Royal Navy teams celebrated in New Year's Honours for their efforts during Covid pandemic

ROYAL Navy medics who risked their lives to help in the frontline fight against Covid and personnel who battled on operations through the pandemic have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours for their courage.

Of the 22 personnel singled out this year for decorations, 10 have been honoured for the way they have dealt with the coronavirus and its impact on everyday life inside and outside the navy.

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Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurses Kelly Brechany and Carrie Smith are made Ordinary Associates (2nd Class) of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC) for their work at two of the largest hospitals in southern England.

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens is to receive an OBE for her work with the navy during the Covid pandemic.

At Cosham’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, Kelly worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure all NHS staff were trained in the use of PPE – constantly updating the training and procedures as the virus evolved and reducing the risks facing patients and staff alike.

While Carrie was hailed a ‘lynchpin’ in the emergency department at University Hospitals Plymouth, delivering ‘exemplary care and inspirational leadership at the height of the pandemic’.

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens receives the OBE for a double effort as the principal medical officer of HMS Raleigh in Torpoint.

The base, which turns civilians into sailors, continued to deliver training almost uninterrupted during the crucial early stages of the pandemic thanks to ‘her courage, resilience and decisive actions’. She also stepped in to support doctors in the local community.

Petty Officer PO Jessica Metcalfe, currently serving in the health physics group at HM Naval Base Clyde – is made an MBE, after stepping up on three occasions to cover fellow medics supporting the Covid effort ashore as well as arranging mental health training for personnel deployed at sea.

In addition, to help the navy expand she overhauled the way the Torpoint base discharges injured recruits, leading to a significant reduction of the drop-out rate.

‘An OBE is an amazing surprise and I feel truly honoured,’ she said. ‘I was helped by two great commanding officers whose support really ensured success.

‘And the 30 staff in the sick bay at Raleigh are a tight-knit team who work together superbly and who go above and beyond. So this award is for all of them – it truly was a team effort.’

And medical assistant Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe – currently serving in the health physics group at HM Naval Base Clyde – is made an MBE, after stepping up on three occasions to cover fellow medics supporting the Covid effort ashore as well as arranging mental health training for personnel deployed at sea.

Brigadier Dan Cheesman MBE RM, Chief Technology Officer. As the navy’s chief technical officer, Brigadier Cheesman, is to be made a CBE for transforming the way the service uses new technology.

Jessica said: ‘I was absolutely gobsmacked when I got told. I never saw it coming. It was such a heart-warming feeling to be recognised.

‘What you think is just doing your job, for someone else to think it’s more than that – I have not really got to grips with that thought.’

Other recipients honoured include the navy’s chief technical officer, Brigadier Dan Cheesman, who is to be made a CBE for transforming the way the service uses new technology.

Among those receiving an OBE include Colonel Rich Morris RM, Commander Kate Muir, Colonel Simon Rogers and Commander Mark Walker.

Those to be made an MBE Lance Corporal Alex Cassabois RM, Lieutenant Carlo Contaldi RMR

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurse C N Green, Leading Logistician (Writer) R A Harrington, Warrant Officer 1 R M Henderson RM MVO, Lieutenant Commander Ed Higgins, Warrant Officer 1st Class J McWilliams RMR, Petty Officer Medical Assistant J Metcalfe, Lieutenant Commander Gordon Smith RNR, Chief Petty Officer Logistician (Catering Services) R Thompson.

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A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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