FROM providing humanitarian aid to communities ravaged by natural disasters to saving the life of a colleague in an accident at sea, awards have been presented to the very best of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).
A total of 30 accolades were presented at the service’s annual awards bash held at the Officers’ Mess inside HMS Nelson, in Portsmouth.
Prizes ranged from honouring the cadet of the year to marking those who have dedicated their working lives to keeping the service running at sea.
Among those heralded this year included the ship’s company of RFA Mount Bays, which received the RFA Centenary Wedgwood Bowl.
The accolade is awarded to the ship that contributes the most towards humanitarian aid and international relations.
Mount Bay was vital in providing critical aid to overseas British territories that were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. She provided a base for supplies and aid to be transported from.
The award comes just days after the vessel was deployed to provide reassurance to UK territories ahead of the 2018 hurricane season in Caribbean.
Chief Officer Jamie Findlay, who was the ship’s operations officer during the disaster period last year, accepted the award and said: ‘It is a pleasure to receive this award on behalf of RFA Mounts Bay ship’s company, embarked forces from 815 Naval Air Squadron, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, Royal Logistics Corp and 24 Commando Royal Engineers, recognising the outstanding support and reassurance provided by Mounts Bay to UK overseas territories during Operation Ruman.’
Also celebrated was Medical Technician Emma Robinson, who won the Commodore Award for Meritorious Conduct.
Emma, who was a paramedic before joining the RFA, used her medical training to help save the life of a colleague who was seriously injured in an accident at sea.
Reacting to the accolade, Emma said: ‘I am proud to receive this award, which I see as recognition of the professionalism and know-how shown by my colleagues during a very challenging and testing incident.’
Communications Rating 1st Class, Danielle Rogers, clinched the Communications Information Systems (CIS) award for CIS Trainee of the Year.
Danielle, who previously spent 11 years in the Royal Navy before continuing her seafaring career in the RFA said she was ‘really proud’ to have received the gong.
While Chief Officer Simon Jordan was left stunned after he was given a medal clasp for 30 years’ service. He said: ‘I am totally shocked, but also very pleased, to receive this prestigious award, as I had no idea I was in the frame to receive it – It was a total surprise.’
Other award winners included: Third Officer (Deck) George MacGregor - Richard Jones RFA Cadet of the Year, Apprentice Steward Luke Speakman - RFA Steward of the Year, Third Officer (Logistics Supply) Jamie Sampson - Commodore’s Certificate Britannia Royal Naval College 2017, Deck Cadet Alexander Day - Commodore’s Certificate Britannia Royal Naval College 2018.
Commodore Duncan Lamb, RFA head, said: ‘A ship is but steel and air – it is the people that bring it to life, make it work and deliver the capability. It is the people who guard the ethos, values and reputation of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.’