Navy

Coronavirus: How Is The Royal Navy Training New Recruits While Social Distancing?

Royal Navy recruits are continuing to receive training at HMS Raleigh during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Royal Navy has continued to carry out basic training at HMS Raleigh during the coronavirus pandemic by following a number of measures.

The Navy said the base, which trains new recruits, has delivered essential training in line with advice from Public Health England.

Outdoors exercise, staggered meal times and small class sizes are just some of the measures that have been put in place.

Circles have also been sprayed on the ground to try to ensure social distancing measures are also followed while training.

The Navy said it has been asking recruits to self-isolate for 14 days before arriving at the base and that the flow of new sailors is vital for operations. 

Captain Rich Harris, Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, told Forces News: "The reality is that the emergency that 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 own country, in a year or two or three years' time which the Navy needs to be configured and ready to meet. 

"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 Navy also brought in an environmental health team to approve of the measures in place.

New Navy recruits traing during coronavirus pandemic at HMS Raleigh 210520 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
New recruits and personnel have to make sure social distancing measures are observed.

HMS Raleigh runs a 10-week training programme for those starting on their Navy career.

On average, around 60 new recruits arrive at HMS Raleigh every week.

Some recruits feared their training may have been postponed over the pandemic.

Rebecca Dunn, who has waited two years to be able to reach this stage of the application process because of medicals and appeals, said: "To have it delayed because of this [pandemic], I would not have been happy."

Logan Jeffrey, another recruit, said it "would have been horrid" if his training had been delayed.

Both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force have continued with basic training during the pandemic.

However, last week, the British Army resumed basic training at a reduced capacity following the coronavirus outbreak.