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Team-building training for HMS Albion

21 June 2017
Members of HMS Albion’s Ship’s Company have carried out some team-building training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) prior to the ship returning to sea for the first time in six years.

A group of 50 sailors, comprising Young Officers, Senior and Junior Ratings from across the ship’s departments, spent the day at the College undergoing a package of training designed by the Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA).

Split into teams the sailors were set the challenge of working together to achieve a series of goals on BRNC’s high ropes training course.  The apparatus stands 13 metres high and is used to instil a range of skills, such as communication, and develop trust among the team.

Leading Regulator (LReg) Wissam Orfali has served on HMS Albion since September 2016 and is part of the Royal Navy Police.  He was one of three tasked to climb to the top of the apparatus, attached to a harness, held by his shipmates standing on the ground.

LReg Orfali said:  “This is a bit team-building training and allows some of the guys who potentially wouldn’t have the opportunity to take charge to do that.  It’s also about meeting some people from different departments who we don’t work with day in, day out.

"The high ropes are all new to me; I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’ve liked taking part because it’s challenging, it gets you out of the office and it allows us to exercise some skills that we don’t normally use.”

It’s made me think about leadership qualities and helped me build my kind of leadership.

Leading Engineering Technician James Joce

Engineering Technician Maisy Carlucci is a new member of HMS Albion’s Ship’s Company having joined from HMS Bulwark.  She said:  “A lot of us came across from HMS Bulwark as a group.

"The mix of the team here is good because it’s a combination of skill levels and experience and we are all learning from each other.  We’ve been working together and motivating each other and trying not to let ours fears take over.  I hate heights, so it’s quite a challenge for me.”

The Albion teams were also given tasks to complete in a range of scenarios from setting up a communications post to transferring stores and people across a river to deliver humanitarian aid.

For Leading Engineering Technician James Joce, who has served on HMS Albion for the past 18 months, it gave him an insight into what he may face on his Leading Rates Leadership Course later this year.

He said: “Our divisional hierarchy are here, so the Chief Petty Officers are in overall charge and then the Leading Hands are working as section heads with the lads below.

"It’s made me think about leadership qualities and helped me build my kind of leadership.  It’s given me a heads-up of what to expect when I go on course.”

This was one of a series of training packages organised for HMS Albion’s Ship’s Company put together by Lieutenant Nick Robinson at the Royal Naval Leadership Academy.

Captain Jol Woodard, the Commanding Officer of BRNC said: “The training has been delivered by HMS Albion’s Senior Rates supported by our Staff here at the RNLA.

"Prior to this the Senior Rates attended a one-day command, leadership and management course to refresh their skills and introduce new concepts of coaching and team building.

"We hope that the Ship’s Company will develop these skills further back on board. We will continue to work with them and any other RN units that wish to use the facilities at BRNC and the expertise of the RNLA Staff to further develop their coaching, mentoring and team building skills.”

HMS Albion was placed in extended readiness at Devonport Naval Base in 2011 and in the past two years has undergone a major refit in preparation for return to operational service.

The ship sailed for trials on Friday 16 June.

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