NINE former commanding officers of HMS Sultan visited the base for its anniversary celebrations.
The centre in Gosport is marking its 60th birthday this year and invited the commanding officers for a commemorative lunch.
The visitors were given a tour of HMS Sultan to see how the base and training has changed over the years.
Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock led the tour, which looked at the Defence School of Marine Engineering and the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School.
Retired Commodore Malcolm Shirley, CO between 1995 and 1998, oversaw the move of the RNAESS from HMS Daedalus in 1998. He was impressed by its progress.
‘The most striking thing about HMS Sultan now is how the establishment has embraced modern technology within training and teaching,’ he said.
It’s a little bit emotional coming back as I had a tremendous time in my three years there.Retired Commodore Mark Slawson
‘It’s a complete evolution but what is really impressive is that the people haven’t changed, their commitment to training and quality of training is as good as it has ever been.’
As well as lunch and tours of the facilities, the former COs were treated to a ride on HMS Sultan’s own super sentinel steam lorry which has been with the establishment since 1960.
Retired Commodore Mark Slawson, who was CO between 2010 and 2013, added: ‘It was tremendous fun all day and lovely to be back within Sultan.
‘It’s a little bit emotional coming back as I had a tremendous time in my three years there.’
The visit finished at a reception with the cutting of a cake by the base’s youngster trainee Engineering Technician Jordan Chaplin.