AWARDS: RAF Waddington celebrates a year of achievement

RAF Waddington held an industry liaison day recently followed by a Station Awards Evening and dinner.
The day presented our industry partners with an opportunity to gain an enhanced understanding of RAF Waddington’s capabilities whilst offering Station Executives an insight in to each industry’s area of expertise.

An event 6 months in the making, the ceremony was conceived as a way of rewarding the individuals of RAF Waddington for their hard work and dedication in support of the ISTAR Force output.

The event was planned and coordinated by Sqn Ldr Neville with the assistance of a dedicated committee comprising of Sqn Ldr L’Abbate, SEngO V(AC) Sqn, Flt Lt Dodd, V(AC) Sqn, WO Taylor, ISTAR CAMO and CT Harker also of the CAMO. What started out as a simple Dinner night sponsored by Industry rapidly grew into an industrial engagement event culminating in one of the biggest all ranks dinners RAF Waddington has seen in years. With Industry sponsorship from Atkins, Cobham, Gama, RSL and QinetiQ, the committee set out to deliver an event that would stay long in the memory of the station personnel, hopefully building a legacy that could run for years to come.
With Industry support secured, a Dinner night was planned to fill the newly re-opened Officers Mess to max capacity.
A broad mix of Industry, Officers, SNCOs and JRs were invited or nominated for awards in one of the following categories;

Spirit of Waddington

Resourcefulness and Innovation

People’s Award Outstanding

Team Achievement

Outstanding contribution to Charity

Outstanding sporting achievement.

With citations for deserving nominees pouring into the committee the event looked set for success.

The Outstanding Sporting Achievement was awarded to SAC Kate Edwards (8 Sqn Eng) for her successes in rugby.
It was clear from the start what a quality player Kate is when during her debut match she was awarded “Man of the Match” and during her first season, awarded “Player of the Season” and “Player’s Player”.

She has since played as a squad member for the Inter-Service Championships and was selected for the 23 man UK Armed Forces Squad, playing on Remembrance Day and earning her first cap.

More recently she has captained the RAF Inter-Service team against the Royal Navy, steering them to a convincing victory.

The Outstanding Contribution to Charity was awarded to FS Sharon Wyatt (HQ Int Reserves). Sharon is involved in a vast breadth of charities and welfare facilities that support local and wider initiatives as well as national charitable organisations.
She is the OiC Waddington Holiday Home and has led her team to fully rejuvenate this facility bringing it up to impeccable standards. She has also reached out to Service Veterans from the local community to ensure they too had access to this fantastic facility.

Sharon is an unstoppable force when it comes to raising money for charitable causes; participating in numerous events including a 60 mile bike ride in aid of Breast Cancer UK. She is currently preparing for the “Ride to Somme” bike ride – a 200 mile, 3 day event.

The Most Excellent Team Achievement is awarded to Sentinel Flight 1 ISR Wing for their innovative approach to intelligence analysis and their continued support to operations.

Their support and the quality of the product have drawn praise from the end user and high ranking military officers alike.
All this has been achieved during particularly challenging times.

The Resourcefulness and Innovation Award is awarded to Sgt Dayle Vickers (Total Safety Continuous Improvement) whose tireless work has provided the tools and techniques to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
She has facilitated several high level improvement events across the station and is recognised throughout the continuous improvement community as one of the top facilitators in the Service.
She is praised for her professionalism, total commitment to the task in hand and a desire to provide individuals and organisations with the
tools that “make things better”. Unfortunately Sgt Vickers was unable to attend and her award was collected by Squadron Leader Ashcroft on her behalf.

The People Award was given to the Junior Ranks Committee for their efforts to secure space, funding and a core committee of support to bring about a welfare facility aimed solely at the Junior Ranks (JR) cadre. Planning and managing the works amongst themselves, they have ensured that the JR’s now have an inviting and well equipped area where they can relax with their peers.
The committee has also re-invigorated the entertainment programme to include several themed evenings. In addition to all of this the committee has been involved in wider community engagement raising money for local charities and good causes.

The Spirit of Waddington Award was presented to Cpl Garry Kernohan (8 Sqn Eng) who returned to work less than 12 months ago following a battle with cancer. He has been praised for his remarkable energy and vigour and in particular, the unflappable support he gave to the delivery of the 8 Squadron Standard Consecration Parade.
In addition he was applauded in his role as Deputy Building Custodian. He has vigorously pursued infrastructure improvements and has led with significant regeneration activities within his work area. Having faced serious illness himself he has joined the Station Community Support Working Group and now acts as the welfare representative for the 145 strong engineering flight. Station Commander RAF Waddington said:

These awards are an opportunity to reward the exceptional leadership, dedication, courage and initiative displayed by the Whole Force at RAF Waddington. The nominees and winners are a credit to their Service and I thank them personally for their outstanding efforts and achievements of which I am incredibly proud.

Richard Noble closed the evening with an outstanding speech that drew upon the parallels between his life in land speed record chasing and the military. A genuine legend who has demonstrated all of the criteria being praised on the night, he was the perfect candidate to act as guest of honour for the first RAF Waddington awards ceremony.

Shortly after the event, the guests from Industry approached the ProjO for news of next year’s event and the batten has been handed over already!

The RAF Waddington Honours and Awards Dinner Night and preceding Industry engagement day were a huge success. Our partners in industry were able to showcase their support to the ISTAR effort and in return RAF Waddington was able to demonstrate its world leading capability. Personnel were connected throughout the day and relationships were forged which will further enhance the ISTAR capability in the future.

In executing the first RAF Waddington Honours and Awards Dinner Night; Industry, Officers, SNCOs and JRs were able to join together for the first time to commend the station personnel and, in doing so, build a legacy that should continue for years to come.

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