Midshipmen Elcheano Edgecombe and Kenvardo Gibson of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force are the newest addition to the Officer’s Corps after successfully completing Naval Officer Training in England. The rigorous seven-month training course, which is designed to prepare naval/military cadets for the important leadership and management positions they will assume throughout their careers in the Defence Force, was conducted May 19th, 2019 – December 20th, 2019 at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth, England.
At BRNC, the young officers were trained in areas such as Leadership, Navigation, Strategic Studies, Meteorology, Ship Technology, Maritime Operations, Diversity and Inclusion, Fire Fighting, Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear, and Damage Control. The course was carried out in three phases. The militarization phase, which is the first segment of the training, involved two major exercises: Basic Leadership Development (BLD) and Assessed Basic Leadership Exercises (ABLE). These programmes are aimed at promoting leadership training and simulated crises situations to access their critical thinking abilities under pressure.
The second phase was the Initial Sea Acquaintance (ISA) Phase, which is a three-week sea training programme for Midshipmen. Both officers were assigned aboard HMS Albion (an amphibious transport dock). During their tours onboard, they were stationed in Portsmouth, England where patrols around the coast took place.
The third and final phase was the Marinization phase, which consisted of lectures in Strategic Studies (Naval History) and Maritime Operations (Tactical Operational Planning). This training segment culminated with the Maritime Leadership Exercise (MARL), where participants are assessed while performing the duties of the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Navigation Officer and Officer of the Watch on a Picket Boat that is used as a training vessel.
Midshipman Edgecombe was awarded the Captain’s Personal Award for academics on completion of his studies at the Britannia Royal Naval College. Midshipman Edgecombe is a 2011 graduate of Sherlin C. Bootle High School, Coopers Town, Abaco. Midshipman Gibson is a 2009 graduate of the Government High School. He is also a graduate of the College of The Bahamas with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology. He is married to the former Jonique Spence, and the couple has a son, Tafari. Both Officers joined the Defence Force on February 8th, 2014 and they also served in the Military Police and Force Protection Unit Department.