Royal Navy brothers from tiny Caribbean nation reunite at Gosport naval base
TWO brothers from a tiny tropical territory in the Caribbean have been reunited for the first time since joining the navy – while training at a naval base in Gosport.
Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Stevan Barbour, 34, and his younger sibling Shaquille came together at HMS Sultan.
Shaquille, a trainee Marine Engineering Technician at the base, is following in his older brother’s footsteps, who joined the Senior Service in March 2017.
The pair both come from St Vincent and the Grenadines, a small island chain with a population about half the size of Portsmouth – just over 110,000 people in all.
Each of the sailors have joined the navy to pursue a career in engineering, with Stevan currently completing his Leading Engineering Technician’s qualifying course at Sultan, while his brother finishes his second phase of training at the establishment.
Stevan, who in his three-year stint in the military has already visited Singapore, Japan and Diego Garcia during a deployment with HMS Argyll, as well as shadowed a Russian warship through the English Channel, was thrilled to have his brother serving alongside him.
The 34-year-old added: ‘One of the greatest things about joining the Royal Navy gives you the opportunity for a fabulous career and from there you can do whatever you want to do in life.
‘The Royal Navy trains everyone to be a self-thinker and a potential leader of tomorrow.
‘Now my brother has followed in my footsteps, into Marine Engineering with the Royal Navy. He’s seen what it has already given me and the opportunities that are there for the taking.’
Shaquille started his naval training at HMS Raleigh in February, just weeks before the institution was locked down following the coronavirus outbreak.
His big brother acted as his sponsor throughout his journey to join the navy, which has seen him tackle adventurous training in Talybont, Wales.
‘I’m proud to be part of the Royal Navy because it makes me a better person and it also makes my family so proud of me,’ he added.