THE MILITARY officers of the future were given a demonstration of the Royal Navy’s formidable firepower at sea recently by the crew of HMS Montrose.
Along with the Plymouth-based command and control landing ship HMS Bulwark, Montrose took part in an exercise off Devon and Cornwall on one of the navy’s Staff College Sea Days which take navy, Royal Marine, Royal Air Force and Army officers to sea to experience the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in action.
Members of the Royal Marines took to fast boats and landing craft, while helicopters of the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm added an aerial dimension to realistic scenarios based on current worldwide Royal Naval operations.
The small task force enacted the interception and boarding of a ‘suspect’ hostile vessel and followed this with demonstrations of simulated battle damage repair, live thunderous naval gunfire from HMS Montrose and the technically demanding practice of refuelling between ships at sea while on the move.
Complementing the action-packed day were static displays on board HMS Bulwark of helicopters and boats, experts were on hand for the students to question on their roles.
The students will also have similar chances to witness the RAF and Army in similar demonstrations and the course includes a number of international students from countries as far afield as China, the United States, Afghanistan and Brazil.
Commodore Toby Williamson, Senior Officer Joint Services Command and Staff Course, said: “With up to 300 students from countries across the world as well as the three services, it makes this course rewarding and diverse. A successful student from a few years ago from China, has recently taken command of his country’s first aircraft carrier.”