Armed Forces

Armed Forces

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Officers from the Gibraltar Defence Police were awarded their Platinum Jubilee Medals in a recent ceremony held at the Force Headquarters in HMNB.

Officers who have served a minimum of 5 years in the emergency services are entitled to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.


Youth Outreach

Members of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s recruitment team invited The Youth Service to Devil’s Tower Camp to participate in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Youth Outreach Programme.

Twenty children between the ages of 10 and 17 spent the day learning about the history of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and what its responsibilities are today.


GDP Passing Out Parade

In a brief ceremony at the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Headquarters in Her Majesty’s Naval Base, GDP’s Chief of Police Rob Allen presented new recruits with their certificates for completion of their initial training, and for the latest recruits their first warrant cards.

Speaking to the new recruits in the presence of family members, the Chief of Police first welcomed Commodore Tom Guy RN, who has recently taken over as Commander British Forces Gibraltar.

Turning to the recruits, Chief of Police, Rob Allen said: “You have achieved an early milestone in your careers, having completed your initial training. You have a unique status as police officers, and you should use your significant legal powers with integrity and humility at all times.

“As police officers, sworn under Gibraltar Law, first and foremost you are here to keep people safe – that is your principal objective.

“The MOD maintains a police force to work with other law enforcement agencies locally to provide the necessary safety and security for the MOD and Her Majesty’s armed forces to carry out their mission in Gibraltar.”

Addressing the recruits following the presentation of their certificates, Commodore Tom Guy said that he was delighted to be in Gibraltar and highlighted the importance of the GDP to British Forces Gibraltar.

The police officers involved were: PC Daubney, PC Prescott, PC Celecia, PC Lombard, PC Avellano, PC Mauro, PC Galliano, PC Gaivizo, PC Benyoussef, PC Stokes.


RG CHANGES

Warrant Officer Class 1 Patrick Canepa has been promoted to Captain after completing three years as the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM).

During his three years as RSM, he helped steer the Regiment through the COVID-19 Pandemic, administrated the Battalion and planned and executed ceremonial events such as the Royal Gun Salutes and Ceremony of the Keys.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s Capt Canepa said, “Becoming RSM has been the pinnacle of my career. I joined the Regiment 22 years ago and never expected to become RSM. To finish of my time as RSM, I had the privilege of planning and executing Public Duties outside the Royal Palaces.

“I was also present as the Regiment received their New Colours at Windsor Castle and was involved with the recent Royal Visit here in Gibraltar.

“I now look forward to my new role as the Planning Officer.”

Warrant Officer Class 1 Dan Henderson has also been appointed as the new RSM. Henderson enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1999. 

RSM Henderson added, “It is a great honour and a huge privilege to be appointed RSM of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.”

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SWO Handover

Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Brian “Taff” Morris has taken over as the Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) of HQBF Gibraltar as the most senior non-commissioned rank in the Command.

Taff, who joins from Navy Command Headquarters, has taken over from WO1 Mac McKenna, following a handover outside the HQBF Gibraltar Tower.

As the SWO, Taff will act as the conduit between the non-commissioned ratings and ranks of all three services based in Gibraltar as well as conducting important ceremonial roles as the Parade Commander of the Battle of Trafalgar ceremony; he will attend public and private events alongside CBF.

Outgoing SWO, Mac McKenna said, “The past two years serving as the SWO have been demanding but extremely rewarding in many ways. It has been an absolute privilege to be part of and work alongside some fantastic people

“Serving as SWO in Gibraltar has been one of my career highlights and I leave with some fond memories of occasions such as the Armed Forces Day in 2021 and most recently, the Royal Visit and Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”

Mac leaves Gibraltar to start a new chapter in his Royal Naval career. He joins the Britannia Royal Naval Collage in July to undertake his officer training as part of the Warrant Officer Commissioning Programme.

Speaking of his new role, Taff added, “I am both excited and honoured to be returning to Gibraltar in the position of SWO and look forward to supporting Commander British Force’s Command plan.

“I am looking forward to further progressing the work that has been ongoing throughout Mac’s tenure and look forward to meeting people and their families from across the Command”


Farewell To CBFG

At the start of the month, Commodore Steve Dainton bid farewell to The Tower and Her Majesty’s Naval Base after two years as Commander British Forces Gibraltar.

Commodore Dainton arrived in Gibraltar in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He will now head back to the United Kingdom and take up his promotion to Rear Admiral. He left The Tower aboard patrol boat HMS Cutlass with his wife, Caroline, waved off by staff.

