Busy start to 2024 for East of Scotland URNU

April 8, 2024
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Group of Officer Cadets outside a building in Palermo, Sicily.

The first few months of 2024 have seen Officer Cadets from East of Scotland URNU engaging in a wide variety of activities.

In addition, a tight-knit and enthusiastic group of first years have joined, inspiring the wider group to facilitate a greater number of activities.

Some of the highlights include:

There was a ship visit to Faslane-based Royal Navy minehunter HMS Penzance. Cadets had embarked in her last year and links have remained strong.

Royal Navy skiers and snowboarders close to a chair lift in Les Deux Alpes, France.
Competitors at the Royal Navy Alpine Championships in Les Deux Alpes, France.

The Royal Navy Alpine Championships took place in Les Deux Alpes, France. This saw four Officer Cadets from the URNU undergoing ski and snowboard training before competing in the races. And yes, they did return with race medals!

An URNU Burns Night was held in Dundee, planned and executed entirely by the Cadets. A fantastic effort.

Officer Cadets onboard a small naval vessel.
Officer Cadets supported Exercise MARL at BRNC Dartmouth.

The Unit supported Exercise MARL at BRNC Dartmouth, one of the final Leadership Training Exercises in RN Initial Officer Training conducted both ashore and out on the River Dart, which seven lucky Cadets got to witness and role-play in.

Sport and activity once again took place in the Cairngorms. Thirteen Officer Cadets experienced trekking through the stunning scenery along with some pretty competitive curling, archery, and zip-lining.

Officer Cadets on a trail in the Cairngorms.
Officer Cadets enjoyed sport and activities in the Cairngorms.
A group taking part in archery.
Officer Cadets taking part in archery.

There was a two-day Submarine Acquaint course at HMNB Clyde (Faslane), the traditional home of the UK Submarine Fleet. This provided a rare and unique opportunity for those involved, inspiring the next generation of Submariners.

Officer Cadets provided support to a large Crisis Exercise over in Ballykinler Camp, Northern Ireland. Seven members of the URNU had a great time role-playing heroes and villains in varied weather conditions while enjoying the spirit of Ireland over the St Patrick’s Day weekend.

Military cadets watching and listening to a presentation at the International Forum on Peace, Security and Prosperity.
Officer Cadets from each of the 17 URNUs in the UK attended the International Forum on Peace, Security & Prosperity (IFPSP) in Sicily.

Additionally the unit recently returned from the International Forum on Peace, Security & Prosperity (IFPSP) for a second consecutive year, expanding its commitment nationally, which meant there were two Officer Cadets from each of the seventeen URNUs in the UK in attendance, the largest contingent of any nation at the event. Taking place in Palermo, Sicily, the IFPSP mission is to develop selected Cadets’ leadership skills and their understanding of the Royal Navy’s approach to Defence Engagement while enhancing the URNU’s relationships with Partner Nations’ officer training academies. Main image (top of page) shows the URNU participants in Palermo.

Providing a comprehensive and interactive programme incorporating academic study sessions, debating panels and presentations, the Cadets were provided with, and seized, the opportunities to present on stage in front of high-profile audiences of 100+. Among the VIPs were the President of Sicily, the Mayor of Palermo, Generals of the Italian Army and Canadian Defence Academy, and senior representation from the United Nations. Its aim is to become the largest student peace forum in the World.

Cadets are currently embarked in the P2000 Patrol Boat, HMS Archer, no doubt having an epic time as it transits from mainland UK across to the Channel Islands and over to the NW Coast of France for Second World War Commemoration events in St Nazaire.

This term the Senior Training Officer, Lieutenant Maciver, was honoured to receive a Lord-Lieutenants’ Award for Meritorious Service, presented by the Lord Provost at Edinburgh City Chambers. Likewise, Acting Officer Cadet Scott was rewarded with the position of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet which is a fantastic opportunity for him. And finally, Unit Coxswain, Squash Court, who is behind everything good the URNU does, has been rewarded with a two-year career extension.

The Unit’s Drill Nights in Edinburgh and Dundee, connected via video link, are every Tuesday from 9 April to 28 May. Anyone interested in joining will be made very welcome.