Military Affilates Prizegiving - 17 July 2023
The full citations for the six winners at our Military Affiliates Prizegiving held at Trinity House on Monday 17 July 2023 can be read below.
ROYAL FLEET AUXILARY
Chief Officer (Engineering) Brian Lee
Chief Officer Lee started his career in the RFA as a Junior Engine Room Rating and his hard work and diligence have enabled him to reach his current rank. C/O LEE has sailed on several tankers and is currently a Group Technical Superintendent for the Tide Class tankers in Birkenhead, responsible for the provision of support to this class in both upkeep and fleet time. This has provided a variety of complex challenges, ranging from the material state, machinery breakdowns, foreign support and the financial pressure of remaining within a budget. He is a highly capable Chief Officer, technically skilled with well-developed management skills, who frequently displays exceptional levels of commitment and motivation. It is important to mention his people skills, taking on the role of friend to those that have issues, supporting them through low periods and keeping a weathered eye on their progress, leaning in to help when required.
Chief Officer Lee has not only demonstrated a positive attitude to supporting the Flotilla but also to supporting his colleagues when they are vulnerable. His ability to adapt, think outside of the box when dealing with complex projects should be applauded. One of the RFA’s most respected and well liked Chief Officers, C/O LEE has the potential to go further and is a shining example to all of what you can achieve.
Nominated Charity: Charlie Bear for Cancer Care
HMS SULTAN / RNAE&S
Lieutenant Jess Beckett IEng MIMechE RN
Lt Beckett leads the training of the Royal Navy’s most junior Aircraft Engineer Technicians, as the Air Engineer Officer (AEO) of 764 Initial Training Squadron (764ITS). She delivers exceptionally, leading her team with enthusiasm, driving staff to be the best that they can be, and supporting the welfare of trainees, the majority of whom are aged 17-25.
It is in addition to her core role that Lt Beckett also makes significant positive differences to the lives of others. As the volunteer lead for delivery of the RNAESS element of the HMS SULTAN STEM event (“SULSTEMic”), she was responsible for the programme of hosting 240 school children in June 23. She put together an engaging, fun, and educational series of stances, covering everything from aerodynamic principles to aircraft servicing. The feedback from the Schools was hugely positive, having provided a fantastic opportunity to engage with the children in STEM subjects that they don’t typically have access to at their schools.
Lt Beckett also led a very successful Women in Engineering Day event, facilitating the open discussion on social progression being made for females in the RN. Participants of all ranks and rates were encouraged to come together to communicate concerns and achievements with inclusivity.
Continuing the theme of her exceptional contributions to others, Lt Beckett is also coordinating the SULTAN attendance at the Great South Run in October, organising the fundraising for entry fees, and the sponsorship that will support the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). Finally, she continues to volunteer for the Happy to Chat Scheme at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. This commitment sees her spending time each week talking to vulnerable patients at the hospital, helping to alleviate distress and loneliness.
Lt Beckett’s outstanding work in her core role, alongside her continued achievements and commitments to charity, STEM, and inclusivity, qualities that align with the values of the Fuellers Charitable Trust Fund, make her absolutely deserving of recognition with the 2023 RNAESS Fuellers Prize.
Nominated Charity: The Christie Charity
152 (NORTH IRISH) REGIMENT RLC
Sergeant Stephen Brown
Sgt Brown is newly promoted but has been acting as a SNCO for most of the last twelve months. In that time he has generated a simply staggering amount of work and results for 152 RLC.
A Class One Petroleum Operator, he has been at the forefront of the unit’s training and mentoring of new Pet Ops. Sgt Brown always delivers diligently planned, researched and engaging lessons. This is equally applied across other areas of training he has enthusiastically volunteered for; everything from Basic Close Combat Skills to organising and delivery adventure training in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
A leading member of 152 RLC’s shooting team, he was instrumental in the team’s victory at Bisley. The unit won the Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition, and Sgt Brown was placed in the Army Reserve 50; an accolade for those Reserve Personnel who are the top 50 competitors in the Army Reserve Service Rifle Championship.
Brown has shown superb leadership qualities during this last year. He has consistently demonstrated high levels of ability and is equal to, and usually surpasses, his Regular brethren. Relentlessly cheerful and professional, Sgt Brown is one of the unit’s top soldiers and a worthy nomination for this award.
