Social distancing at passing out parade HM Naval Base Clyde 210520 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg

Navy Trainees Complete First Phase Of Submariner Course

Social distancing at passing out parade HM Naval Base Clyde 210520 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg

Eight submariner trainees have passed out from the first stage of the Submarine Qualifying Course (SMQ) at HM Naval Base Clyde.

The class graduated on 21 May after finishing the ten-week 'dry phase' of their training for service on board Vanguard-class submarines.

Strict social distancing measures were followed on the day, according to the Royal Navy, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Captain Ian Breckenridge, Captain Fleet Operational Sea Training (North) (FOST)(N), presented each student with their certificate in the Memorial Garden outside the HMS Neptune Wardroom.

"I wanted to be a submariner so that I could work with all three sciences and be faced with extra challenges to overcome in my day-to-day life," said Medical Assistant (MA) Lucy Milner-Smith.

"I cannot wait to go on my first sea draft."

Captain Ian Breckenridge hands out passing out certificate submariner training dry phase at HM Naval Base Clyde 210520 CREDIT Royal Navy_0.jpg
Captain Ian Breckenridge presented the students with their certificates (Picture: Royal Navy).

The SMQ gives future submariners the skills required to work on a Navy submarine for the first time.

Trainees are asked to show their knowledge of more than 30 engineering systems which operate nuclear submarines and keep crew members safe.

In order to pass-out, they must complete a final exam, oral board and walk-rounds of a nuclear submarine.

The 'wet phase' of their training takes place on a Royal Navy nuclear submarine.

Only after completing the SMQ training at sea they become qualified submariners and are entitled to wear the 'dolphins' badge.

"The reason I joined the Submarine Service was to test myself," MA Allan Adam said.

"Not everyone has the right frame of mind to become a submariner.

"Being stuck under water for a lengthy period without any sunlight could be daunting, but it's a challenge I think I will relish," he added.

Passing out ceremony HM Naval Base Clyde 210520 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
Social distancing measures were in place during the passing-out parade (Picture: Royal Navy).

Despite the coronavirus lockdown, the British military has still been able to conduct some of its training.

At Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, trainee officers have been learning online since the start of the month, while the first group of soldiers to complete basic training since lockdown were officially welcomed into the British Army last month.

The Royal Air Force has said essential training has not been affected by the pandemic, with the rest of its training activities now back to capacity.

The Royal Navy, meanwhile, has continued much of its training during lockdown, including operational sea training and at HMS Raleigh where ratings get initial training.

Cover image: Royal Navy.