An Education At Sea

A primary school teacher from Hampshire has spent the last 2 weeks at sea with the Royal Navy, learning what life is like on an Operational Warship.


Married, father of one, Graeme Nolan has gained invaluable experience embarked in HMS IRON DUKE as the Type 23 frigate took part in Exercise Joint Warrior, one of the largest tri-service and multinational exercises of its kind in Europe.  Based in HMS KING ALFRED in Portsmouth, Midshipman Nolan is one of the growing numbers of Reservists that spend their free evenings and weekends training as a member of the Royal Navy.

As part of his training as a RNR Officer, Midshipman Nolan has been getting to grips with all of the elements that combine to make a Royal Navy warship function.  From time spent with the Marine Engineering maintaining diesel generators, to time spent up on the Bridge witnessing a live gunnery off the Cost of Cape Wrath; seeing HMS Iron Duke during a war fighting exercise has allowed him to witness the RNs capability against Air, Surface and Sub-Surface threats.

Speaking of his time onboard Midshipman Nolan said,

I am delighted to have worked with my counterparts in the regular service over the last 2 1/2 weeks.  The professionalism and cheerfulness of the Ship’s Company is a credit to the ship and the wider service.  During Exercise Joint Warrior I have undertaken tasks throughout the ship with all departments on board.  The opportunities provided have been invaluable.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the highly-trained chefs in the Galley, conducting Replenishments at Sea, conducting rounds with the Weapon and Marine Engineering departments, gaining an understanding of the Operations Room, keeping watch on the bridge and assisting with flight deck operations.  The experiences gained will provide a solid foundation for the rest of my RNR career and will leave lasting memories.”


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