By Sarah Halligan

Britannia Royal Naval College welcomed the annual Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.

The MPs visited BRNC for the two-day scheme with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of Royal Navy officer training and the broader Naval service.

The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme has been in existence for over thirty years offering Members of Parliament and Peers an invaluable insight into military life.

This insight then translates into a more informed contribution when debating defence matters in their respective Houses.

Welcomed by Captain Sarah Oakley RN, the MPs began their visit by witnessing exercise HAVOC, the first of many assessments for the Officer Cadets.

Moving from land to water the groups were able to witness a mariner-based assessment and undertake a river acquaint on BRNC’s training craft, the Vahana.

A BRNC historic tour and ceremonial march past completed day one.

Day two offered the members an opportunity to have a tour of the gymnasium and witness Initial Military Fitness (IMF) in progress followed by a visit to the Navigation department to see the bridge simulator in action.

The visit culminated in a fireside chat with the Officer Cadets, a chance to share their experiences of officer training and military life with the Members.

The Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park said: “A fascinating visit to BRNC. From going out on the River Dart, to watching cadets being put through their paces in the gym and during the HAVOC activities, we got a real insight into the life of those training to be Royal Navy officers. Thanks to everyone involved.”

Finally, with a call on the Captain, the Members departed BRNC after a memorable and informative visit complete for another year.

Lord Frederick Ponsonby concluded: “Every Royal Navy officer will have been through Dartmouth.

We got a unique insight into the Navy’s history and met its future leaders and those of Navies from around the world. It all contributed to a great visit.”