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On April 29th I am due to start HMS Raleigh. Moving over from Northern Ireland, and with no family in England I am worried about bringing personal belongings over, and having places to store these until after finishing my time at HMS Raleigh. I am Joining as a Communications Technician (CT) and know the training is long with multiple places to be based during the 2.5 years it will take to be fully qualified. I also have a long term girlfriend who would ultimately be joining me in England. I would like some suggestions from someone who has the experience, and would know the best options for me and my girlfriend. Obviously we would like to be reunited ASAP, but also know it would have to be when the time best suits. As I will be moving around a lot during my training.
  • Warfare Training at HMS Collingwood in Fareham
  • Four to six months of sea training, gaining practical experience of life on board a modern warship
  • Six months at the Joint Intelligence and Training Group at Chicksands in Bedfordshire, where you’ll gain the technical knowledge and advanced skills that are vital to your role
I know most roles move around a lot. Maybe not with also the added nuisance of moving from across from Northern Ireland, having a long term girlfriend and also having no family in England to fall back on. I'm just trying to map out the first few years of my Career in the Royal Navy, and also try to settle me and my girlfriend's nerves about a long distance relationship over this time.

Thanks in advance.
Generally besides the six weeks mandated leave periods, usually taken at Christmas, Easter & Summer, regardless of the stage of training reached, you usually have to live on the training establishment certainly during initial training at Raleigh, but also during phase two training. To this end, it's more a case of meeting-up during leave periods and weekends during phase two training. Thereafter, once you know where you will be drafted, it's worth getting a rented flat/house initially until you both determine where you want to live.

If you have dependent children, you will be eligible to apply for service families accommodation after phase two training, which is subsidised;
At HMS Raleigh there is a bag store that can fit your suit case, you could also pack a backpack if you choose and keep it in there too.
My advice for storage is try to keep it so all you belongings fit in one big suitcase throughout your phase two training. You get a holdall bag from the Navy that fits your kit and a backpack issued that you can fill with your own crap whilst moving around.
Keep civilian clothes to an absolute minimum it just isn't necessary.

You get no opportunity to meet loved ones at HMS Raleigh (stand fast pass out).

Things get a little better at HMS Collingwood, you can get off base weekends but you will get dutys one weekend a month (you can swap these for a price), also you will get weekends taken off you for the most random stuff, such as Operations or collective punishment even if it has nothing to do with you, just blanket for the whole of Phase Two and these can be fairly petty (collective punishment can't be negotiated out of because you have arrangements).

On top of everything else you have learning commitments, the course is not easy, it is fast paced and requires adequate effort to get the pass marks necessary to continue.

Again my two pennies worth is to tell the other half to stay put because unless you've got money saved your wages won't suffice to support two and she will be on her lonesome for two years unless she has contacts in England.

You can fly home Easter, Summer and Christmas. Get a laptop/tablet/big phone and video call as often as you like.

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