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Royal Air Force Operational Honours & Awards profiles

The following Royal Air Force personnel have been recognised in the Armed Forces Operational Honours & Awards List No 59 (including Foreign Awards). 

These awards recognise some of the contributions and achievements of personnel on worldwide operations, between the 1st April to 30th September 2023. Operations include activity in Mali, Estonia, and Poland.

Corporal David Suttie

Corporal Suttie was deployed as the Typhoon Mechanical Engineer from January to June 2022 to RAF Akrotiri. His primary role was to supervise Typhoon front line engineering activities in support of Operation SHADER. However, during this period the RAF Typhoons were ordered to support NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activity after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which effectively doubled the workload. During this intensely demanding period, Corporal Suttie demonstrated outstanding leadership as part of an extremely busy mechanical trade team. He made a significant contribution to delivering against every aspect of the Detachment’s operational task. Suttie’s commitment to the Service and outstanding performance have been an inspiration to his colleagues. A consummate professional who embodies Service before self, Corporal Suttie is awarded a Joint Commander’s Commendation.

It is with heartfelt pride that I accept this award on behalf of II(AC) Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth. For us all, this detachment represented an array of challenges both professional and personal. This award is recognition of the team, those who support us and our ability to deliver. It is an honour to be amongst such a group of individuals.

Image shows RAF Personnel on airfield.
Corporal David Suttie.

Warrant Officer Richard Grimshaw-Else

Warrant Officer Richard Grimshaw-Else was deployed as the Squadron Warrant Officer for the II(AC) Squadron Typhoon Detachment to RAF Akrotiri between January and May 2022. His exceptional leadership was central to the delivery of the highest-tempo operational output the Typhoon Force has ever seen. Warrant Officer Grimshaw-Else’s phenomenal effort saw II(AC) Squadron deliver UK Air Power from Cyprus in four separate operations across three continents within the same 24-hour period. He generated almost double the normal output with only a 40% increase in personnel. His inspirational example and leadership delivered an exceptional feat of aircraft engineering without a single safety incident. Warrant Officer Grimshaw-Else exemplifies the ethos of the Royal Air Force and is therefore awarded a Joint Commander’s Commendation.

I am extremely humbled to receive this award, both for myself and on behalf of II(AC) Squadron.  This deployment saw the highest tempo of Operations in the history of the Typhoon; this was only made possible by the efforts of the entire deployment team and the direct support received from the home team at RAF Lossiemouth.

Image shows official portrait of RAF Personnel.
Warrant Officer Richard Grimshaw-Else.

Acting Flight Lieutenant Colin Carey

Acting Flight Lieutenant Colin Carey was deployed as an Air Operations Officer on Operation BILOXI from March to August 2022. His exceptional efforts guaranteed the success of the deployment’s operational engagements, and participation in a deployed exercise to Turkiye. Flight Lieutenant Colin Carey undertook the role with no prior air ops experience, having joined the Expeditionary Air Wing with just two weeks’ notice and only four months into his first tour as a Flight Operations Officer. His remarkable output quickly merited acting higher rank, and his consistent achievements and performance deserve special recognition. Given the same circumstances, few could have matched Acting Flight Lieutenant Colin Carey’s level of excellence, and for this he is awarded a Joint Commander’s Commendation.

I am honoured to have been awarded this commendation, it would not have been possible without the support from all the hard working personnel from 140 Expeditionary Air Wing and 3(F) Squadron that made Operation BILOXI such a success. I am immensely proud to have served on the Operation and it is without doubt one of the highlights of my career so far.

Image shows RAF Personnel on airfield with Lightning aircraft.
Acting Flight Lieutenant Colin Carey.

Reverend (Squadron Leader) Christina Lacey

Reverend (Squadron Leader) Christina Lacey was deployed as Chaplain to Headquarters 83 Expeditionary Air Group on Operation KIPION from March to June 2022. Tirelessly supportive and encouraging, she was responsible for the positivity and team spirit which prevailed at each of the Group’s locations. Despite the setbacks posed by COVID restrictions, Reverend (Squadron Leader) Lacey’s constructive impact on the RAF’s contribution to Operation KIPION cannot be overstated. She was an energetic and inspirational influence to every corner of the organisation, effectively combining this with her natural ability to put individuals at ease and draw out their concerns. For her outstanding work Reverend (Squadron Leader) Lacey is awarded a Joint Commander’s Commendation.

It's so humbling to receive this commendation. To be a Chaplain is to serve and to love, so that's what I try to do. It's an awesome honour to live and journey alongside those who give so much in the Armed Forces, especially whilst on deployment, to play my part in loving and valuing people not just for what they do, but for who they are.

Image shows RAF Personnel with child going down an outdoors play park slide.
Revd (Squadron Leader) Christina Lacey with her daughter.

Read the full Royal Air Force Operational Honours & Awards List No 59