Salute for a 'brilliant' plan
THE HEAD of Royal Navy training in Plymouth has said using HMS Plymouth as a training facility for cadets is a "brilliant" idea.
Rear Admiral Clive Johnstone CBE, who leads Flag Officer Sea Training at Devonport Naval Base, added that it was a "pity" the veteran frigate would not be based here in the city.
Speaking to The Herald before he was due to address a conference on Britain and the Sea at Plymouth University yesterday, Admiral Johnstone said he himself had served on the Type 12 frigate.
"I served on HMS Plymouth and anything like this is brilliant if they can raise the money," he explained.
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"I think it's brilliant to get the hull working but it is a pity it won't be in Plymouth."
Members of the HMS Plymouth Trust said the main function of the warship would be as a training ship where youngsters could experience life aboard and learn first hand the skills required.
"It's something we would support," Admiral Johnstone added.
"It's probably not the thing we would be looking to use for Royal Navy training but for cadets and CCF it would be fantastic."
The conference yesterday covered the historical aspects of Britain's relationship with the sea as well as problems we face today.
Concern was raised among former naval officers and the academics that children are not learning about the sea today, the way they would have done 50 years ago.
Another prominent discussion arose from the lessons the country could learn on the impact of World War Two.
Commander Gerry Northwood OBE also spoke on Royal Navy counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.
Dr Harry Bennett, who is leading the conference, said: "It's been going brilliantly well. We've highlighted some really significant issues. This isn't just a talking shop. We are finding ways forward." The conference was due to continue today with an address from Julian Parker OBE, chairman of the Maritime Foundation.