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Reservist receives accolade for COVID-19 and Afghanistan evacuee assistance | Royal Navy

Reservist receives accolade for COVID-19 and Afghanistan evacuee assistance
22 June 2022
“HUMBLED” Lieutenant Richard Partridge of the Royal Navy Reserve has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) work in the Wales region during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the relocation of Afghan evacuees in 2021.

Specially selected for a Strategic Joint Command (SJC) Commendation, Lt Partridge said: “I am humbled to have been awarded a 3* commendation and to have the hard work from everyone at JMC Wales recognised, of which I was one cog in the team. So many people from all parts of society stepped outside of their normal line of work during the pandemic to help sustain the country and I was lucky enough to be well placed to help contribute to that.”

A transferee from the Regular Royal Navy to the Maritime Reserve as part of the seamless FIREFLY programme, Lt Partridge joined the Information Operations specialisation in 2014. Joining the Reserves was an opportunity for him continue his military service whilst pursuing a career in a civil aviation. Working as a pilot for British Airways meant he was able to mobilise for an extended period over the pandemic which was mutually beneficial to both the airline and the RN.

Lt Partridge had the privilege of working for the Joint Military Command - Wales (JMC W) based in the British Army’s 160th Welsh Brigade, Brecon. Primarily supporting Op RESCRIPT, the military support to the government’s COVID-19 response, he worked as a planning officer in the Headquarters, coordinating MACA tasks. This involved triaging requests, planning tasking, plus the deployment of people and supplies for tasks such as COVID testing, the vaccination programme and ambulance drivers. As the pandemic evolved so did Lt Partridge’s role. For a time, he worked within the Welsh Government offices, supporting civil agencies with their planning, including working with people at all levels of government.

Following Op PITTING and the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme, Lt Partridge also helped to establish a working group to resettle entitled evacuees who had links to Wales facing military units. Lt Partridge said: “A swift and holistic multi-agency response was required as some of these Afghan's had already endured great hardship and they required niche medical and linguistic support. Wales' response was heartfelt and relentless which enabled some of the first Afghan's to be integrated into their new homes in the UK. To see children playing together with families feeling safe for the first time in months was extremely rewarding and to play a part in that was a privilege”.

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