Two Portsmouth-Based Sailors Given Awards

Two Portsmouth-based sailors have received top awards for outstanding work on Royal Navy operations overseas.

Commander Colin Williams receives the OBE for commanding HMS Liverpool through demanding operations off Libya and Warrant Officer Jeremy Bean is awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service for his engineering work on minehunter HMS Chiddingfold in the Arabian Gulf.

HMS Liverpool played a significant role in the blockade of Libya during the country's civil war last year. She disrupted and destroyed regime forces directly threatening civilians and became a key NATO ship for missions such as embargo enforcement, boarding operations and intelligence collection.

Cdr Williams' citation says: "Through sheer hard work and under his decisive and inspirational command, HMS Liverpool frequently fulfilled the key air battlespace management function when NATO airborne warning and control aircraft were unavailable. He led a strong and supportive team inside Libyan territorial waters, provided a highly visible, reassuring presence off beleaguered Libyan cities."

WO Bean was tasked with maintaining HMS Chiddingfold's high-readiness operational capability during six months in the Gulf last year. Working in high temperatures and with limited support, he ensured essential engineering work was carried out with minimal impact on the ship's hi-tempo programme.

His citation says: "His sustained professional focus under the most exacting conditions is to be commended."

He said he was honoured and flattered to be considered for the award when there were so many others on the front line worthy of recognition. "I would never have been considered for the award had it not been for the efforts of my department and the entire ship's company."

HMS Liverpool is returning to Portsmouth next week to be decommissioned.