Air Vice-Marshal Presents Honours and Awards Benson Personnel During Annual Formal Inspection

On 7 February 2018, RAF Benson welcomed the Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group, Air Vice-Marshal David Cooper, as he conducted our Annual Formal Inspection of the Station.

The visit was a perfect opportunity for many sections to show off their skills and achievements, including the Catering Flight who impressed with their culinary delights. During the final part of the visit, AVM Cooper also presented medals and commendations to our thoroughly deserving personnel, one of which was Master Aircrew Andrew Hunt, who was awarded an astounding 4 awards.

The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (RAF) is awarded in recognition of long service and irreproachable character and conduct to airmen who have completed 15 years’ reckonable service, are worthy of distinction and whose conduct has been irreproachable throughout their Service. The Medal was awarded to Sgt Jonathan Snell.

The Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (RAF) is awarded in recognition of a further 10 years reckonable Service with irreproachable character and conduct to airmen who have been awarded the RAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. The Clasp was awarded to Master Aircrew Andrew Hunt, Chief Tech Gareth Woodward, and Chief Tech Zach Woolgar.

Operational Service Medals with Afghanistan Clasp were presented to: Master Aircrew Andrew Hunt, Sergeant Chris Jenkins, Corporals Daniel Howitt and Timothy Walker, and Senior Aircraftsman Calum Souter.
Royal Air Force Sports Colours are awarded by the Chief of the Air Staff to personnel who have represented their Service in sport at inter-Service level. Awards were presented to SAC Olivia Duckworth for represented swimming and Flight Sergeant Alan Sharp for representing clay pigeon shooting.

The United States Army Commendation Medal was presented to Squadron Leader Will Lucas for his outstanding service during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in support of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
His performance, expertise and dedication to duty greatly contributed to its success.

Meritorious Service Medals were presented to Master Aircrew’s Andrew Hunt and David Mann. MAcr Hunt was presented with the award in recognition of his irreproachable character, outstanding achievements and leadership as Aircrew Master, as well as the significant contribution he has made to the wider RAF community throughout his career. MAcr Mann was presented with the award for his exemplary performance over the course of his long career. He has personified the spirit of our armed forces, both in the Army Air Corp where he joined originally and in the Royal Air Force.

Two Warrant Certificates were also presented to airmen who have achieved promotion to the rank of Warrant Officer. The certificates were presented to Warrant Officer Sean Doherty and Master Aircrew Andrew Hunt. MAcr Hunt joined the Royal Air Force as a chef before re-trading to the role of aircrew. During previous tours with 33 Sqn at RAF Benson, he completed operational tours in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq. Since being promoted and returning to work with 230 sqn and the Puma 2 helicopter, he has completed 2 tours of Afghanistan. WO Doherty joined the Royal Air Force as an engineering apprentice. Spending most of his career at RAF Odiham and RAF Benson and working with several Joint Helicopter Command Squadrons, he has worked on Chinook, Puma and Merlin helicopters and has completed operational tours to the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Following the awards ceremony, Air Vice-Marshal David Cooper, Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group, addressed the gathered personnel, colleagues and families: ‘The Royal Air Force is full of amazing people, and every time we conduct an Honours and Awards Ceremony you learn a little more about what people can do and the work they do abroad, particularly because RAF Benson personnel are still in Afghanistan. A lot of people are likely unaware of what we’re still doing, so well done to everyone for their hard work!’

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