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Sultan claim 'Plate 1' victory on Junior Leaders Field Gun

12 July 2017
Hot on the heels of the Seniors Challenge which took place on Saturday 3 June, HMS Collingwood hosted the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition on Friday 7 July.

This competition is very similar to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Field Gun, but is predominantly for youths aged 16-24, who have either only recently joined the Armed Forces or are studying at college.

This year in addition to the Armed Forces crews, teams competed from Fareham College, Chichester College, Sea Cadet units and University Technical Colleges (UTC) across the country.  

Building on The Team Works and emphasising the training theme, the teams came into the competition with little or no prior experience of Field Gun and only had one week to train, with the finals taking place on Friday in front of friends and family and personnel across the base.

With 18 crews taking part this year the audience were privileged to witness 3 finals; Plate 2 was won by Fareham College, Plate 1 saw the HMS Sultan team first over the finishing line and in a closely fought main final the home team Victory Squadron took the honours.

You have taken part in something pretty extraordinary this week

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE

This year, the HMS Sultan Junior Leader’s Field Gun Crew were made up of apprentices from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering who will pass out of their Engineering Technician Initial Career Course later this week.

HMS Sultan Junior Leaders Field Gun Officer WO1 Steve Drayton said, “Field Gun is all about camaraderie, team work and dedication and I am delighted with how each one of our trainees applied themselves. In keeping with the spirit of Field Gun, three of our trainees even went across to ‘run’ for other crews allowing them to complete the competition.”

“As a class they Pass Out to their first ships with not only the achievement of completing a long and demanding course, but also the added memories of claiming silverware in the Field Gun Competition. Both are massive achievements and I hope the experiences already gained while at Sultan will inspire them throughout their careers.”

The VIP at the event was Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE. Addressing the teams on completion of the event he said, “You have taken part in something pretty extraordinary this week. You have overcome the challenge of moving something the size of a small car.  Remember what you have achieved because it is extraordinary.”

The Junior Leaders Challenge is the only competition open specifically for new recruits and youths, offering them a chance to work as a team and challenge themselves in a unique setting.  

It is hoped that the enthusiasm and professionalism on display by the teams will encourage them to take part in the main Royal Navy Field Gun Competition in future years.

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