Recruits finish training amid coronavirus response

As Navy medics and planners play their part helping the NHS save lives during the coronavirus outbreak, the next generation of recruits at HMS Raleigh have today joined the service to fill key roles.

A class of 53 new Royal Navy sailors – including two naval nurses and a medic – have completed their basic training at HMS Raleigh and now stand ready to proceed with their next stage of training.

The recruits embarked on their Royal Navy careers in January and have now completed the Navy’s 10-week training programme designed to transform them from civilians into military personnel.

While the finale of the course is normally a passing-out-parade attended by family and friends, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the parade took place behind closed doors with a live stream made available for families to follow.

Captain Rich Harris, the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, said: “We continue to train sailors to support the country in times of need, as so many of our people are doing right now in helping the NHS save lives during the coronavirus outbreak. Among the people finishing their training are medical personnel, chefs, supply chain specialists, and engineers, who the country will call upon in times of emergency.

“While this passing-out-parade and currently those planned for future recruits will be held without their families to share in the pride and joy of their achievement, it in no way undermines their great efforts and readiness to serve their nation.

“HMS Raleigh will continue to deliver essential training to personnel in order to fulfil operational outputs. This means that trained personnel will be ready to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation and provide resilience as the Royal Navy’s support increases, while maintaining key defence outputs.  Training continues in line with Public Health England guidance and will be kept under review.”

It comes as the UK Armed Forces are committed to supporting the NHS and other government departments in the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

While this passing-out-parade and currently those planned for future recruits will be held without their families to share in the pride and joy of their achievement, it in no way undermines their great efforts and readiness to serve their nation.

Captain Rich Harris

Air Engineering Technician Michael Guthrie, from Fareham, was among those completing training.  The 19-year-old is the fourth generation of his family to join the Armed Forces, following in the footsteps of his parents, uncle, grandparents and his great-grandfather.

He said:  “I joined the Royal Navy for a stable career in a varied and challenging environment.  Training was a bit of a tumble between happiness, nervousness and pride in what I and the rest of my class achieved every day. I am very proud to join the Royal Navy and follow my family in what has developed into a tradition.”

The class was predominately made up of engineers and members of the logistics branch.  They are now are ready to progress onto their specialist training.