Friday, 8 August 2008

Operation Telic: success and honour

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth has praised the work of British troops in Iraq as the "military operating at their very best". Recent announcements from the MoD have also highlighted the achievements of Britain's Armed Forces in Iraq. These achievements are made manifest by the social and economic progress that is now being made in the Basra area and can be put down to:-

  • The success that the British Army has been having with its Military Transition Teams (MiTTs). British troops embedded in Iraqi Army and police units are not only providing essential training and mentoring support, they are also giving indigenous troops the confidence they need to take on responsibility for their own country's security.
  • The overall improvement in security which British troops in Basra have achieved, has provided the security umbrella under which sustained economic activity can resume and under which people can once again go about their lives without fear. The opening of new water pumping plants, electricity sub-stations, health centres and schools and the resumption of trade in the city's markets are all improving the quality of life of residents and bode well for the future

It is particularly appropriate at this time then for the MoD to release the detail behind some of the citations awarded to British troops on 25th July for their deeds during Operation Telic. Reading these accounts is really humbling. They also help the public to appreciate the bravery and courage as well as the sheer professionalism of those serving in Britain's Armed Forces.

The roll of honour:-

Distinguished Service Order:
Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Sanders (The Rifles)

Mention in Dispatches:
Major Christopher MacGregor (The King's Royal Hussars)

Courageous leadership:
Major Mark Williams (The Royal Welsh)

Extraordinary contribution:
Lieutenant Simon Bedford-Smith (The Royal Welsh)

Extraordinary degree of bravery:
Lieutenant Henry Bomford (4 Rifles)

Tough and fiercely loyal:
Serjeant Kevin Gahgan (4 Rifles)

Courage and initiative of the highest order:
Lance Sergeant Gavin O'Neill (Irish Guards)

Courageous, dedicated and resilient:
Private Joseph Illidge (The Royal Welsh)

Cool-headed, decisive and self-assured:
Rifleman Joseph Irving (The Rifles)

Saved the lives of many innocent civilians:
Private Michael New (The Mercian Regiment)

A total of 136 members of the Armed Forces and one MoD civilian were honoured on Friday 25th July 2008 for their gallantry and service in Afghanistan, Iraq and on operations around the world.

Link> MoD: Honours for Op Telic soldiers
Link> MoD: Forces honoured for bravery and service on operations