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A Century under the Sea

10 November 2016
Three Royal Navy Submariners based at HM Naval Base Clyde were recently commended for their military service which, combined, comes to almost a century with the Submarine Service.

Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) Barrow, Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Brooke, and CPO Crawford each completed 30 years of service and, on October 17, were presented with clasps marking the achievement by Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Rear Admiral John Clink.

The coveted Long Service and Good Conduct clasp is awarded to those who complete 30 years with good conduct and are worn with a medal awarded at the 15 year point of unblemished service with the Royal Navy.

All three Submariners have had careers which spanned a variety of different classes of submarines – beginning with the now decommissioned diesel-electric Oberon-class Boats as well as nuclear powered Sovereign-class submarines.

The trio are now part of Flag Officer Sea Training (North) (FOST(N)), the Royal Navy’s training organisation that puts Submariners and the crew of Minor Patrol Vessels through their paces, ensuring that they are fully-prepared for operations around the globe. 

I’ve worked with five classes of submarines and have worked with some interesting people over the years.

Chief Petty Officer Brooke

Speaking about why he joined the Royal Navy, CPO Brooke said: “Following the family tradition of becoming a submariner, I joined the Royal Navy in 1985 with a career in submarines already on my mind.  

“I’ve worked with five classes of submarines and have worked with some interesting people over the years.” 

Both Warrant Officer Barrow and Chief Brookes are putting their extensive experience to good use training Submariners at sea, while CPO Crawford is lending his knowledge to support the shore-based Submarine Command Team Trainer. 

Their time in the Submarine Service, Rear Admiral Clink noted, covered the depths of the Cold War, the period in which diesel and nuclear submarines served together, and a host of world-changing events. 

Yet the fundamental challenges of life underwater remained unaltered, said the Admiral.  The camaraderie and importance of submarine operations to defence remain as vital as ever. 

“Their contribution to training the Submariners of the future will help sustain the Submarine Service for many challenging years ahead,” he said, thanking them personally for their committed service to the Royal Navy. 

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