Gosport sailors get set for climactic field gun run

The Field Gun crew demonstrated their skill and strength to fellow service men and women at HMS Sultan ''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (150528-2032)
The Field Gun crew demonstrated their skill and strength to fellow service men and women at HMS Sultan ''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (150528-2032)
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CAMARADERIE, determination and true grit is what’s needed for a good field gun crew.

And sailors at HMS Sultan have been putting all of those characteristics to the test as they get ready to compete in an annual competition.

From left, PO Shaun Gibbs (35), AET Hannah Canning (23), with PO Dwaine Powell (37)''Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (150528-8318)

From left, PO Shaun Gibbs (35), AET Hannah Canning (23), with PO Dwaine Powell (37)''Picture by: Malcolm Wells (150528-8318)

Excitement is building ahead of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity field gun competition, which will be held at HMS Collingwood’s Open Day on June 6.

HMS Sultan in Gosport will enter two crews to compete against others from across all three services.

Yesterday the two Sultan teams went head-to-head in their own competition as a prelude to the main event – but the action was cut short when part of the carriage broke, forcing the event to be postponed.

Air Engineering Technician Hannah Canning, 23, said: ‘It is a bit disappointing but we’ll just fix it up and do it again.

Field gun teaches you all the things the navy is good for – discipline, camaraderie and team spirit

Petty Officer Shaun Gibbs

‘Doing the field gun run is tough work but it is great fun as well.

‘I got involved for the physical training aspect of it but am really enjoying it.’

The sailors have been training three times a day, pushing their bodies harder than ever as they prepare to represent their base against 20 crews from across the armed forces.

Running within a field gun competition requires true concentration from each member of the 18-man team required to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire the gun in the shortest possible time.

It is a tall order when you consider all the parts of the field gun and carriage weigh roughly the same as a small family car.

Petty Officer Shaun Gibbs, 35, said: ‘Field gun teaches you all the things the navy is good for – discipline, camaraderie and team spirit.

‘It’s challenging but it is good fun.’

For details see royalnavy.mod.uk/Collingwood-Openday.