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Dutch sailors carry out training at Raleigh

2 November 2016
Sailors from the Royal Netherlands Navy have been using the facilities at HMS Raleigh to practise transferring stores and fuel between ships at sea.

The group of 12 Seaman Specialists have spent a week at the Royal Navy training base using Raleigh’s world leading replenishment-at-sea (RAS) trainer.

The training course was delivered and assessed by three instructors from the Royal Netherlands Navy, with the support of the Royal Navy staff, and forms part of the Dutch sailors’ eight month course to prepare them for promotion.

RAS is often described as one of the most hazardous tasks that sailors engage in at sea.   Ships can come within just 50 metres of each other and are linked together by heavy tensioned steel wires to transfer supplies.   RAS can take place in all weather conditions, day or night.

Lieutenant Commander Jake Dray, the Officer-in-Charge of Seamanship Training at HMS Raleigh, said: “The Royal Netherlands Navy regularly visit HMS Raleigh to use the RAS rig.

"It’s a superb facility which allows us to train sailors and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel in a realistic, safe and controlled environment using exactly the same equipment that they will encounter on board ship.”

It’s a superb facility which allows us to train sailors and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel in a realistic, safe and controlled environment using exactly the same equipment that they will encounter on board ship.

Lieutenant Commander Jake Dray

HMS Raleigh’s RAS rig was originally built as a demonstrator by Rolls Royce to prove their RAS designs for the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.

It was then converted to a training facility and was handed over to the Royal Navy in 2013.

The rig features a 25 metre steel mast and three separate structures which mimic sections of the hull of the aircraft carrier, a Type 45 destroyer and a general purpose frigate.

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