During his time in Gibraltar, Commodore Dainton was instrumental in the implementation and development of plans in support of the Integrated Review, he has led British Forces Gibraltar during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting resilience plans to help protect Gibraltar against the virus, as well as being committed to contingency plans surrounding ongoing EU exit negotiations. 

He was also the instigator for the First Armed Forces Day here in Gibraltar, in 2021, Commodore Dainton oversaw the arrival of HMS Cutlass and HMS Dagger and has championed the development of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s new maritime capability.

Commodore Steve Dainton commented, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I am very sad to leave. I was very fortunate when I found out that I was coming to Gibraltar. I have been coming back to Gibraltar since I was 18, so it has become my second home.

“I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic people whilst being here.” 

Everyone at Insight wishes you all the very best!


Jubilee Medals

British Forces Gibraltar personnel were recently awarded their Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal in a recent ceremony held in the Tower Courtyard, in the Naval Base, and on the parade square in Devil’s Tower Camp.

To mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a special commemorative medal has awarded to all serving frontline members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces. 

The Platinum Jubilee Medal is just one part of the year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations that will take place throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and across the world in 2022, as The Queen becomes the first British Monarch to celebrate this incredible milestone.

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RFA Lyme Bay

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay paid HM Naval Base a recent visit for a scheduled logistics visit.

RFA Lyme Bay is a Bay-class landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She can deliver a significant fighting force anywhere in the world.

As a Bay-class landing ship, RFA Lyme Bay’s purpose is to deliver troops, vehicles, stores and ammunition on Fleet operations across the globe. This enormous ship helps the Royal Navy maintain the ongoing waves of an amphibious assault.

From combat operations and international exercises to humanitarian aid missions, RFA Lyme Bay and her crew help make sure the Fleet is prepared for anything.


42 ROYAL GUN SALUTE

A 42 Royal Gun Salute was fired by the Thomson’s Battery, Headquarter Company of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to celebrate The Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation.

After being formally received by Major John Pitto, Commander British Forces, Commodore Steve Dainton was escorted towards the inspection line through Grand Battery House.

On completion of the inspection Major Pitto escorted Cdre Dainton to a central position to the rear of the troops where he viewed the salute.

Members of the public gathered to watch the salute as officers stood to attention.

On completion of the salute, Cdre Dainton signed the Inspecting Officers’ book and was accompanied into Grand Battery House by Major Pitto.


GDP LONG SERVICE MEDALS

Fourteen Gibraltar Defence Police officers are celebrating after receiving their 18-year Long Service Medals at the Force’s headquarters.

Chief of Police Rob Allen handed the medals to the officers during the special ceremony in the Training Wing.

It followed the GDP’s largest ever intake in 2004, when the fourteen officers signed up to join the Force.

The GDP officers who received the awards were:

PC Tania Rodriguez, PC Reginald Azzopardi, PC Darren Robba, PC Michael Gaetto, PC Daniel Hemmi, PC Lee Casciaro, PC Christian Fernandez, PC Jonathan Perez, PC Mario Johnson, PC Christian Jefferies, PSgt Prisan Fa, PSgt Martin Hosken, PSgt Ryan Casciaro and Chief Inspector Mahesh Chellaram.


Infantry Hockey

Two sergeants from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment travelled to the UK to take part in an Infantry hockey tournament.

Colour Sgt Malcolm Head and Sgt Ivan Massetti joined the Infantry Hockey Team, made up of players are from all branches of the Infantry, for the three day competition at Aldershot Hockey Ground.

The annual competition saw 9 teams from the Corps of the Army battle it out against each other — with the Infantry team coming 4th in the competition.

The Infantry won their first game 6-1 against the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) and their second game against the Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC) 4-3.

On the second day, the Royal Artillery were unable to field a team so pulled out of the competition, pushing the Infantry straight into the semi-finals against tournament favourites, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on day three.

A spokesman added: “Unfortunately, the Infantry lost 3-0. The infantry then played penalty flicks against the RLC to determine 3rd and 4th place, which again saw the Infantry lose.” 

In the end, the Royal Corps of Signals won the tournament.

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Easter Programme

Over Easter, children from the British Forces Community took part in an Easter Programme organised by the Community Support Team in Four Corners.

