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Swift Sabre gives rookie sailors taste of life at sea

2 February 2022
The fastest, nimblest warship in Her Majesty’s Navy gave trainee sailors a high-octane insight into the Fleet they’ll soon be joining.

Patrol boat HMS Sabre gave Phase 2 weapons engineering trainees from HMS Collingwood their first concerted introduction to sea time in preparation for the students joining their first ships.

Having passed out of HMS Raleigh – where civilians are turned into sailors over ten weeks – the trainees are sent to Collingwood in Fareham to undertake their specialist training, in this instance as weapons engineers, responsible for maintaining communications kit, sensors and weaponry.

It’s almost certain they’ll be drawn into other duties aboard, so Sabre’s four-strong crew took six trainees a day through basic seamanship and navigation serials, recovering a man overboard, raising/lowering the anchor and introducing them to ceremonial and ship handling aspects of their training.

Alongside the practical elements, daily transits out of Portsmouth and navigation training around the Solent also gave the students the chance to see the Fleet in which they will shortly be serving. And the experience also allowed them to learn about the operational work of the Coastal Forces Squadron.

The squadron – comprising a mixture of P2000 and Scimitar-class patrol boats - routinely undertakes training and engagements with a wide variety of naval personnel.

Sabre has also been providing supporting training and operations along the South Coast, including assisting Fleet Operational Sea Training, Reservist training and providing security for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s homecoming late last year.

“Having conducted similar training for Victory Squadron last year, my team and I were keen to continue supporting the Phase 2 element of HMS Collingwood and provide practical, hands-on training serials. The feedback from the trainees has been positive throughout,” said Lieutenant Chris Cotterill, Sabre’s Commanding Officer.

Along with her sister HMS Scimitar, Sabre spent nearly 20 years guarding the Rock, one of the two principal vessels of the RN’s Gibraltar Squadron, until the pair were brought back to the UK in September 2020.

At 16 metres long they’re the smallest of Her Majesty’s ships … and at 32 knots flat out, the fastest.


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