The Beavers were very generously invited onboard the Type 23 Frigate,HMS Sutherland for an evening by Commander Al Wilson. Being the dad of one of the Beavers may have had helped slightly. Normally based in Plymouth, it was a rare opportunity when the ship was docked in Portsmouth Naval Base for just over a week in July, enabling us to visit.
The Beavers were put through their paces with a number of activities as part of their Junior Commando training. After an initial briefing in the main hangar, they were separated into teams and went off to complete their training, which included using fire fighting equipment, using a thermal imaging camera to find an injured crew member in a dark room, handling a machine gun and rifle and having a chance to sit in the captain’s chair.