Sailor training facility to be officially opened

NEW FACILITY HMS Collingwood, Fareham
NEW FACILITY HMS Collingwood, Fareham
HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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THE new maritime training centre at HMS Collingwood is due to be formally opened today.

Admiral Sir Jock Slater, a former first sea lord, will be opening the Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS), which is inside the Fareham naval base.

The kit has been dubbed as the most radical change in maritime surface warfare as it allows sailors to practice techniques without going to sea.

Equipment includes computers and software that simulates what it is like being inside a ship.

The service, which has been running since September, has already been used by crews from HMS ships York, Manchester, Illustrious, Sutherland, Montrose, Daring, Diamond and Dragon.

The day is due to start at 10am with a short MCTS introduction followed by the official opening ceremony.

Commander Bill Evans from the warfare training group in HMS Collingwood said: ‘The MCTS probably represents the most significant change we have seen in the past 40 years.

‘Once you turn the lights down in these warfare team trainers you can quickly believe you are back at sea in your Type 42, in your Type 45, in your Type 23 – there is no difference, and the training effect is quite immense.’