THE Royal Navy’s rookie patrol ships zipped around Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent yesterday in the first of two days of exercises to hone young people’s naval skills.
Ten of the Royal Navy’s P2000 patrol vessels will be taking to the seas again today for one of the largest squadron exercises in 25 years. They will perform a series of manoeuvres, sailing in tight groupings which require a significant amount of navigation and command skill – especially as there are so many vessels involved.
At the head of the formation will be the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope who will then sail past and review each of the ships and the crews in formation.
The P2000 class of ships are unique to the navy in that they are manned by university students but are commanded by a naval officer.
Each ship is assigned to a university that has a Royal Naval Unit where the undergraduates can become part of the ship’s company during their studies.
The patrol vessels sail around the UK and European waters guarding British waters while teaching the students new skills.