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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


29 September 2018

The beginning of Reserves Officer training 2018 started on the 7th July with a welcome brief on the parade square in Britannia Royal Naval College.

The Officer Cadets (OCs) spent a challenging 8 weeks on the Accelerated Officer Programme (AOP) learning basic seamanship and boat-handling skills, ceremonial drill and weapon handling. They also worked hard all summer to complete their professional training, with long days and regular ‘Period Zero’ physical training in advance of deploying to Dartmoor for exercise BUILD.

Next on the programme was initial sea time, but before they could attend, all OCs took part in an Embarked Forces Sea Survival Course (EFSSC) in Horsea Lake which qualified them to join a seagoing platform and get a taste of life at sea in the Royal Navy. The students familiarised themselves with the interior of a 25 man life raft, before completing a practical assessment in how to crew a life raft in a simulated survival situation whilst wearing their once only survival suits and lifejackets.

The 23 Royal Naval Reserve Officers who commissioned at BRNC received a fly-by at the Passing out Parade, inspected by Commodore Martin Quinn ADC, Commander Maritime Reserves (CMR). They finished off the traditional ceremony by marching off the parade square and up the ramps in sequence, for a formal march past and salute of the College Commander.

HMS HIBERNIA had two officers in attendance on the AOP course this year. Midshipman Robinson said, ‘Passing out in front of CMR as well as 120 friends and family was a proud and momentous achievement for all of us. The experience was only heightened by the Royal Marines Band Plymouth providing the soundtrack and a flypast from a Merlin Helicopter.’