HMS Excellent (shore establishment)
HMS King Alfred on the right of the picture, with Naval Command HQ on the left
|Class & type:||Stone frigate|
HMS Excellent is a Royal Navy "stone frigate" (shore establishment) sited on Whale Island near Portsmouth in Hampshire. HMS Excellent is itself part of the Maritime Warfare School, with a Headquarters at HMS Collingwood, although a number of lodger units are resident within the site, the principal of which is the Headquarters of Commander in Chief Fleet (Navy Command Headquarters).
In the early 19th century the standard of gunnery in the Royal Navy was very poor[dubious ] and the decision was made to establish a school of gunnery. Accordingly the third-rate HMS Excellent was converted into a training ship and moved to Whale Island in 1830. She was replaced by the second rate HMS Boyne which was renamed Excellent in 1834 and by the first-rate Queen Charlotte, which was renamed Excellent in December 1859 as each in turn took over the role of gunnery training ship permanently moored at Whale Island. Trainees would fire the ship's guns down a range on Whale Island.
The whole operation moved ashore in 1891 and ultimately closed as a gunnery school in 1985. The establishment was recommissioned in 1994 following the closure of the old HMS Phoenix, school of Fire Fighting and Damage Control, in nearby Tipner and Horsea Island. The Portsmouth Field Gun Crew, competing in the Royal Navy field gun competition at the Royal Tournament, also used to be based at the site.
Elements within the site
Maritime Warfare School elements within the site are:
- Phoenix school of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, damage control and fire fighting
- South East Naval Military Training Centre
- Defence Diving School Boat Section
HMS Excellent also provides administrative and infrastructure support to the Maritime Warfare School elements at Defence Diving School, Horsea Island, and small arms ranges at Tipner.
Lodger units are:
- Navy Command Headquarters - Fleet Commander
- Headquarters of UK Maritime Battle Staff
- HMS King Alfred Royal Naval Reserve
- Fleet Regional Photographic Unit (South East Region)
- Sea Cadet Corps National Training Centre
- HMS Bristol - Accommodation and Cadet Forces training ship
- TS Alamein Sea Cadet Corps
- Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps
- DASA (Navy Branch): DASA is a Division of the MOD tasked with providing statistical and analytical support to the Navy Statistical Publications produced by DASA Navy
- Lavery, Brian (2003). The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.
- Lloyd, Christopher (1955). The Origins of H.M.S. Excellent. The Mariner's Mirror 41 (3).
- Portsmouth Action Field Gun - Photos and Video