The Firmin Sword of Peace for 2017 was presented to RAF Benson by Air Marshal Wigston for all their help during Op Ruman.
In September 2017, the Joint Helicopter Force 3 Headquarters and the Puma Force deployed from RAF Benson to support relief efforts in the Caribbean after the area was devastated by a series of hurricanes.
Given 5 days to prepare aircraft and personnel to deploy, the team were ready in just 18 hours, showing just how quickly the force can mobilise when needed. Engineers rapidly rebuilt the aircraft in extreme weather conditions and the Puma began delivering essential aid just hours after landing.
As well as delivering emergency aid to disparate and desperate communities, the team also helped the local authorities to re-open civilian airports by fixing generators, clearing debris, repairing roofs and reconnecting terminals, all while building warm relationships with the local communities during incredibly difficult times.