Royal Navy P2000s Return To Port After Finishing Summer Deployment

Four of the Fast Inshore Patrol Boats are now alongside in Leith Docks, Edinburgh.

Four of the Royal Navy’s Coastal Training Squadron P2000 fleet have finished off their summer deployment around the Scottish coast.

Attached to the University Naval Training Units, the vessels usually host students over the summer but were unable to due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It meant the crews of HMS Archer, HMS Example, HMS Explorer and HMS Trumpeter instead spent two weeks focusing on their own training.

The Fast Inshore Patrol Boats are now alongside in Leith Docks, Edinburgh.

Lieutenant Ben Wood, Commanding Officer of HMS Trumpeter, told Forces News: "It’s been primarily training of our ship’s companies, so getting out of our base ports up to the Orkney Islands to conduct navigational training and also for defence engagements.

"So, almost as these islands have reopened, we've visited and proved that the Royal Navy still has a presence throughout the country."

The deployment has seen the ships practise a range of skills, such as machinery breakdown. 

The exercises also allowed sailors on board to focus on training for potential future promotions.

Social distancing is impossible on board the vessels due to their size.

"Every person on board is training for the next role up," said Lt Wood.

"Myself, this is a fairly junior command position, so training me potentially for higher command later down the line.”

Essentially a scaled down version of the Navy’s larger ships, the P2000s are among the smallest in the Royal Navy fleet.

Each P2000 weighs 54 tonnes and has a five-man crew on board.

At only 68 foot in length, social distancing on board is impossible. 

Able Seaman Jack Smith, HMS Explorer, said: "Living arrangements - they are pretty small but there's not many people in the rooms with you, so it is kind of comfy.

"We do our own cooking on here, so we don't have any chefs, so we just take it in turns - who cooks, who does the cleaning."