Twenty five children, aged between five and sixteen, attended the four day programme where they spent three days taking part in Easter Arts and Crafts and then an Easter Egg Hunt on the fourth day.

The Arts and Crafts days consisted of making Easter egg baskets, Easter nests made from rice crispy cakes, and bunny masks. The children also took part in an Easter inspired Zumba workout, some dancing, and played several board games.

On the last day, the children were treated to an Easter Egg hunt. They were each given a map of the Four Corners Estate with clues to where a letter was hidden. They had to find all nine letters and spell out the Easter themed word in order to get their Easter egg. This year’s word was Easter Fun.

Amy Alexander from the Community Support Team said, “We had great responses from both the children and their parents, who loved seeing the creations they brought home. We are already planning what we can do next year.”


GIBRALTAR & THE FALKLANDS

An exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands was opened by the Hon, the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP.

The exhibition has been curated by the Archivist Anthony Pitaluga MBE and prepared by the Gibraltar National Archives. Its opening follows the unveiling of a commemorative plaque last week to honour Gibraltar’s role in the Falklands conflict.

Dr Garcia explained that the enduring and unbreakable bond between Gibraltar and the Falklands was cemented during the war to liberate the Islands. There were strong parallels between both places and many Gibraltarians saw their own situation reflected in the plight of the Falklands and defended their right to self-determination.

The conflict in the Falklands had a direct impact on Gibraltar at the time, with the reopening of the border delayed, and an Argentine military operation against the Rock thwarted. A very close relationship was maintained throughout the conflict and continued after the Islands were liberated on 14 June 1982.

The exhibition is made up 190 A1 PVC panels displaying 483 individual images, live testimonials from Falkland veterans, a collection of original memorabilia and a section of postage material relevant to the conflict are also on display. There is also an interactive research station where archival material from the UK National Archives and the Imperial War Museum can be viewed.


CHARITY BAKE SALE

The Princess Royal Medical Centre and Joint Admin Office recently held a charity bake sale to raise money for Gibraltar Hearing Issues and Tinnitus Association (GHITA).

Members of staff from the PRMC and JAO took turns to bake cakes with the aim of raising money for this charity. A variety of cakes were on sale including a spiderman themed cake, cheesecakes, spiced buns and a chocolate, raspberry & aubergine cake.

Mr Edgar A Triay from GHITA was invited to the PRMC for a formal presentation where donations totalling £86.10 were handed over to help toward this cause.a

RAF Medic, Cpl Josh Satterley, from the PRMC said, “The PRMC hopes to establish a good working relationship with GHITA in the future. We are also currently looking to train some of our medics in sign language.”

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Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is delighted to announce the arrival of HMS Dagger, the final craft to be delivered by Marine Specialised Technology (MST).

HMS Dagger will be based in HM Naval Base Gibraltar and used to patrol British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, support British exercises and operations in the area and will keep close watch over Gibraltar’s shores.

Dagger must first undergo a rigorous set of sea trials and safety checks until she can fly a White Ensign. These trials are due to be complete in mid- 2022.

The role of Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) is to conduct maritime operations in order to provide security in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, to reassure the Gibraltarians and demonstrate UK sovereignty of Gibraltar. They also provide force protection to visiting warships, submarines and auxiliary units alongside their civilian counterparts in the Gibraltar Defence Police force. They perform this unwavering duty 365 days a year.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Simon Holden said, “The arrival of HMS Dagger to the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is the culmination of many months of hard work by our commercial partners, Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone involved in the project and as her first Commanding Officer I am looking forward to putting HMS Dagger through her paces and getting her operational as soon as possible.

“She is now going to conduct several sea trials prior to raising the White Ensign in mid- 2022.”


The Gibraltar Defence Police is delighted to have got their boat back after it was sent off for refurbishment in the UK.

The Police Motorboat (PMB) Sir Evan Gibb, also known as Victor Charlie 5, was built in the United Kingdom in 1984 and delivered to Gibraltar in 2012. The vessel is 15 metres long and can reach a top speed of 25 knots.

Although the vessel is 38 years old, it has proven to be a reliable asset to HQBF and the force in general.

In 2018 Sir Evan Gibb, underwent a refit at a local ship repair yard and resulted in officers enjoying a revamped stable platform in which to carry out their duties.

The vessel was transported to a professional ship repair yard in the UK in 2021 for a full re-fit, during which the vessel was modernised and improved to suit the new operational requirements that the GDP currently undertakes. The vessel is design to carry 8 passengers. It has four Whole Body Vibration Seats as well as a small kitchenette, a toilet and shower facilities.

