RAF Brize Norton News

4626 SQUADRON HONOURS & AWARDS AND NEW HONORARY AIR COMMODORE

By tradition, the 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (RAF Reserves) December Training Weekend sees the Squadron hold its ‘Annual Honours and Awards Ceremony’.  This year the Ceremony was even more significant as the Squadron welcomed its newly appointed Honorary Air Commodore (HAC), Professor Keith Willett.  Air Commodore David McLoughlin, Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops), who was present to officiate at the Awards presentations, was delighted to welcome the Professor on behalf of not only the RAF, but also the RAF Medical Reserves Component. 

Pictured are members of 4626 Squadron with their awards, with Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops) Air Commodore David McLoughlin
Pictured are members of 4626 Squadron with their awards, with Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops) Air Commodore David McLoughlin

In presenting the Professor with his Air Commodore rank slides, AO Med Ops said:

“I am delighted that Professor Keith Willett CBE has agreed to be the Honorary Air Commodore for 4626 Squadron. Professor Willett is the NHS Medical Director for Acute Care and was the trauma czar appointed to government to implement major trauma systems across England. He is now head of NHS Emergency Preparedness dealing with issues such as terrorist attacks, pandemic flu and high consequent infectious diseases. He is also the national NHS lead for Brexit. In these roles he will interact with Defence on a regular basis. Therefore, his appointment as the HAC of 4626 Squadron will not only benefit the medical reserves but also wider Defence.”

The Air Commodore went on to say:

“I am delighted to visit 4626 Squadron today, Saturday 7 Dec, to present operational medals, commendations and awards.  It was humbling to hear what our Reservists do on behalf of Defence and I was privileged to be asked to present the awards’.  Medical is in the vanguard of the Whole Force approach and we have plans to do even more with our Reservists in 2020.”

Air Commodore David McLoughlin, Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops) presents Professor Willett his Air Commodore rank slides
Air Commodore David McLoughlin, Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops) presents Professor Willett his Air Commodore rank slides

Wing Commander Graham Banks, Officer Commanding 4626 Squadron, in welcoming the Professor to his new role agreed, saying:

“We are delighted and very fortunate that we have managed to secure Professor Keith Willet as the new Honorary Air Commodore for 4626 Squadron.  His vast wealth of experience and numerous senior roles and positions within the NHS will prove a real asset in assisting our recruitment, retention and interaction with the NHS.  He will prove a valuable ambassador for the RAF and RAF Reserve Medical Services.  Our Defence and Employer Engagement programmes will benefit fully from the Professor’s representations. As an example, in our conversations with him, the AO and I discovered that as the Head of the EPPR it was he who was chairing the cross-Government meeting on the joint Defence and Government recent efforts to recover severely ill patients with Lassa fever.  In short, Air Commodore (Professor) Willett will be an asset to the medical reserves but perhaps also to the DMS and to wider Defence.”

Air Commodore David McLoughlin, Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops), Professor Willett and Wing Commander Graham Banks, Officer Commanding 4626 Squadron
Air Commodore David McLoughlin, Air Officer Medical Operations (AO Med Ops), Professor Willett and Wing Commander Graham Banks, Officer Commanding 4626 Squadron

Air Commodore Willett, in his own introduction and speaking to the Squadron personnel, said:

“I am honoured to be asked to take up this role. I can immediately see many opportunities in developing greater professional, clinical and operational cohesion in our shared staff across the NHS and Defence to the benefit of both services and to each of us as individuals.  I have worked with Defence Medical Services on many occasions over the last 10 years, but I look forward to learning much more.”

Connect with RAF Brize Norton

Using Internet Explorer 8? Please switch to using Chrome if you can.