Ship: HMS Forth
How long have you served in the Royal Navy?
Just over two years now.
Have you served on other ships prior to HMS FORTH?
Very briefly. I spent a month on HMS MERSEY and a month on HMS SOMERSET doing my engineering training squadron. But HMS FORTH’s is the first crew I’ll be joining full time.
How has it been moving aboard and settling in?
I’m sharing a berth with a few good mates so that’s made the move aboard fairly easy. Although I’ve just found out I’m not too good at dealing with sea-sickness, but I’ll get my sea legs eventually... I hope!
Can you tell us a bit more about what your specific role will be on board HMS FORTH?
We operate a three-watch manning, so whenever I’m on watch I’ll be responsible for conducting maintenance on the ship. I’ll be given my jobs for the day and then I’ll go off and complete those tasks.
So talk us through a typical day…
Well you get a lot of stick for being a WE (Weapons Engineer) to be honest with you, because we don’t carry duties. I’m a duty technical junior rate, so our role is to maintain the radar, the communications and the weapons side of operations. But as well as that, I’m locally endorsed to carry out ME (Marine Engineering) duties, such as maintaining the generators, propulsion and fresh water filling. So combined with the WE role, it’s a lot of hard work.
And how are you finding the technology on board this ship compared to previous ships you’ve been on?
These ships are a lot more capable, for example, when you’re isolating equipment, instead of having to take fuses out you can just flick the breakers and block it off which is a lot easier than what I am used to. I learned most of what I know on a Type 23, which is so different – all the satellites are different, the radars are very different. FORTH is very new, very modern and very capable by comparison.
What makes you proud to serve in the Royal Navy?
I think it’s the opportunity to serve Queen and country. I’m the first person in my family to serve in the Armed Forces, so it’s a proud thing to go home and tell your parents about. There were a number of things which appealed to me when I joined up; things that I perhaps wouldn’t have the same opportunity to do as a civilian. I absolutely love it.