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Sultan Air and Marine Engineers celebrate Branch birthday

23 July 2018
Air and Marine Engineers at HMS Sultan joined in celebrations Thursday July to mark the 181st birthday of the Engineering Branch of the Royal Navy.

As the Royal Navy joins in cross-government celebrations to mark ‘The Year of Engineering’ it is fitting that we celebrate the critical role that RN engineers continue to play as the ‘beating heart of operational capability’ in designing, building, generating, sustaining and operating our aircraft, ships, submarines and vehicles daily on operations across the globe.

The Engineering Branch of the Royal Navy has a rich and illustrious history. Although steam propulsion was introduced to the RN in 1812, the early ships were manned by civilian engineers employed on an ad hoc basis. 

By 1837 with 27 steam vessels in the Fleet it was clear that more formal management arrangements for engineers were needed and so early that year the post of Comptroller of the Steam Machinery and Packet Department was created. 

Then on 19 July 1837 an Order in Council was issued placing engineers onto a permanent footing, 'with such rank and pay as appears to be fitting for persons charged with the performance of such important and responsible duties'.

Since its first commission in 1956 as a Mechanical Training and Repair establishment, HMS Sultan has made a significant contribution towards the ongoing success of the Branch.

We are delighted to be able to recognise the 181st birthday of the Royal Navy Engineering Branch

Captain Peter Towell RN, Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan

Today the Establishment is home to Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE) and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS).

Captain Peter Towell, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan was joined by the youngest trainee from DSMarE, Engineering Technician Marine Engineering (Submariner) Joe Hodgson, to cut the birthday cake.

Capt Towell said, “We are delighted to be able to recognise the 181st birthday of the Royal Navy Engineering Branch.”

“The Branch is made up of highly motivated and technically minded individuals who continue to overcome fresh challenges and ensure that we can operate with the very latest cutting edge technology.”

“As we prepare our Engineers and Technicians for the future, it is only right that we celebrate and draw inspiration from the successes of our past.”

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