Inspector Olivero, from the GDP Marine Section, said, “Sir Evan Gibbs is used as an operational vessel, patrolling Admiralty Waters and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by a qualified Marine Crew. It also serves as the main focal point for armed maritime escorts for inbound and outbound Naval vessels into Port.

“It is not unusual to see this vessel floating inside the harbour adjacent to naval vessels, not only providing protection to the vessel but also the crew onboard.” the great success it is.”


The Royal Gibraltar Regiment (RG) received its new Colours at a ceremony at Windsor Castle from HRH The Earl of Wessex, in a memorable moment for attending troops, family and friends.

In what is only the third time that the Regiment has performed public duties in London, the RG took over from the Coldstream Guards at the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 21 March. Since then, they have spent the last few weeks guarding The Tower of London, St James’ Palace and Windsor Castle.

The troops had an early start to the big day as they departed from Woolwich to arrive at Windsor to ensure all the final preparations were underway. The final hours were filled with kit preparation. A final rehearsal was conducted in Victoria Barracks before the troops made their way to Windsor Castle.

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex presented the Regiment with their new colours, which were approved by Her Majesty The Queen.

Watching in the Quadrangle were the Commanding Officer of the RG, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dyson, Commander British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

Commanding Officer of the RG, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dyson said, “To receive new Colours at Windsor Castle truly is an honour and will be such a memorable experience especially for the junior soldiers; it is a real highlight in the Regiment’s history.”

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In an incredible display of flying prowess, a Chinook helicopter delivered 4 critical components of radar equipment to Rock Gun, a key step in RAF Gibraltar’s upgrade to its Air Traffic Management systems. The fragile equipment was flown to the Upper Rock by experienced aircrew from 28 Squadron, RAF Odiham.

The air operation was in support of Programme Marshall, UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) programme to upgrade and support air traffic management capability across 65 units in the UK and around the globe. RAF Gibraltar’s Air Traffic infrastructure at Rock Gun will benefit from this investment, with an enhanced air traffic picture and improved system monitoring and remote management.

The four underslung loads that the Chinook delivered were components of the new STAR-NG Radar, including radar units and drive mechanism. Also flown to the top of the Rock was a new navigational beacon.

RAF Gibraltar’s Station Commander, Wing Commander Nel Doherty, paid testament to the skill of the teams involved in the successful lift.

“I am genuinely delighted at the manner in which this difficult task has been achieved. As always, the Rock poses its own set of unique challenges, which makes a like-for-like replacement trickier than normal.”

“However, a talented and very broad team have ensured that all safety considerations were in hand, and that disruption to the people of Gibraltar was minimised. I’d like to thank them for their patience. We expect that today’s activity will be remembered by many for quite some years to come.”

It is hoped that the radar will be operational in September 2022 after a period of verification and testing. Controllers will continue to use the Watchman radar until then.

Recently, 28 Squadron has provided tactical air transport to front-line troops in Afghanistan. The Squadron operates the Chinook helicopter, an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter. It can carry up to 55 troops or up to 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.

RAF Gibraltar personnel were supported by specialists from the UK, including those from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit who prepared and tested the underslung loads. Overseeing the various teams were the Project Officers from Aquila and Thales, who form part of the delivery team for Programme Marshall.


The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron was delighted to have taken full ownership of HMS Cutlass.

HMS Cutlass has been in Gibraltar since November 21 and has been undertaking key sea trials in order to be presented to the RNGS.

Cutlass, built by Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology, is a smaller, faster and more agile patrol boat that has been specifically designed with Gibraltar and BGTW in mind. The vessel can reach 40 knots compared to the previous 20 knots from HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer. Cutlass has modern optical and infra-red systems, enabling her to identify and track potential threats at range. Unlike Dasher and Pursuer, many of the systems on board are autonomous which aids the Crew in her operation, maintenance and response to any unforeseen incidents.

“We are delighted that HMS Cutlass has proven her capability during the manufacturers trials and she is now ready to begin the Royal Navy safety and readiness checks,” said the ship’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman.

“She increases the Squadron’s capability in providing maritime security and demonstrating UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters”.

The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron will begin a series of trials, exercises and training supported by Flag Officer Sea Training in order to generate the vessel and her crew to full operational capability in the Spring.

