Wednesday, January 14, 2009

UK sailor honoured for work with Iraqi Navy

A British Royal Navy sailor has been honoured by the United States Army for his work in setting up an Iraqi Navy fast aluminium boat squadron.
Launching an Iraqi fast aluminium boat

Leading Seaman (Seaman Specialist) Stephen Murphy from Plymouth-based HMS Cornwall spent 14 months as part of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq.

He has been singled out for his crucial work setting up an Iraqi Navy fast aluminium boat squadron and for equipping, training and mentoring Iraqi personnel to be able to run their own boat patrols. Overall he has enabled the Iraqis to safeguard their own territorial waters and combat terrorism and crime.

As a result the US Army have awarded him their Army Achievement Medal for his role in the operation. He was presented with the medal onboard HMS Cornwall by Captain Tom McBarnet Royal Navy (Captain Surface Ships at Devonport Flotilla).

HMS Cornwall's Commanding Officer, Commander Johnny Ley, said:

"This award emphasises the vital work Royal Naval personnel are doing throughout Iraq as part of the coalition, in addition to the Royal Navy's standing patrols in the Gulf.

"Leading Seaman Murphy's conduct is an inspiration and epitomises the qualities that make ships such as HMS Cornwall formidable fighting units and the Royal Navy one of the most effective and professional maritime forces in the world."

The citation for the award highlights Leading Seaman Murphy's outstanding leadership and mentoring abilities as being invaluable to the training mission and so greatly assisted Iraq's transition to a stable, self-sufficient nation.

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