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Royal Navy cadets try out French Commando Training

21 October 2016
Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) have spent a week being put through their paces by French Navy Commandos.

The four Cadets joined their counterparts from the Ecole Navale, the French equivalent of BRNC, for the exercise at the French Navy Commando School in Lorient. 

The exercise forms part of the French cadet’s initial training and aims to test resilience. 

On arrival each Royal Navy Cadet was assigned to a separate team and partnered with a French Naval Cadet throughout the week.  

I feel that each cadet will have learnt something about themselves and come away more knowledgeable about their own capabilities.

Officer Cadet Isobel Rawlinson

 During the 100 hour arduous exercise the cadets were tested in open water swimming, unarmed-combat, obstacle courses, endurance marches and nautical raids.

The first exercise consisted of a 10 kilometre (km)  stealth march to a location next to a river, whereupon the teams donned wetsuits and flippers to swim their way back to the base, approximately five km away. 

Other tasks included a night-time exercise carrying two casualties on stretchers, a 60 metre tunnel crawl and the construction of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats for a four and a half hour canoe towards the sea.

Officer Cadet Isobel Rawlinson said:  “This week was definitely what I would call ‘type two fun’; fun afterwards but not at the time.

“There was a great sense of satisfaction on completion of the exercise.   I feel that each cadet will have learnt something about themselves and come away more knowledgeable about their own capabilities.

“Being in a ‘foreign’ environment was testing at times but I found that with my limited French and the French Cadets willingness to help there were never any big issues.”

This was the third time that Royal Navy Cadets had joined their French counterparts for this aspect of their training.

It forms part of a broader exchange programme between the two Navies under a Twinning Agreement that aims to foster mutual understanding between Officer Cadets .  

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