A spokesman for MST said, “Marine Specialised Technology is extremely honoured to have been asked to deliver the Royal Navy Patrol Launch project. This is the first project to be launched which is a result of MST’s partnership with BMT Global Limited who assisted in the design phase of these two prestigious states of the art crafts, and everyone is delighted with the results.”

“The transition of Cutlass to the Royal Navy is an extremely proud moment for MST and all of its employees who have worked very hard to ensure this project has been the great success it is.”


Defence Guard Security Officer Paul Hazell was lost for words when he was asked to head into the training wing for a routine meeting and was awarded a Chief of Police Commendation from Rob Allen in a recent ceremony.

Paul, father of three, was in the North Barrier Patrol room in the early hours of the morning when he noticed an individual driving onto the airfield. He quickly called the Airfield Mobile Unit who immediately attended and detained the individual.

Chief of Police Rob Allen said, “His professionalism and exemplary service delivery whilst on duty at the Airfield during the early hours of the morning, when his alertness and swift response led to the apprehension of an individual who had trespassed onto the Airfield.

“That is exactly what we want from the Defence Guard Service and it is a perfect example of your professionalism.”

“It has come as a tremendous surprise”, commented Mr Hazell. “I don’t know what to say. This award means a great deal to me.”

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FLEET JACK DUSTY AWARD

A member of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) has been celebrating after receiving an award at a ceremony in the RNGS Headquarters.

Leading Supply Chain (LSC) Thomas Williams was presented with the “Fleet Jack Dusty” award at the special ceremony in recognition of the highest professional standards and commitment to the RN Logistics Supply Chain Branch.

In addition to his day job as the Squadron’s Supply Chain Logistician, the 32-year-old has proved himself as a highly effective operator on the water and finds himself at the helm of Pacific 24 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats at short notice.

Father of two, LSC Williams, who is originally from Tamworth, Staffordshire and has been based in Gibraltar for the past two years, said, “I was really surprised to receive the award. With so much going on fleet wide throughout the last year I think it highlights the importance of RNGS and what we do here.”

When asked about his time here in Gibraltar, Williams continued, “Not only has it given my family and myself the unique experiences of living in Gibraltar, exploring the Iberian Peninsula and meeting many new friends, professionally it’s a once in a career opportunity to excel in my primary role and also get heavily involved with operations. Something that my role wouldn’t normally do.”

Commanding Officer Gib Squadron, Lieutenant Commander Lowe, added, “LSC Williams has demonstrated the highest levels of Naval core values and standards within an operational environment. His consistency of success in adverse conditions stands him well above his branch peers and is an example to others on how to fulfil both support and operational roles. Consequently, he is fully deserving of the Fleet Supply Chain Award.”

LSC Williams will be leaving Gibraltar shortly and is looking forward to joining Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose, in Cornwall, supporting the Fleet Air Arm.


COLLEGE OF POLICING AWARDS

Nine Licensed Search Officers (LSOs) were presented with College of Policing recognition awards by Chief of Police, Rob Allen, to mark their completion of five and ten years in the Gibraltar Defence Police Search Team.

The role of the Police Licensed Search Officers was recognised to mark 5 years and 10 years’ service in this specialism – Bronze and Silver respectively. LSOs, led by Police Search Advisers (POLSA), conduct assured searches of venues in advance of public events or visiting MoD assets. In addition, officers are trained to deliver specialised search across land and within premises to identify evidence in criminal investigations and more broadly.

Addressing the officers, Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Chief of Police, Rob Allen commented, “I am delighted to be able to present these certificates to you today to recognise the service you have delivered over a protracted period in this very important specialism. I know that the work is hard, conducted over long hours in variable weather and often inhospitable situations.

That said the work you do is a vital assurance for both the MoD and often for the wider Gibraltar community. I join the College of Policing, the MoD and the wider community in thanking you for your hard work.”

The recipients of the bronze awards (5 years’ service) were: PC Rowbottom, PC Ferrary, PC Earl, Sgt Cawood, PC Chrayeh, PC Green. The recipients of the silver awards (10 years’ service) were: Sgt Dickson, PC Chipolina, PC Martinez.

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Staff at the Ministry of Defence were honoured to receive commendations from the Commander of British Forces Gibraltar recently, in a ceremony which saw workers from both civilian and military posts recognised for their exceptional work.

