The UK Royal Navy’s Gosport-based shore training establishment HMS Sultan has successfully conducted the Sultan operational sea training (SOST) exercise, enhancing the disaster relief skills of the crewmen.

Conducted twice a year, the SOST exercise aims to offer a varied programme of scenarios to enable the crew to prepare for challenges worldwide.

The recent exercise saw the participation of 300 junior engineering officers and technicians from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering, and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School.

During the exercise, the ship’s company responded to a distress call from the fictional earthquake hit Island Leander and practised disaster relief skills.

Air Engineer officer lieutenant Mike Harris said: "The SOST weekend provides an excellent opportunity for every trainee technician and officer to solve a number of challenging scenarios designed to develop their communication and problem solving skills.

"The weekend promotes naval core values and requires individuals to demonstrate effective leadership in order to achieve common goals."

"The weekend promotes naval core values and requires individuals to demonstrate effective leadership."

The exercise saw casualties, including phase III trainees and volunteers from the HMS Sultan volunteer cadet corps (VCC), with a variety of fake injuries.

The training included the rescue of ‘injured’ personnel from crashed helicopters and a mini bus. The crew also received first-aid training.

Harris added: "The students gained a great sense of achievement from the experience and should be very pleased with the teamwork shown in overcoming the challenges required."

The exercise also included a number of other challenges that saw the participants overcoming chemical spillages, floods, and damages to power supplies.

Image: The SOST exercise gave HMS Sultan crew a chance to put their disaster relief skills to the test. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.