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Sun Military Awards to Mark Achievements in Afghanistan

The Sun Military Awards return for their seventh year on Wednesday to celebrate the amazing work carried out by our servicemen and women.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall presenting the Most Outstanding Airman Award to Sergeant Anna Irwin last year (library image) [Picture: Copyright The Sun]
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with Sergeant Anna Irwin last year

In what is sure to be a moving tribute, the ceremony will mark the ending of combat operations in Afghanistan with 4 specially created ‘Afghan Heroes’ awards reflecting the challenges and achievements of the men and women who have served there.

These are:

  • The Fire Fight: dealing with the intense fighting on the front line
  • Bomb Disposal: highlighting the contribution of the teams dealing with the improvised explosive device threat
  • Saving Lives: paying tribute to the work of the medical teams in supporting troops from front line to rehab
  • Mentoring: recognising the work of the service personnel who have mentored and trained the Afghan Forces

They will be collected on the night by previous Millies winners on behalf of all the UK armed forces personnel who have worked in that field.

A Royal Ghurkha Rifles officer mentoring his Afghan counterpart
A Royal Ghurkha Rifles officer mentoring his Afghan counterpart during Operation Omid Char (library image) [Picture: Corporal Mark Webster RLC, Crown copyright]

Four additional awards celebrating the work carried out by service personnel and the wider service community, both in the UK and around the world over the last year will also be presented.

These are

  • Hero Abroad: recognising individuals or units that have made an outstanding achievement in engagements across the world
  • Home Front Hero: recognising individuals or units that have made an outstanding achievement in duties around the UK
  • Support to the armed forces: highlighting a group, organisation, or individual who has given exceptional help to the forces
  • Judges’ Special Award: the judges’ personal gift for outstanding service by an individual or group, either civilian or military

The nominees in the Hero Abroad category are:

HMS Illustrious

Illustrious has served in every major theatre of operations the UK has been involved in throughout her 32-year career.

She most recently assisted with disaster relief operations in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

By 2014 she was the oldest ship in the Royal Navy’s active fleet and in the summer returned to her home port of Portsmouth for the final time to be decommissioned.

HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Joel Rouse, Crown copyright]

The Military Support Stabilisation Group (MSSG)

In the last 12 months the MSSG has worked in 20 different countries, including in response to Typhoon Haiyan, disaster planning in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Armenia and Brunei, and civil-military cooperation training in Japan, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Bosnia, Korea and Mongolia.

They also helped train Nigerian armed forces to deploy to Somalia to help counter gender violence, coordinated numerous community projects in Kenya, and assisted the peace support effort in South Africa.

MSSG staff are currently in Sierra Leone assisting with the integration of the British military’s support to the Department for International Development to stop the spread of Ebola.

Flight Lieutenant Tim Eddy, 99 Squadron – RAF Brize Norton,

Flight Lieutenant Eddy piloted a C-17 Globemaster during a mission to evacuate civilians from South Sudan after the outbreak of civil war.

Flight Lieutenant Eddy and the crew managed to land the aircraft safely in the capital Juba despite the runway being blocked by a crashed 737 airliner before the crew loaded 182 distressed civilians onto the cargo floor while simultaneously refuelling the aircraft with 4 engines running.

This mission was an enduring example of a crew working together in the most challenging, unpredictable, and dangerous of conditions, stretching their capacities to the limit

Home Front Hero and Support to the Armed Forces nominees will be announced tomorrow.

The ceremony, which takes place at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, will be attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and personalities from the worlds of sport, show business and politics.

Published 9 December 2014