Cpl O’Mahoney has demonstrated unparalleled dedication to the delivery of health and wellbeing across the British Forces Gibraltar community. As well as his commitment to the Mental wellbeing committee he stepped forward to organise the inaugural Gibraltar element of the RAF Association Rides welfare charity event. This saw a collective of teams across the RAF cycle the equivalent of the circumference of the globe. His drive and commitment from the outset were incredible, demonstrating ambition and innovation in delivering a challenging event and is an extremely worthy recipient of this CBF commendation.

CPO David May ably assisted by PO Daniel Sweeney and their small team of divers from the Command Diving Element were invaluable during preparation of Armed Forces Day 21. Working above and beyond, they assisted in the arduous task of moving essential equipment from various locations around the MoD estate. Without their support, Armed Forces Day would not have been half the success it eventually was.

Since his arrival to the Gibraltar Command Diving Element in December 18, Able Seamen Harris-Joce has consistently made himself available to cover additional duties during exceptionally busy periods that were made remarkably more challenging by a prolonged gapping of workforce. His impeccable standards and loyalty to the service are not only commendable but an inspiration to all those that he encounters, both military and civilian.

NATS ATC and Engineering received an RAF Safety Centre Team Commendation for their outstanding work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred by significant changes to shift patterns and the loss of key personnel, both sections responded with the minimum of fuss and were a key element in ensuring that air operations continued at RAF Gibraltar for the duration of what was an extremely testing period for all.

Christina Stevenson is a stalwart and shining example in 4 Corners and beyond. She voluntarily assists the Community Support Team by attending two youth club sessions per week and being heavily involved in the summer activities and Halloween half term programmes. She is also a volunteer at the Alwani Foundation Charity shop in Gibraltar. She is an extremely worthy recipient of the CBF commendation.

WO1 Walsh’s impact in post has been nothing short of transformational. He has overturned the form book, simultaneously addressing both the Physical Development (PD) programme and the kit and equipment held to the extent that it is unrecognisable to that which preceded it. Alongside the PD programme, Walsh also took it upon himself to paint the entire gym in his spare time. For service above and beyond reasonable expectations, transforming the delivery of all physical training, and for his positive impact across the wider community, QMSI Walsh is thoroughly deserving of official recognition.


Staff at the Ministry of Defence were recognised for their loyalty and commitment to the service at a special award ceremony recently.

Commodore Steve Dainton addressed each member of staff and expressed his thanks for their loyalty over the many years with short anecdotes from their working days. As a token of  his appreciation, they also received certificates.

Sgt Louise Adkin originally joined the Army as a Combat Medical Technician in 2006, and soon realised this was not for her and transferred as a Human Resources Specialist. The service has allowed many opportunities, including serving with Prince Harry as a Private. It is for the excellent commitment to the UK Armed Forces spanning over 15 years of unblemished Service, Sgt Adkin is awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Maria Burdis has been working within the Royal Gibraltar Regiment as an Accommodation Booking Clerk since September 2020, where she was thrown into the deep end amidst changes to working practice due to the pandemic. Maria rose to the challenge, learning the role quickly and working with both sponsors and the support team. This award honours her career achievement of 15 years’ service where her contributions are greatly appreciated.

Ana Fernandez began her journey with the MOD in 1995 within the Janitorial Department. During her time in the MoD, she has worked in both Janitorial and the Catering & Accommodation Services. Ana is a team player and will tackle her responsibilities until done to perfection. She is a well-liked and appreciated member of staff both by her colleagues and management. Ana takes pride in what she does and will not be happy until she has her area cleaner than clean. This honour awards her career achievement of 26 years.

Nadia Edwards joined the MOD in 1996 where the majority of her career was spent within the finance department. She became a solid and reliable team member, working her way up the ladder gaining ample finance experience along the way. After almost 20 years, an opportunity for promotion to C2 saw Nadia take up the post of Senior Human Resources Manager/Wellbeing Officer in 2017 and now enjoys well established and excellent working relationships with the workforce and managers across the Command. This award honours over 25 years’ service in MOD Gibraltar.

Gilbert McCarthy began his MOD career in 1977 as an apprentice Carpenter and Joiner. He undertook various roles in Building and Civil Engineering at Department of Environment / Property Services Agency, primarily responsible for Services Families Accommodation Married Quarters. He also served in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment TA. Gilbert was promoted to C2 Families Housing Manager in 2011, a post he has remained in until his retirement. He led the Families Housing team through a challenging period which saw large portions of the MOD Estate handed over to the Government of Gibraltar. Gilbert will be missed by his friends and colleagues throughout MOD, who wish him the very best for the future.

