Page 28 - Cormorant 2019
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Maritime Combat Power Visit
Lt Col Gareth Whysall
THIS YEAR’S MARITIME POWER Visit was much anticipated.
Pressure was on the Royal Navy following the Air and Land Visits.
ACSC had been awed by the RAF’s deployable laundry capability; the Army had wowed the course with sign making and a mobile dive tank. A select few had enjoyed an insight in to the wonders that awaited them in Portsmouth Naval Base during an
industry visit. Many had been captivated by the tales of car parking woes and Victorian steam-pipes. Or could it be the Royal Navy’s contribution to the physical fitness industry that had been introduced during the classroom phase? Apparently everyone in the Navy spends a lot of time climbing ladders...
   The Maritime phase had started back in November with classroom discussions on the role of maritime power and the difference that HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH would make to the UK’s ability to operate globally.
openness in describing
life in the Royal Navy and the challenges it creates was genuinely thought provoking... ◆◆◆
The week in November provided
an opportunity for those whose previous encounters with the Royal Navy extended as far as Twickenham to begin to understand how the
Navy functions, how it contributes to UK defence and to update their vocabulary before heading to
The course toured several ships, including HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, and met the sailors who lived and worked on the ships. Their openness in describing life in the Royal Navy and the challenges it creates was genuinely thought provoking and made many from the other Services reflect upon the
relative comfort they enjoy when back in barracks. From an Army perspective, life on board looks distinctly underwhelming but the enthusiasm that the crew showed for their ship proved that there is something about being in the Navy that they clearly enjoy.
Allowing the sailors to speak for themselves was far more useful than dwelling on technology. Whilst the technology, at least on the carrier, was amazing, it was understanding how technology and people came together that was the truly beneficial point.
The differences between operating a frigate, offshore patrol vessel, and mine countermeasures vessel were stark.

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