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Royal Fleet Auxiliary annual awards ceremony

14 September 2016
The Second Royal Fleet Auxiliary Annual Awards Ceremony 2016 took place Monday 12 September at the Wardroom (Officers Mess) HMS Nelson in Portsmouth.

The annual event is held to recognise the positive contribution RFA personnel make to the effective support of the Naval Service, enabling ships of the Royal Navy and RFA to maintain operations around the world 365 days a year.

This year’s event was again hosted by RFA Head of Service, Commodore Duncan Lamb RFA (COMRFA) and attended by invited VIP’s, guests and families from the RFA.

The function commenced with a short speech from COMRFA in which he thanked all RFA personnel for their past, present and future support and also emphasised the important role families’ play within the service. He commented, “I am acutely aware of the unique challenges being part of the RFA entails and the vital role families play in support of our people”.

I am truly delighted to receive this award and I am looking forward to the future challenges and experiences life at sea with the RFA will provide.

3/O Caroline Waldie

VIP’s in attendance were Mrs Jane Walworth, her daughters Beth and Kim, and Naval Historian Mr Stephen Prince. Jane and family presented the Richard Jones Quaich to the RFA Cadet of the Year (3/O Caroline Waldie) and Stephen gave a very informative speech on the history of the RFA.

The Richard Jones Quaich is awarded annually to the final phase Cadet who has performed to the highest standard throughout the duration of their Cadetship and whose overall attainment is recognised by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as being outstanding.

This is the first time that this award has been won by a female officer. Caroline said, “I am truly delighted to receive this award and I am looking forward to the future challenges and experiences life at sea with the RFA will provide.”

Master of Ceremonies for this year’s awards was 2/O Paul Owen, he said “This is the first time I have had the opportunity to attend this ceremony and it is a privilege to be given the honour of carrying out the duties as MC.”

Awards and medals were also presented, for the RFA Chef and Steward of the year (from the Worshipful Company of Cooks), South Atlantic Medal, Operation Gritrock (Ebola Crisis) Certificates to various members of RFA Argus Ships Company, Commodores and Chief of Joint Operations Commendation, RFA Long Service Conduct Medals/Clasps and Retirement Vases.

CPO(Chef) Lee Brooker and CPO(Steward) Richard Cook (RFA Chef and Steward of the year 2015) each received 3 awards for their time spent on board RFA Argus during Operation Gritrock.

Lee commented, “Whilst I am very proud to receive these awards, I feel they also reflect the hard work, team spirit and professionalism displayed by the Catering department throughout this vital operation and I thank them for their support."

Worthy of note was 2/O Ian Mason, who was not only presented with an engraved retirement vase, but also a 40 year Clasp to add to his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. He commented, “Throughout an eventful and challenging career at sea, I have seen many changes. But I have, in the main, thoroughly enjoyed my time in the RFA."

On completion of ceremonies the MC handed back to COMRFA for a closing address during which he again thanked all attendees and highlighted the hard work and commitment from HQ Staff in organising this event.

He commented “The RFA Annual Awards is one of the highlights of the RFA calendar, for which my HQ team has spent a great deal of time and energy putting together – my sincere thanks to them for their efforts. We now look forward to meeting again in 2017."

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