THE commanding officer of the navy’s training base got to leave his posting by an unusual means of transport – a giant red tractor.
Sailors and staff at HMS Collingwood said goodbye to Commodore Tim Lowe, the commodore of the maritime warfare school, during the ceremony at the base he has commanded for the past 19 months.
Led by the Royal Marines Band Collingwood, Cdre Lowe had the honour of driving a tractor out of the Fareham establishment’s ceremonial gates whilst sailors gave him a resounding three cheers.
The humorous tribute was of particular significance to the commodore who owns a tractor for use on his property in Devon.
Cdre Lowe said: ‘Command is a great privilege and comes with immense responsibilities.
‘Command of HMS Collingwood and the Maritime Warfare School has given me both in equal measure.
‘The most important single factor in a naval service is the quality of our people and their training and within HMS Collingwood and the maritime warfare school our people remain our most valuable asset.
‘It has been a huge honour to command them as together we have provided the front line with trainees who are at the top of their game – ready to fight and win. From shore to sea we have delivered and I have enjoyed every minute and will be very sad to leave.’
He added: ‘I look forward to remaining close as I assume my new role as deputy flag officer sea training.’
Cdre Lowe handed over the reins to Commodore Mike Mansergh who joins from his appointment as director naval personnel, based in Portsmouth.
The role includes responsibility for the wider aspects of the marine warfare training school, which covers the training elements of HMS Excellent and HMS Temeraire and the defence diving school in Portsmouth.