Some 600 sailors and soldiers formed up on HMS Sultan’s parade ground for the base’s first Ceremonial Divisions of the year.
Three platoons of newly-qualified marine and air engineers passed out of the Gosport school of engineering, marching alongside 27 other platoons of trainees and full-time staff.
IF YOU’RE wondering what 600 personnel on Ceremonial Divisions at HMS Sultan look like in 2012 – allow us to oblige.
The Gosport base’s photographer, LA(Phot) Jay Allen, climbed to the top of one of the buildings on the Military Road side of the engineering establishment to record the event for posterity.
His photograph looks north, across the parade ground – temporarily adorned with a dais and a couple of ‘grandstands’ plus two grey Sea Kings – towards an old hangar from the site’s RAF days, Centurion Building largely obscured by the trees, and the district of Rowner.
This gathering of 600 men and women was the first of three this year at Sultan (one each term), requiring all personnel – trainees and permanent staff – attend.
They formed 30 platoons, including three passing out, with the Band of HM Royal Marines providing the soundtrack to proceedings.
Rear Admiral David Steel, Naval Secretary and Chief of Staff (Personnel), was the guest of honour.
Eyes right... Rear Admiral Steel takes the salute
The admiral inspected the guard, which consisted of Phase 2 marine and air engineer trainees commanded by Guard Officer Lt Jo Chambers, and the passing out platoons.
The Army platoon provided an additional colour to the Royal Navy parade, comprising soldiers from the Royal Logistic Corp and Royal Engineers.
A number of medals and awards were presented by Admiral Steel and other award sponsors during Divisions.
Rear Admiral Steel presented Surg Cdr Alan Palmer with his Operation Herrick medal, WO1(ETME) Glen Humphreys with the clasp to his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and LAET John Thompson with his Long Service Good and Conduct Medal.
Rear Admiral Steel chats with air engineering technicians
Cdr Cliff Fiander (retd), the General Secretary for the Royal Naval Engineering Benevolent Society, presented the Robbie Robbins prize for academic achievement to Lt Lee Garth of 848 Naval Air Squadron, the Captain Marrack Prize for academic achievement in the mechanical trade to LAET Stuart Dadds and the Captain Marrack Prize for academic achievement in the avionics trade to PO(AET) Martin Wright.
Lt Col Antony Paterson-Fox, Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, awarded a prize to PO(ET) Mark Rae as the best Royal Navy trainee to qualify in metal work at Sultan in 2011. He also received the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers in a private ceremony earlier that day.
And finally, Sultan’s Commanding Officer Cdre Mark Slawson awarded a Commendation to CPO Michael Woods in recognition of his work to develop an oxygen awareness and safety presentation for submariners and for his ongoing contribution to this field.
The prizegiving was followed by the admiral’s address in which he thanked parents and instructors for the support they had given trainees and stressed that, despite recent reductions in manpower numbers, the Royal Navy was still looked upon as one of the most professional navies in the world.