New captain vows to make base greener

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD
The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD
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THE new commanding officer of the Royal Navy’s largest training base is keen to become greener and help the community.

Captain Rob Vitali assumed command of HMS Collingwood in Fareham in October and his role includes delivering Warfare and Weapon Engineer Officers and Ratings.

But Captain Vitali is also passionate about the people in and around his site and the effect on the local environment.

He said: ‘Collingwood to me is more than just this site.

‘I am very keen on the environmental aspect of this command and like all things if you put solar panels on the roof of your house, these things cost money but they eventually reduce your costs so I am trying to look at where we might do that in order to reduce our utility costs and make us more green in the future.

‘I am looking at various schemes which we might do in the future to improve the environment.’

The commanding officer has plans to reduce utility costs and change to LED lights.

He said: ‘I would love to go more green although it is not entirely up to me but we do have a number of projects where we can reduce costs by being greener and that is the sort of thing that I think would be very beneficial in perhaps 10 or 15 years, but to be beneficial then we need to start now.

‘I think it is trying to encourage the people that I work for as to how we might do these projects and that is a fun part of the job.’

The site currently employs 1,800 naval staff, personnel and civilians and the captain is keen to stay a large employer in the area.

He said: ‘From a local point of view, we are a big site and we are a big employer.

‘We have lots of things here like lodger sites and we also have lots of contracted training.

‘So lots of people in the local area are employed here and so I want to be a good employer, I want to be known in the local area as something that can give something to the local community.’

The 51-year-old has previously commanded two ships, served in the Ministry of Defence in three ranks and spent two years in the Plans Division of the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters with responsibility for European military issues.

Captain Vitali added: ‘Collingwood is a huge site and there is an awful lot on the site which means there are a huge amount of people who look to me and my command chain for direction and guidance. My job is making sure our sailors are trained and adaptable.

‘It is a fantastic experience to come back and command something this size.’