BRNC Young Officers Take The Helm In Germany

  • Author: Nichola Aldridge
  • Date: Tuesday 23rd July 2019
BRNC Young Officers Take The Helm In Germany BRNC Young Officers Take The Helm In Germany

Young Officers under training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) have been navigating the coast of Germany during a visit to the country’s Marineschule Mürwik Naval Academy.

A group of 10 Officers, accompanied by their instructor and BRNC’s German Navy Liaison Officer, spent three days at the Academy, in Flensburg.

There they were able to experience the German Navy’s newly upgraded bridge simulator.  The computerised system is similar to the one used by the Officers at BRNC and allows students to take the helm of a vessel in a controlled environment.  

At a click of a button changes can be made to simulate different environmental conditions, such as sea states and winds.  Other vessels, objects or scenarios can be brought into play to make the training as realistic as possible and challenge the students.

Midshipman Henry Edwards, age 22 from Stratford-upon-Avon, said: “The German simulator has slightly different software and slightly different kit.  Some of the things we are used to in the BRNC simulator weren’t available to us, but in the German simulator there was also some new kit that we were able to try.  There were some challenges in adapting our usual working style, but that was one of the good things about it; interoperability with other Navies using their equipment, as well as seeing the similarities and the differences.”

This was the first time that anyone from BRNC had been able to see the upgraded system and it gave the Young Officers the opportunity to put their skills to practice in different surroundings.

Sub Lt Daniel Cairns, aged 23, from Portsmouth, said:  “The whole point for us was to experience different ports.  They’ve got all their German ports loaded onto their simulator, whereas we tend to use Portsmouth and Plymouth a lot.  Our job will eventually take us all around the world, so this visit took us out of our comfort zone and allowed us to experience different scenarios.”

BRNC has a twinning agreement with Marineschule Mürwik Naval Academy, which was reaffirmed in June during a visit to Dartmouth by Rear Admiral Wilhelm Tobias Abry, the Commandant General of the German Academy.

The agreement commits the Colleges to work together to find opportunities for students and staff members to meet on a regular basis for training purposes.

Midshipman Matthew Arnold, aged 25 from West Midlands, said:  “The German College itself is quite similar to BRNC with a lot of history.  There weren’t many German cadets there, but we met plenty of their training officers, which was excellent.  Earlier in our training we met some of the German Cadets when they visited BRNC and took part in one of our exercises.  It’s always good to meet different cadets from different nations and build international relations.”

With four weeks left of their Initial Warfare Officer’s course at BRNC, the Young Officers have since been using their experience in Germany and building upon their skills it to prepare for their futures at sea.

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