Nominated Charity: MS Action
10 SQUADRON RAF
Warrant Officer Robert Rodgers RAF
Mr Rodgers is Warrant Officer in charge of Voyager Operations. His role is the widest ranging and most complex of any Warrant Officer on the Voyager Force. His responsibilities encompass the Mission Support Cell, Operation Controllers, Operation Assistants, Crew Controllers, and the Crew Training Cell. His impressive mission planning expertise, paired with strong coordination skills and ability to flex to everchanging demands have ensured that Voyager is ready to fight globally.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Warrant Officer Rodgers identified a lack of agility and ability in his Operations Flight to respond effectively to a crisis of such magnitude. Initiating a workforce review, he significantly increased his team’s efficiency, enabling better global support to aircrew, on operations and exercise on an enduring basis. This has enabled Voyager Operations to meet increased demand signals from Defence with no additional resource. Furthermore, proactively identifying knowledge gaps within his team, Rodgers has upgraded his training system. This upgrade ensures that his Operations Cell consistently deliver accurate documents to the aircrew to enable safe and successful execution of missions. These significant achievements are especially impressive when framed against the background of his own personal deployment on ops and a flying programme in constant flux.
His strong, dynamic leadership style has energised and enthused his team, coupled with his drive for continuous improvement within the Voyager Force he has ensured the robust delivery of Air Power even when faced with new and emerging challenges. It is fitting that Warrant Officer Rodgers is recognised for his work.
Nominated Charity: Royal British Legion
TACTICAL SUPPLY WING (TSW)
Corporal Christopher Wraight
Corporal Wraight is an instructor at Tactical Supply Wing (TSW), delivering specialised fuels and helicopter handling training to personnel on the unit and several external organisations, including Commando Forces. An experienced and talented individual, he has been at the heart of modernising TSW’s training approach to meet the fast-changing demands of modern warfare, whilst also ensuring unit personnel are competent to support UK operations across 14 countries.
Innovative and driven, he reviewed Collective Training Objectives to ensure they reflected a contemporary threat and the evolving role of the Unit, with enhancing flexibility, survivability and manoeuvrability being his main objectives. He designed, developed, and implemented the new and improved course content whilst simultaneously delivering a relentless volume of ongoing courses. He thereby not only assured the unit’s personnel were ready to meet ongoing operations across the globe but has set the foundations and glidepath for the Unit to be ready to meet the potential demands of the future, up to and including warfighting.
Aside from his primary duties he is extremely active is supporting the wider service community. He has delivered numerous capability days to Reservist Squadrons, Air Cadet Camps and Armed Forces Days to demonstrate TSW’s capabilities. His extensive work with the Logistics Recruitment and Media Teams has seen TSW at the forefront of the recruitment drive of logistic officers and aviators into the RAF. He is an outstanding individual who is a credit to the Wing and is fully deserving of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers TSW Award.
Nominated Charity: Katherine House Hospice
OPERATIONAL ENERGY AUTHORITY (OEA)
Mr Patras Mehraj
Patras Mehraj joined the Operational Energy Authority (OEA) in August 22 as the Operations Manager responsible for the Defence Fuels Global Resupply Contract. In essence, he coordinates the demand and delivery of bulk aviation and maritime fuel to the Royal Navy UK Oil Fuel Depots and to the MoD overseas bases, including Cyprus, Singapore, Falkland Islands and Ascension. This is achieved through a range of shipping options to sustain global military operations whilst maximising value for money. In meeting the Defence demand Patras has consistently excelled to deliver unbroken fuel support. Of note, during Operation POLAR BEAR (MoD support to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office evacuation of civilian UK nationals from Sudan) RAF Akrotiri played a pivotal role supporting the military aircraft flying to Sudan. This activity resulted in a doubling of daily fuel consumption at the airfield with very little notice and placed pressure on the ability of on-base stocks to sustain operations for a prolonged period. Faced with this scenario Patras acted without delay to direct and collate critical activity across several Defence and Industry stakeholders to ensure the timely delivery of several million litres of aviation fuel to RAF Akrotiri by Ocean Tanker. In doing so, he directly supported the necessarily high tempo of flying activity to aid the evacuation of UK nationals. This is but one example of the proactivity, diligence and determination which Patras has exhibited since joining OEA in the execution of his role supporting military operations globally.
Nominated Charity: AHASCA – Asian Day Centre