SAILORS and staff of a Fareham naval base have said a fond farewell to one of their key players.
Executive Officer of HMS Collingwood, Commander David Johnston, was given a formal goodbye as navy and civilian colleagues lined Collingwood’s Royal Sovereign Avenue to wish him well last month.
At the Main Gate he ceremonially handed over the cane to his successor Commander Mark Walker.
Commander Johnston, who has been in his role since 2016, said: ‘It has been an absolute privilege to have undertaken the role of Executive Officer in HMS Collingwood. The highlight has always been the people, with seven per cent of the Royal Navy here on any given day,’
Commander Walker takes the helm of HMS Collingwood after a long career in the Fleet Air Arm where, as a sea king pilot with over 4,000 flying hours, he was among the most experienced aviators.
He recently served in navy command with particular responsibility for the landing platform helicopters on the Queen Elizabeth class carriers.