Sultan crew make final preparations for Junior Leaders Field Gun

Engineering Technicians from HMS Sultan are making their final preparations before heading to compete in the highly anticipated Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition at HMS Collingwood.

The Royal Navy-organised Junior Leaders Field Gun competition is designed for 16-24 year-olds who have either only recently joined the armed forces, just begun apprenticeships with the University Technical Colleges, are attending local community colleges or are part of the Military Cadet Forces.

With no previous field gun experience, teams compete to build and transport a field gun and limber up and home, along a specialised marked track measuring 85 metres.

Stopping only to complete specific actions and all with the aim to run home penalty free and with the fastest time.

Building on The Royal Navy’s core values; Courage, Discipline, Respect & Integrity the teams train hard Monday through Thursday and compete in a 3 heat competition starting Thursday afternoon and running to the close of play on Friday.

The Junior Leaders Challenge is the only competition open specifically for new recruits and youths, offering them a chance to work as a team and challenge themselves in a unique setting. 

The HMS Sultan Junior Leaders Field Gun crew is made up of hopefuls from the Defence College of Technical Training’s (DCTT) Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE).

The trainees have just completed their 30 week Engineering Technician Initial Career Course, which prepares them for life at sea within the Marine Engineering branch.

Having spent the last two days training on the parade ground at HMS Sultan, the group now head over to HMS Collingwood to complete further training before Friday’s final.

HMS Sultan Junior Leaders Field Gun Officer, Warrant Officer Martin Power said:  “A lot of work has gone into ensuring that each member of the Crew fully understands their role within the team. Although we want to be as fast as possible, it’s just as important to avoid making mistakes which could incur penalty points and cost us on the day.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from within the Establishment and we will be going in to the competition at Collingwood intending to bring something back.”

“It’s a great competition which demands everything. It’s hard work and only a fully dedicated crew with a great team ethos will win.”

Field Gun Crew Captain Max Cowell said: “Training for the Field Gun has been really good fun. It’s been quite tiring in the heat, but we’re learning a lot and it’s been really rewarding.

“We’re definitely heading to Collingwood to win.”

We’re definitely heading to Collingwood to win.

Max Cowell