THEIR efforts helped relieve the suffering of thousands of people whose lives were upset by a devastating typhoon.
Now sailors from HMS Illustrious’ supply department have been recognised for their hard work overseas with a commendation from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander.
The team of 21 officers and ratings were recognised by Vice-Admiral Philip Jones during a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.
HMS Illustrious had been taking part in a routine deployment to the Middle East when she was diverted to the Philippines to assist with the humanitarian aid operation last November.
The ship’s company missed Christmas with their families in order to stay and help those whose homes and communities were destroyed by the typhoon.
Vice-Adml Jones said: ‘Fleet Commander Commendations are an opportunity to formally recognise the hugely significant impact our people have on the success of the Royal Navy’s day-to-day operations.
‘The work of HMS Illustrious’ supply chain team epitomises that contribution and their efforts played an essential part in the UK’s successful contribution to a major humanitarian operation.
‘This event allows me to say thank you to the team themselves and to their friends and families, whose support during their extended deployment enabled their loved ones’ remarkable achievements.’
Preparing HMS Illustrious to deploy to the Middle East itself was a logistical challenge the team had to overcome.
The supply team embarked more than 800 pallets of stores, but in November they were retasked to provide disaster relief in the Philippines.
As reported in The News, they sprung into action, placing 700 demands for aviation stores to support the intense flying missions required to deliver aid to the afflicted islands.
They also loaded 500 tonnes of aid from the Department for International Development, something that had never been done before.
In just 48 hours, every member of the department led a whole-ship effort to load more than 1,000 pallets onto the ship when they were alongside in Singapore.
The commendation citation read: ‘The sense of professional pride of the personnel to lead this task was palpable and the entire team worked selflessly through the night until the last pallet was embarked.’