Deputy Commander Honours Benson Personnel
Twenty-three Service personnel from RAF Benson were honoured by Brig Illingworth, Dep Comd of JHC. He presented 16 OSMs for Afghanistan, a LS&GCM for the Royal Navy, a LS&GCM for the RAF, a Clasp to the LS&GCM for the RAF, and four personal commendations from Comd JHC.
OSMs for Afghanistan were presented to Sqn Ldr Euan McCulloch, Flt Lts Kaylie Webster and Charles Wilkinson, Sgts Joseph Ainsworth and Craig Young, Cpls Darren May, Mark Smyth, and Russ Anderson, LAET Colin Murphy, SACs Christopher Bowman, Chris Bull, David Martin, Kierran Shearer, Sophie Sheppard, Todd Street and Will Morrison for their sterling commitment to operations in Afghanistan during 2012.
The LS&GCM for the Royal Navy was awarded to CPO Stephen Stopforth. The LS&GCM for the RAF was awarded to Sgt Brian Barrett.
The Clasp to the LS&GCM for the RAF was awarded to FS Richard Irwin. The Clasp is awarded to personnel who hold the LS&GCM and have completed a further 15 years of exemplary service.
The personal commendations of Comd JHC were presented to Sqn Ldr Sonia Nevin, Chf Tech Paul Davies, Sgt Lee Wilson, and SAC(T) Steven Richardson.
Sqn Ldr Nevin was commended for her contribution to the Puma 2 Project. As the sole engineering officer on the team, Sonia demonstrated her remarkable performance by taking control of the pre-input aircraft preparation standard.
Chf Tech Davies was commended for his superb transformational leadership within the Puma Force Training Cell. Having urgently updated training records and teaching methods for Puma Force engineers, Paul also voluntarily takes on the important role of Squadron historian for 33 Sqn.
Sgt Wilson was commended for his management of the increase in engineering personnel to the Merlin Force; maintaining the balance of experience across the two Merlin Squadrons and ensuring that each flight of personnel is equipped with suitable technicians to fulfil deployments and home commitments.
SAC(T) Richardson was commended for his consistent performance above the level expected of his junior rank. Steven has already affirmed himself as the tail rotor hub expert at RAF Benson and, through his dedication and specialist knowledge he has helped maintain operational capability for the Merlin Force.
Brig Illingworth commented: ‘There are a number of privileges afforded to Commanders in today’s Military, and presenting Honours and Awards at Benson today is definitely one that I will remember for years to come. It is humbling to see the number of Afghanistan Campaign medals that are to be presented today – a reflection of the commitment and sacrifice of Benson’s Service personnel and their supporting families; and to add to these a number of LS&GCMs. I must make special mention of Flight Sergeant Irwin and his clasp to his LS&GCM – a truly impressive achievement with 30 years of dedicated, professional and exemplary conduct – well done him. Lastly it is a real pleasure that I am able to present Commander JHC’s commendations to four distinguished personnel for their unique contributions in their respective areas. A great afternoon, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, made even better by having so many families and friends present.’