HMS Collingwood is the Royal Navy’s largest training establishment. It is the headquarters of the Maritime Warfare School and Surface Stream. Royal Navy Training at HMS Collingwood includes Warfare, Weapon Engineering, Diving, Physical Training, Chemical Biological Radiation Nuclear and Damage Control, Sea Survival, Seamanship and Military skills.
Collingwood Command provides Executive, Duty of Care and facilities management functions for trainees at stages 2 and 3 of their Warfare and Weapon Engineer training and lodger organisations, including the Royal Navy Leadership Academy, Maritime Warfare Centre and Fleet Intelligence Centre.
History Of HMS Collingwood
HMS Collingwood is named after Lord Collingwood, who lived from 1748 to 1810.
Admiral Collingwood had a distinguished Naval Career fighting both the French and the Spanish navies over a period of nearly 20 years. He was a great colleague of Lord Nelson and took command of the British Fleet when Nelson was mortally wounded at the battle of Trafalgar.
The first HMS Collingwood was launched at Pembroke in 1841, She was an 80 Gun Wooden Man-o-War. She was 2,585 tons, 190 feet in length and had a crew of 750
The second HMS Collingwood was a twin-screw, barbette battleship of 9,500 tons, 325 feet length and the first battleship to steam at 16 knots.
The third HMS Collingwood was launched at Devonport in 1908. Displacing 19,250 tons, 500 feet long, she was capable of 21 knots. The complement was 769 officers and men.
The fourth and present HMS Collingwood was built as a new entry Training Establishment for “hostilities only’ ratings of the Seaman Branch and was commissioned on 10 January 1940 under the Command of a Commodore. The establishment comprised 4 training divisions and a gunnery section responsible for the final 3 weeks of a class’s training.
History of Royal Navy Training at HMS Collingwood
Subsequently, HMS Collingwood assumed additional responsibility for weapons and became known as the Weapon and Radio Branch and later, the Weapon and Electrical Engineering Branch. The branch took over the training of all officers and ratings, with the exception of the Fleet Air Arm, in the maintenance of electrical and radio equipment in the Fleet.
In 1979, because of the restructuring of the whole Engineering Branch, HMS Collingwood became the Weapon Engineering Sub-Branch.
After the demise of HMS Mercury in 1993, a Communications Faculty was added in the HMS Collingwood.
Expansion followed in 1995 when training of junior Weapon Engineer Officers transferred to the site following the closure of the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, Plymouth.
Maritime Warfare School Training Activities
The Royal Navy Principal Warfare Officers (PWO) Course has set the standard for Warfare Officer training and is at the hub of the Maritime Warfare School’s training effort. The Course marks a watershed in a Warfare Officers career and successful completion is seen as a pre-requisite for Sea Command. It comprises:
- Initial Warfare Officer Training
- Underwater Warfare Training
- Command and Executive Training
- Communications Warfare Training
- Navigation Training
- Weapon Engineering Training
- System Engineering and Management Training
- Explosives and Trade Safety Training
- Above Water Warfare Training
- Warfare Rating Training
Life at HMS Collingwood
Previously known as the Phase 2 Training Group, Victory Squadron was formally renamed by Rear Admiral Snow CBE, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at an inauguration ceremony on 6 May 2011.
From Monday to Friday every week the trainees attend various classes targeted at their chosen specialisation.
The classes are taught by both civilians and service personnel, with the subjects varying from academia to hands on practical training.
Time is also devoted to further physical and personal development at the Sport and Recreation Centre where the trainees can engage in a variety of activities from normal team sports to individual activities.
The trainees also continue to receive Naval General Training (NGT) with inspections, drill, and musters of various forms.
All trainees are accommodated in six or eight-man messes whilst at Victory Squadron.
Duty of Care at Victory Squadron
The primary responsibility of all staff at Victory Squadron is their Duty of Care to the trainees. Whilst Duty of Care covers the entire Royal Navy, it is most prevalent during early stages of training and especially towards younger members of the service.
Central to this are the core values of the naval service: Courage, Commitment, Discipline, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty. Duty of Care is provided by a military, pastoral and welfare support regime including welfare advice and the mentoring of trainees by staff.
Royal Navy Initial Training
Prior to continuing their training at HMS Collingwood, all Royal Navy ratings must complete their initial training at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.