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Mounts Bay leads the way at RFA's annual 'Oscars'

4 July 2018
The ‘tangible difference’ made by RFA Mounts Bay to restore lives and normality after last year’s hurricanes smashed through the Caribbean earned the ship an award at the RFA’s fourth ‘Oscars’.

Thirty awards were presented to stalwarts of the auxiliary service, without whom it – and the Royal Navy – could not operate around the globe.

“A ship is but steel and air,” the head of the RFA, Cdre Duncan Lamb, reminded those gathered at HMS Nelson’s wardroom in Portsmouth for the awards ceremony.

“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.

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 – a total surprise.

Chief Officer Simon Jordan

“This our annual opportunity to reflect on the element that makes the organization special – our people.”

The RFA Centenary Wedgwood Bowl is awarded annually to the ship which contributes the most to humanitarian aid and international relations.

Mounts Bay stood out for her response to the Caribbean islands in the wake of last autumn’s hurricanes – “her contribution was critical – without the supply of water, food and shelter, many thousands would have suffered further trauma and distress”; her then operations officer Chief Officer Jamie Findlay collected the trophy on behalf of the vessel… which remains on duty in the Caribbean… ready to respond to this year’s tropical storms.

The first award of the day was due to be presented to Third Officer (Deck) George MacGregor as the Richard Jones RFA Cadet of the Year for his outstanding performance during training… but his car broke down (he’s not an engineer by trade so he’s forgiven…).

The Communications Information Systems (CIS) award for Trainee of the Year – with a trophy designed, commissioned and funded by the head of the branch, 2/O Steve Pointing – went to

Communications Rating 1st Class, Danielle Rogers, from Nottingham, who spent 11 years in the RN before continuing her seagoing career in the RFA.

The Commodore RFA Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement went to Chief Officer Simon Jordan, who also received a clasp for 30 years’ service and good conduct in the RFA.

“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 – a total surprise,” he said. “As I depart to pastures new at sea, I will look back on my time ashore at Afloat Support with much fondness.”

Friends and family travelled from York to see Medical Technician Emma Robinson collect the Commodore’s Award for Meritorious Conduct; a former NHS paramedic, Emma used all her previous first aid and trauma experience and initiative to attend to a colleague who was seriously injured in an accident at sea.

Certificates were awarded to RFA Steward of the Year Apprentice Steward Luke Speakman who excelled himself aboard Mounts Bay during her hurricane relief work; the Commodore’s Certificate Britannia Royal Naval College 2017 to 3/O (Logistics Supply) Jamie Sampson and the Commodore’s Certificate Britannia Royal Naval College 2018 to Deck Cadet Alexander Day.Twelve medals for 20 years’ and clasps for 30 years’ unblemished service in the RFA and five retirement/leavers’ vases were presented.

And there was a clasp for Chief Officer Neil Barclay for 40 years loyal and dedicated service to the RFA. “The RFA has provided me with a challenging and interesting career and I am proud to receive this clasp in recognition of my 40 years’ service,” he said.

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