For the first time since World War 2 civilians have begun training to become Royal Navy sailors at HMS Collingwood, say the Royal Navy.
Over the next ten weeks 22 men and women will complete their initial training at the Fareham establishment – the first of 500 civilians to be turned into sailors at Collingwood this year.
The base is meeting a surge in demand to join the Fleet due to Covid and plans to grow the Navy by 3,000 sailors over the next three years, starting with 1,000 extra personnel in 2021.
“Collingwood follows Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth – the traditional home of the Officer Corps – which trained 100 new junior ratings last year. The two bases are providing training alongside HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, the home of initial training for nearly 50 years. It receives around 60 raw recruits every week and is also increasing its throughput to meet the additional numbers.
Eighty one years to the week since HMS Collingwood opened its gates for the first time to meet the demands of World War 2, a new generation of recruits received their uniforms and underwent fitness tests ready to begin their Royal Navy careers. The ten-week civvy-to-sailor course teaches recruits how to look after their kit, parade ground drill, teamwork, Royal Navy ethos and history, general seamanship and survival skills – testing each one mentally and physically, before the successful candidates pass out and move on to specialist training such as engineers, divers, aircrew, warfare experts and gunners.”