Tactical Medical Wing (TMW) has been awarded the prestigious Firmin Sword of Peace in recognition of their work in South Sudan on Operation Trenton 5.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston presented the sword to TMW at a special ceremony held at RAF Brize Norton. The unprecedented award recognises the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping deployment of 25 RAF and 4 Army healthcare personnel to the Role Two (R2) Hospital, South Sudan in 2018.
Established in 1966 and originally known as the Wilkinson Sword of Peace, when Wilkinson stopped the production of swords in 2005 Firmin and Sons began sponsoring the award, presenting a ceremonial sword to one unit each of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force every year.
Wing Commander Jo Bland, Officer Commanding Tactical Medical Wing said: “The Firmin Sword of Peace is an award given to units of the UK Armed Forces for activities above and beyond their normal role that improves relations with the community. The UK R2 facility provided medical healthcare treatment to 1800 UN military personnel, civil servants, contractors and other charity workers based within the compound in Bentiu. The R2 was able to stabilise ill or injured UN personnel and conduct damage control surgery in the event of traumatic injuries prior to Aeromedical Evacuation if required. I am enormously proud of their achievements and I feel that TMW are truly honoured to receive the Firmin Sword of Peace.”
The Defence Medical Service (DMS) Doctors, Nurses, Medics and Allied Health Professionals were drawn from nine different RAF and DMS Units and were deployed under TMW. During their first week of the deployment, they were faced with a major medical incident when a Ghanaian peacekeeping troop-carrying vehicle had overturned into a waterway. Prior to their departure from South Sudan, the DMS personnel were also commended for their successful handover of the facility to the Vietnamese unit.
Squadron Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Officer Commanding Role Two Hospital, Operation Trenton 5 said: “It was a privilege to lead such an exemplary team to South Sudan, providing the first RAF led R2 Hospital in over 27 years. Receiving this award, alongside a 3-star Team Commendation from Deputy Commander of Operations, is an honour and reflects both the intensity of effort applied and skilled professionalism employed by all those who supported this venture.”