AFTER three years at the helm of the Royal Navy’s training base in Gosport, Commodore Mark Slawson has bid sailors there a fond farewell.
Cdre Slawson has stepped down as the commanding officer of HMS Sultan after three years in the role.
The commodore made his exit in style, riding out on a Super Sentinel steam lorry as the ship’s company said goodbye.
His departure marks the end of three years in charge of the base, but also brings to a close an illustrious 35-year naval career
Cdre Slawson said: ‘To have been in command of HMS Sultan for the past three years has been an enormous honour and privilege.
‘HMS Sultan has a well-deserved reputation as a welcoming, friendly and professional establishment.
‘I am leaving HMS Sultan to take up the ultimate promotion – becoming a civvy – with mixed feelings.
‘There’s anticipation and some excitement at the challenges that lie ahead, coupled with a huge pride in the establishment I am leaving, and enormous affection for the people who work within it.’
The reins of the Royal Navy’s largest engineering training base have now been handed over to Captain Trevor Gulley.
He was previously the head of the Royal Navy’s marine engineering school, which is also based at HMS Sultan.
Cdre Slawson joined the Royal Navy as a marine engineer officer in January 1978.
He is a trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
Cdre Slawson was born and raised in Wrexham in North Wales.
After initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and in HMS Fearless, he graduated with a degree in naval engineering from the Royal Naval Engineering College.
Over the following years he served on board six warships and worked in a number of roles in the Ministry of Defence’s equipment and support unit.
Ships he served in included HMS Nottingham, HMS Campbeltown and HMS Ocean.