Approximately 60 new Royal Navy recruits arrive at HMS Raleigh for basic training every week. But before they are even allowed to set foot on the base, they are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, to ensure they are not exhibiting any coronavirus symptoms.
This is just the first in a number of new precautions that the Navy has implemented for training during the pandemic in accordance with official advice from public health authorities. Additional measures currently in effect on base have included reducing the size of classes, moving training exercises outdoors whenever possible, and of course, enforcing social distancing guidelines of a minimum of 2 meters between recruits.
“The discipline at the moment has been something that we’ve been quite strong to emphasize to our people,” Captain Rich Harris, commanding officer at HMS Raleigh, told Forces TV. “The discipline of washing your hands, the discipline of staying at 2 meters. It’s absolutely critical. There are some elements of our training where we can’t do that, and for those, we’ve introduced various risk assessments.”
While the Navy is actually aiming to reduce the number of frontline personnel being deployed in the pandemic, Harris says that keeping training going is crucial not just in order to avoid shortages now, but also to minimize the risk of being under-resourced in the future.
“The reality is that the emergency the country is facing now will hopefully pass, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be emergencies elsewhere in the world or in our country in a year, or two or three years’ time, which the Navy needs to be configured and ready to be able to meet,” he says. “So ultimately, we can’t afford to stop, because if we stop now, in a year’s time when the country needs us to do something else, then we need to be ready for that.”
“The challenge now,” he adds, “is to make sure we’re not complacent.”
Source: Read Full Article