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Young Officers visit Irish Naval College

4 May 2017
Trainee Officers from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) have been given the opportunity to visit the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy, Cork.

Five Young Officers (YOs) travelled to NMCI to further enhance the relationship between the two Colleges, and see how the Irish Cadets learn their trade. The Royal Navy YOs were hosted by Irish Naval Service (INS) Officer Cadets and their staff officers during their visit, in which they carried out a range of training activities.

Over the course of the five days they spent time in the bridge simulators carrying out coastal navigation and pilotage exercises, conducted sea survival training, trained in the Damage Repair Incident Unit (DRIU), and took part in adventurous training on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry.

Midshipman Craig Barrie said, “I thought the whole experience was really beneficial. The Irish Defence Forces work closely with the RN so I enjoyed finding out more about the training that the Irish cadets face and how the Irish Naval Service works. It’s a great tool to encourage bilateral cooperation.”

The YOs have just finished their Initial Warfare Officers (Foundation) (IWO(F)) course at BRNC, and were selected based on strength of their performance throughout the training. The visit gave them the opportunity to see how their Irish counterparts trained; it also gave them a chance to discuss their training pipelines and career aspirations.

The Irish Defence Forces work closely with the RN so I enjoyed finding out more about the training that the Irish cadets face and how the Irish Naval Service works

Midshipman Craig Barrie, Young Officer BRNC

They also had the opportunity to further enhance their navigational training in the Irish bridge simulators having just completing their final navigation assessment at BRNC; Exercise Channel Dash.

“This was my fourth visit to NMCI in the last year in what is now a well-established termly training opportunity with the Irish Naval Service.  NMCI’s bespoke facilities are fantastic for development, and our YOs hugely benefit from the additional navigation exercises whilst forging new friendships with their peers in a neighbouring Navy”, says Lieutenant Paul White, BRNC’s Liaison Officer with the Irish Navy, who accompanied the YOs.

On completion of their IWO(F) course Royal Navy YOs spend three months on an operational warship, known as Basic Fleet Time.  They return to sea for seven or eight months’ Specialist Fleet Time further into their training.

Once Irish Officer Cadets join the Navy they spend 23 months training until they get their commission, including three months in Kildare with the Irish Army and Irish Air Corps.  Upon completion of this they move onto the Marinisation phase of training which takes place at NMCI for 20 months.

NMCI teaches the Irish Officer Cadets all their navigation, damage control training and seamanship. The College is a modern facility built in 2005, with 360˚ and 270˚ bridge simulators in addition to three smaller bridge trainers, and is a civilian-military partnership training faculty.  

The Irish Navy trains their bridge watchkeepers alongside merchant mariners at the College, allowing the Irish Naval YOs to gain fully civilian-accredited qualifications upon completion of training.

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