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Vincentian brothers reunited during Royal Navy training

Vincentian brothers reunited during Royal Navy training


A22-year-old and 29-year-old brothers have been reunited during RoyalNaval basic training at HMS Raleigh. Trainee engineer technician (Marine Engineering) Aster Simon arrived at the Royal Navy training base in Cornwall in March 2013.{{more}} His brother Justin has been here since April 2012, spending the last year at HMS Raleigh in the Dental Department as a dental nurse.

Previous to this, Justin attended school in St Vincent, served as a steward on HMS Lancaster for two years, before serving on HMS Westminster and HMS Kent within the last seven years of service.

Aster has just completed his 10-week course, having been given a thorough induction into the Royal Navy, learning skills that he will rely upon throughout his time in the Service. The course culminates with the passing-out-parade, attended by families and friends.

The former student of the St Vincent Grammar School decided to join the Royal Navy to inspire other people from his country to join. Aster said “I wanted to show people if you push yourself, you can achieve anything. My main reason to join was to help improve my standard of living, see the world whilst earning good money and be a part of a cohesive team. I experienced many highlights during my training, being awarded the best kit and Physical Training Superior. The training was very challenging, which was very good. I learnt about the core values which I will install into my everyday life. On a whole, the training was phenomenal.”

Justin summed up his feelings on having his brother in training by saying: “It has been phenomenal, I don’t have any other family in the UK. We used to only see each other once a year when I would return home to St Vincent. When Aster moved here before joining, we used to spend time together every Sunday, but now he visits regularly.”

Aster told us: “I have loved being here so close to my brother. In my culture everything is so different, the way you ask for things and do things. Justin was able to help me adjust, as I found this quite hard. He gave me tips and helped me with getting through training. He has been a great support and it has been amazing that he has only been across the road. Before I began my training, I would only see him once a year when he would return to St Vincent; now I can pop in and see him whenever I need to.”

Aster’s next port of call is HMS Collingwood. There, during a three-month course, he will learn how to set up and operate the systems that give the ship information about what is on the surface and in the air. Aster will also learn how to detect and report radar jamming and learn about data links and voice radio circuits to pass on vital information to the ship’s command team and others.

The Royal Navy’s Initial Naval Training course is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills that are the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness. Recruits are taught the basics of Naval discipline and customs. They learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium-sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise.
With Royal Navy personnel playing a vital role in Afghanistan and other land-based operations, recruits undergo training in basic combat skills, which includes survival in the field. Fitness is a key component of the training and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness, which focuses on developing coordination and individual physical strength and endurance. As the course progresses, the recruits take part in three extended exercises to test their skills and understanding of the principles they have been taught.

Details of career opportunities within the Royal Navy are available online at

or by calling the Recruitment Line on 08456 07 55 55.