New powerboats have been delivered to the UK Royal Navy’s Tyneside headquarters to improve seafaring training for reservists.
HMS Calliope in Gateshead has taken delivery of two Gemini RIBs to take the unit’s volunteers out on to the water – part of an initiative to provide numerous Royal Naval Reserve bases around the UK with fast boats again, an idea first mooted three years ago.
Following hundreds of hours of hard work, dedication and commitment, that vision is now reality.
Given the increasing use of reservists in seagoing billets – such as the Gibraltar Squadron or fishery protection ships – and Calliope’s support for the RN’s broader transformation program, the boats will be used to teach seamanship and navigation, including Royal Yachting Association-accredited learning, and provide general seagoing time – some of the essential skills and experiences that help maintain the ethos of the Royal Navy.
“It builds teamwork, confidence and helps reinforce our core values and develops leadership,” said Commander Graeme Deighton, Calliope’s Commanding Officer who was on hand to receive the two high-spec Geminis.
“The buzz and excitement these two boats are generating among our ship’s company is phenomenal.
“For the moment, we wait for the current COVID-19 situation to improve, so that once again the White Ensign can fly from the stern of vessels crewed by Royal Naval Reservists on the River Tyne and the North East coastline.”