John’s quick to find his sea legs

Trainee submariner John Roberts
Trainee submariner John Roberts

A TEENAGE Royal Navy recruit is one step closer to a career at sea after sailing through a new-and-improved training course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

Ex Rainhill High pupil John Roberts embarked on his navy career in May - following in the footsteps of his brothers, Alan and Phil.

And the trainee submariner, 17, has now completed 10 weeks of intensive training aimed at transforming him from a civilian into a sailor.

The course will culminate in a passing-out-parade attended by proud family and friends.

John said: “I joined the Royal Navy to experience the way of life and to follow my brothers. The training has been good and has changed me a lot as a person.

“The highlights have been improving my fitness and discipline.”

John’s brother Alan joined the Royal Navy in 2002, while Phil, who is also a submariner, joined in 2004. Both are engineering technicians and are currently serving at HMS Drake in Plymouth.

The Royal Navy’s Initial Naval Training course is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills, seen as the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness.

Recruits are taught the basics of naval discipline and customs, learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium-sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise.

With Royal Navy personnel playing a vital role in Afghanistan and other land-based operations, recruits also undergo training in basic combat skills - including survival in the field.

Fitness is a key component of the training too, and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance.

As the course progresses, the recruits take part in three extended exercises to test their skills and understanding of the principles.