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Brave troops recognised for their skills

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

  • TOP TEAM: The Osprey trophy winning Lynx crew, above, AET Stefan Penney, kneeling left, AET Sam Drury, and AET Matt Hughes with AET Steve Arnold, stood left, Petty Officer Keith Armitage, Lieutenant Chris Southworth (Flight Commander), Lieutenant Mike Curd (Observer), Chief Petty Officer Matt Eccles (Flight SMR), and Petty Officer Richard Corbett at RNAS Yeovilton. Inset left, Lieutenant Alastair Thompson accepts the Robert Sandison Trophy.

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THE role of RNAS Yeovilton troops serving on missions abroad has been recognised.

A team of nine operating Lynx helicopters off the Libyan coast during the uprising have won the Osprey Trophy for their efficiency.

The crew spent 224 days on HMS Liverpool, flying more than 270 hours in the Mediterranean.

Lieutenant Alistair Crawford, who flew the Lynx in the operations off the Libyan coast, said: "It was a brilliant team effort. The Fleet Air Arm is often in the forefront of operations that have a maritime dimension.

"HMS Liverpool's role was key to many of the successes in the allied operations. It is vital that helicopter operations are an integrated part of the ship and our flight was involved in the thick of it throughout."

Lieutenant Alastair Thompson has been awarded the Robert Sandison Trophy for his work tackling piracy in the Indian Ocean. The prize is presented for the developing of new airborne weapon tactics. He said: "I am very proud, this award was a massive surprise. We were set a challenge which demanded a flexible response and my proposals for revised operational tactics were fully supported by my commander.

"The successes we had in countering a range of piracy incidents reflects the effectiveness of the Royal Navy's dynamic response to an ongoing threat to maritime security. Although I received the award, I'd like to pay tribute to the professionalism of my flight, without whom none of this would have been possible."

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