On 6 June, CCF cadets from DG (Year 12) visited the Damage Repair Instructional Unit (DRIU) and firefighting unit on HMS Excellent in Portsmouth. The cadets had an excellent day out and got to experience some of the training undertaken by all Royal Navy cadets before they can go aboard a ship, where they learn how to deal with damage to a ship that could occur while out at sea.
The DRIU is a mock-up of a flooding ship, which rocks and rolls as sailors try to plug gaps in the hull using wood. Vital to teaching sailors the art of damage control, the Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit is responsible for saving at least two flooded ships in recent years. Split over three decks, the unit simulates compartments of a ship with water rushing in through various holes. Sailors are expected to stop the inrush of water using blocks of wood and hammers. The techniques taught in the simulator meant that sailors were able to save both HMS Endurance and HMS Nottingham when both were close to sinking due to severe flooding.
Every sailor receives fire-fighting training at a state-of-the-art purpose-built fire school on Whale Island. It replicates compartments on board a warship such as engine rooms, machinery control rooms, mess decks, galleys and passageways. The fires inside are gas-powered – making them environmentally friendly – and supported by smoke generators, controlled by tutors.