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Gibraltar Defence Police currently has over ten working dogs which are based at its headquarters in Devil’s Tower Camp.

This includes three breeds of dogs – German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, who all work as general-purpose dogs and a Springer Spaniel, known as sniffer dogs, who can find illegal drugs, quantities of cash, explosives, and digital media storage devices, such as hard drives and SIM cards.

Six years ago, the kennels had a major renovation where heated floors were installed for those cold winter months and air conditioning for those warm summer days. A one-way glass window also installed to allow the dogs to have some privacy. There is a hatch that leads to a larger outside area so the dogs can go out and stretch their paws.

As well as changes to the inside kennels, the outside compound now consists of a separate exercise area featuring grass and play equipment such as tunnels and an agility ramp to help stimulate the dogs and encourage play. At the back of the establishment there is a shower room, a medical room and of course, the room that holds their tasty food.

A former GDP Officer, Melvyn Brier, created a memorial area where he handcrafted a plaque for those Police Dogs who dedicated their working lives to the force.

Chief of Police Rob Allen said, “Police dogs are a valuable asset to operational policing and a well-loved part of the Gibraltar Defence Police family, as well as the general public. Members of the public can rest assured that our four-legged constables are well-looked after in five star accommodation.”

By the age of 7, the dogs are usually ready to hang up their K-9 badges and enjoy spending the rest of their days relaxing. The dogs will either retire locally or they will be sent back to the UK to be rehomed. This December, PD Anja will be retiring and moving in with PC Sodi.

Happy retirement Anja!


RFA Fort Victoria

RFA Fort Victoria arrived at HMNB Gibraltar for a scheduled logistics visit.

Providing vital support to the wider fleet by acting as a stores ship and a fleet tanker, Fort Victoria is fitted with four central replenishment rigs enabling her to replenish two warships simultaneously with fuel and stores – with another refuelling rig at her rear.

Having a large flight-deck, hangar and maintenance facilities for helicopters, Fort Victoria also has embarked specialists with a variety of roles in the monitoring, surveillance and preparation for a response to any life threatening incident at sea.


GDP Officer Adrian Sodi

A Gibraltar Defence Police Sergeant was surprised when he was called into the GDP Headquarters to receive a commendation.

Police Sergeant 44 Adrian Sodi is one of the GDP’s Police Search Advisors (PolSA), a role which he carries out in addition to his normal duties as one the Force’s operational duty sergeants.

There are currently only three trained PolSA officers within the GDP. This specialised role, coordinating and directing searches, involves PS Sodi leading a team of licensed search officers to conduct searches in advance of events throughout Gibraltar, including visiting vessels and ceremonial events. In addition, he has worked with the Royal Gibraltar Police, assisting in the conduct of significant crime scene searches.

He has been commended by the Chief of Police, Rob Allen for “His overall dedication and professionalism in leading and coordinating search operations on behalf of the force over a protracted period of significantly increased operational activity including the inaugural visit of HMS Prince of Wales to Gibraltar”.

On receiving his commendation, Sergeant Sodi commented, “I’m grateful to receive this recognition but I have to say that each and every one of these searches is a team effort, so I see this as recognition for the team as well as myself.”

While presenting the commendation, Mr Allen said, “This is a well-deserved recognition for an officer who has repeatedly gone above and beyond to deliver for this force in many roles, but in this case specifically in leading and conducting searches to an extremely high standard.”

Armed Forces

in Armed Forces

BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR REMEMBRANCE

Members of the Royal Navy currently serving in Gibraltar gathered in the Trafalgar Cemetery to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar.

The service was attended by Commander British Forces, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition.

Commander Hawkins, Royal Navy, and Commanding Officer Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron Lowe placed wreaths on the graves of those who died as a result of the Battle.


Hundreds of people gathered in Casemates Square to watch the Ceremony of The Keys.

Hundreds of people gathered in Casemates Square to watch the Ceremony of The Keys.

The Commander of British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel and Chief of Staff, Col Robert Lindsay were all present for the event.

The ceremony, which now takes place twice a year, is a reminder that each evening during the Great Siege the Fortress was locked and platoons were posted outside the walls on the North Front of the Rock to act as sentries.

The crowd was also entertained with music from the Royal Gibraltar Band & Corps of Drums and the visiting Nottinghamshire Band of The Royal Engineers.

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