Sun of a gun

Helensburgh turns-out to witness Field Gun Run in the sunshine

It’s all happening in Helensburgh as the Navy roll out their guns.

IT WAS a case of sun’s out gun’s out on May 22 when residents and visitors alike headed to Helensburgh to witness HMS Neptune’s Field Gun public run.

Hundreds of spectators gathered to cheer along the 18-strong team of Royal Navy sailors from nearby HM Naval Base Clyde.  The run was part of the Neptune team’s preparations in the run-up to the annual Field Gun Competition at HMS Collingwood in Hampshire on Saturday, June 2.

Captain of HMS Neptune, Captain Craig Mearns, said:  “We would like to thank everyone who came along to show their support to HMS Neptune Field Gun crew. They aren’t just HM Naval Base Clyde’s team, but also Helensburgh’s.  Hopefully the encouragement they’ve received today will hold them in good stead at the upcoming Field Gun competition.”

The team, who are sponsored by Lockheed Martin Strategic Systems UK and Babcock, have undergone weeks of training in preparation for the competition.  The gunners have endured demanding physical fitness training twice a day, as well as continual training with the one-tonne Field Gun.

The Field Gun run simulates the Naval Brigade’s heroic mission to relieve the besieged British Army during the Second Boer War.

During the conflict sailors offloaded guns from HMS Terrible and HMS Powerful, manhandling them over many miles of difficult terrain to come to the Army’s aid and lift the siege.

During the public run the team were joined by members of the West of Scotland Military Wives Choir and bomb disposal experts from Northern Diving Group who demonstrated some of the equipment they use to keep our coastline safe from the threat of maritime mines.

Mike Scott, Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems, said: “This is our tenth year of sponsorship of the HMS Neptune Field Gun Team.  It is an association we are extremely proud of – the values of the Field Gun model our own corporate values and team working.  It was good to see the team in action and wish them all the best for the 2018 competition.”

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