Reservists setting the Example

HMS Example recently deployed from HMS Calliope with a contingent of RNR personnel for three days to conduct practical seamanship training, and to give an exposure of life on-board ship.

Reservists setting the ExampleThe first day was spent utilising the River Tyne for training, due to the residual swell left over from the 'Beast from the east'! As such numerous berthing evolutions, anchorages and internal training took place. Before returning alongside HMS Calliope for the evening.

The next day was markedly calmer and brighter, with clear blue skies over the Toon as Example departed her berth. More training was conducted on the transit up the river. Once out of the breakwater it was bows North and 'pedal to the metal' as the transit to Berwick commenced.

For the journey North, the embarked personnel took over the bridge duties, as QM and OOW, supervised by the ship's company, once again allowing the RNR personnel to enhance their experiences and work towards completion of their seamanship taskbooks.

The passage took in some of the most breath-taking scenery coastal Northumberland has to offer, including views of Bamburgh castle and the Farne Islands.

It’s not often we get the opportunity to sail from our home unit. For some it was their first time at sea, the three days training was a great opportunity for HMS Calliope personnel to go to sea as a unit.

Midshipman Porteous-Ford RNR, HMS Calliope

Reservists setting the ExampleIt also happens to be the hometown of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Duncan Napier, who said: "It was an honour to be able to bring my ship alongside in my hometown, and see the town from a completely new perspective!

"This is also a fantastic opportunity to visit a small town that no other class of RN ship (standfast the Scimitar class) can safely enter, whilst providing invaluable practical training to RNR personnel".

After hosting a few visitors on-board, including members of the local police force, Example spent the night alongside the picturesque Berwick Quay.

The next morning saw the ship depart bright and early, once again conducting more seamanship evolutions on the passage back to Newcastle. The focus of the final day was to allow the RNR to take over most of the evolutions fully, putting into practice all they had learnt over the last few days.

The final evolution was a MOBEX (man overboard exercise) where the CO had 'fallen overboard', this allowed the Reservists to fill in positions and provided a twist for the Ship's Company, with each person stepping in to a different position, putting into practice training from the last couple of months.

Finally HMS Example berthed on the Northumbria Police Marine Unit berth in Jarrow, bringing to an end an epic three days of drills and training.

Midshipman Porteous-Ford RNR, talked about the experience saying, "It’s not often we get the opportunity to sail from our home unit. For some it was their first time at sea, the three days training was a great opportunity for HMS Calliope personnel to go to sea as a unit.

“It presented a valuable opportunity to train alongside our regular counterparts. As with any role, its important to gain practical experience. HMS Example is the ideal training platform to develop new skills and put them into practise.

"It is critical as reservists we keep our skills up to date and this trip certainly did that. Confidence levels were through the roof as we came back home to Calliope."