Prince William will today begin a two month attachment with the Royal Navy, following his completion of a similar attachment with the Royal Air Force which ended in April. His training with the Royal Navy will be split into two phases. The first will see him undertake shore training in a variety of Royal Navy and Royal Marine establishments, followed by a second phase when he will be deployed on operations in the Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke. The Prince will initially be stationed on shore at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, completing an intensive training course and touring Navy units. He will learn core skills including navigation, seamanship and practical boat handling. The Prince will also undergo mandatory sea safety training. As part of this he will learn how to tackle a fire aboard ship in temperatures of up to 400C, while wearing breathing apparatus. As his attachment progresses Prince William will spend time with the Royal Marines, learning about amphibious operations and cold weather and mountain warfare survival techniques. He will also tour the Air Fleet Arm where he will have the opportunity to use flying skills acquired during his RAF attachment to fly the Fleet’s helicopters.
During the second phase of his attachment to the Royal Navy, Prince William will spend a number of weeks on HMS Iron Duke, the current North Atlantic Patrol ship stationed in the West Indies which provides security for Britain’s overseas territories in the region. HMS Iron Duke’s crew will be involved in the operations to catch drug runners which have seen British vessels seize around 20 tonnes of drugs in the north Atlantic in the past 18 months. The frigate will also provide hurricane relief in the area if needed. The commander of HMS Iron Duke, Commander Mark Newland, spoke about the Prince’s duties while on board: “His activities will be primarily based around watch-keeping (and) ship-driving, as well as contributing to the counter-drugs planning (and) a primary role in our disaster relief planning operations.” “But also to educate him in the way of the Royal Navy....why we are in a theatre of operations like this and what we can do to help.”
During his time with the Royal Navy Prince William, as a Lieutenant in the British Army, will take the equivalent rank of Sub-Lieutenant and will be known as Sub-Lieutenant Wales.