ONE of the area’s naval shore establishments has become the first to train soldiers and sailors together.
HMS Sultan in Gosport is one of six recently-formed Defence College of Technical Training schools.
Traditionally, soldiers, sailors and airmen have trained separately, even in areas where the skills are similar.
Now, the training establishment is leading the way in joint career course training with a marine engineering course for Army corporals and navy leading hands.
‘As far as we’re aware, this is the first time British servicemen have received joint career course training,’ said Staff Sergeant Richie Walker, the assistant course manager.
‘The course has attracted significant interest from the Army.
‘This progress in joint training will open the doors for far greater crossover between the traditional roles of the navy and Army marine engineers.
‘We believe it will be used as a template for other service trade groups who are prepared to embrace the inevitable drive towards tri-service training.’
It is thought the Ministry of Defence will move towards more joint-service training in a bid to keep costs down.
For the Army, joint training will provide savings and opens up the possibility of embedding soldiers with the Royal Marine Amphibious Assault squadrons, who rely on the navy for engineering support.
Corporal Joe Russell, 26, is one of two soldiers on the marine engineer course.
He said: ‘It’s a great thing for HMS Sultan to do.
‘The facilities here are really good and at the end of the day we might wear different uniforms but there’s little difference between us.’