Captain Johanna Deakin first female CO of HMS Sultan DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT PO PHOTOGRAPHER PEPE HOGAN, HMS SULTAN.jpg
Captain Johanna Deakin is the new Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan (Picture: PO Photographer Pepe Hogan/HMS Sultan).
Navy

History made as women command all four of Royal Navy's major training bases

Captain Jo Deakin has taken command of HMS Sultan – the centre's first female commanding officer.

Captain Johanna Deakin first female CO of HMS Sultan DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT PO PHOTOGRAPHER PEPE HOGAN, HMS SULTAN.jpg
Captain Johanna Deakin is the new Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan (Picture: PO Photographer Pepe Hogan/HMS Sultan).

History has been made as all four of the Royal Navy's major training centres are under the command of women for the first time ever.

Captain Johanna 'Jo' Deakin has assumed command of HMS Sultan in Gosport, the home of Royal Navy Marine and Air Engineering, and becomes the establishment's first female Commanding Officer. 

The Navy's other major training centres, Britannia Royal Naval College, HMS Raleigh and HMS Collingwood, are already under the command of Captains Sarah Oakley, Suzi Nielsen, and Catherine Jordan respectively.

Capt Deakin said: "There is no greater privilege for me than to be returning to the place where my naval engineer career began to assume command of HMS Sultan and the Defence School of Marine Engineering.

"This is an incredibly exciting era to be an engineer in the Royal Navy – new ships, new submarines and new aircraft.

"HMS Sultan has a long-standing reputation as a world-class centre of marine and air engineering.

"I look forward to leading the magnificent team at HMS Sultan and, by embracing innovation and diversity, deliver training fit for modern engineering technicians and engineer officers."

She added: "Building on the great work of my predecessor, I will strive to ensure that HMS Sultan remains an exceptional place to work and continues to be a vibrant part of the local community."

Capt Deakin served as the Fleet Air Arm's Chief Aircraft Engineer for two-and-a-half years and takes over from Commodore John Voyce who has left HMS Sultan to become Naval Base Commander at HMNB Portsmouth.

The head of the Royal Navy took to Twitter to congratulate Capt Deakin on her appointment, attached with a photo of the pair shaking hands.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key confirmed earlier this year that the four training centres would all be commanded by women by the end of 2022.

The appointments come as the Royal Navy tries to recruit more women to the service and rebuff criticism of female under-representation in senior roles. 

In April, it was announced that an officer had become the first female captain to command one of the Navy's ships.

Captain Milly Ingham was appointed as the new Commanding Officer of HMS Protector – the Royal Navy's only Ice Patrol Ship.

And in January, Rear Admiral Jude Terry became the Senior Service's first-ever female admiral, taking on the role of Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary.