naval Reservists on the River Tyne and the North East coastline."  

Commander Steve Fry, Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria in Cardiff, agreed. He added: "The arrival of these boats is hugely welcomed and something my Ship's Company has been very excited about, and trained hard for, prior to their arrival. As HMS Cambria re-locates to a purpose built new unit next month, these boats will enable us to train Reservists right in the heart of Cardiff Bay.”

Surgeon Commander Rourke, Commanding Officer of HMS Eaglet in Liverpool, added: "The return of ‘afloat’ training to HMS Eaglet is a truly significant moment in our long history. These two highly capable vessels will help our reserve sailors in Merseyside to develop their seamanship skills, preparing them to deploy with the Fleet in support of Royal Naval Operations, worldwide."