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Portsmouth based sailor retires after 43 years' service

Portsmouth based sailor retires after 43 years’ service
21 November 2016
Chief Petty Officer George Mitchell, a Communications Information Systems Specialist, retired from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary on Friday after 43 years’ service at sea.

Receiving his RFA Retirement Commemoration Vase on board RFA Argus, from Royal Fleet Auxiliary Head of Service, Commodore Duncan Lamb; George commented, “I have had an exceptionally fulfilling and rewarding professional career at sea and I am extremely proud to have served my country as a member of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary”.

Born and educated in Scotland, he joined the Royal Navy as a “Boy Sailor” Junior Radio Operator in 1973, at HMS Ganges, completing his specialist communications training at HMS Mercury. He rose steadily through the ranks, leaving the RN in 1997 as a Petty Officer (Radio Supervisor) after 24 years’ service

During a wide and varied RN career, which included both shore and seagoing appointments, he experienced active service on board HMS Hermes, which was the RN Task Force Flag Ship, in the South Atlantic, during the Falkland Island conflict of 1982. He also served on board HMS Ark Royal, appearing in the ground breaking naval documentary TV series Sailor, screened during the late seventies.

I am extremely proud to have served my country as a member of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary

RFA Chief Petty Officer George Mitchell

George joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Communications Branch, in 1997 and over the subsequent near 20 years has completed more than 30 seagoing appointments on most classes of ship within the organisation. Again rising through the ranks and promoted to CPO (Communications) in 2005.

Between sea going engagements, from 2006 to 2008, he was appointed Chief Instructor to RFA Communications Ratings, conducting basic training and career courses at HMS Collingwood. His final appointment, from 2014 to his leaving the service, has been as Staff RFA CPO (Comms) to Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for continuity of Tactical communications training output within the RFA.

On his final day of sea service, on board RFA Argus, he was also presented with a retirement gift of an electric golf trolley, which was purchased with contributions made by his RFA colleagues throughout the Flotilla.

He commented “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to my retirement gift. Your kindness and generosity are very much appreciated and you can rest assured that the trolley will see plenty of use in the coming years”.

George has lived in Portsmouth, with wife Ann, for over 34 years and has 3 grown up children, eldest daughter Louise and twins David and Claire. He is a keen golfer and amateur genealogist.

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