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RAF officer from Northallerton honoured for his work in Afghanistan
1:19pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
AN RAF engineering officer found himself in the spotlight when he was presented with a medal honouring his service in Afghanistan.
Flight Lieutenant Andrew “Jack” Longbottom, from Northallerton, currently serves with 28 Army Co-operation Squadron at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, which operates the Merlin support helicopter.
He was part of the Merlin Force detachment at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan where he led the recovery of all aircraft, assets and support equipment back to the UK following the withdrawal of the Merlin helicopter from operations.
The onerous task took several months with Flt Lt Longbottom responsible for the welfare of his small team of engineers and support personnel that were to stay in Afghanistan until the recovery process was complete.
Hewas presented his medal by the Chief of Staff Personnel, Air Vice-Marshal Matt Wiles, during a special ceremony during his annual formal visit to Benson.
Flt Lt Longbottom, 28, attended Northallerton College and joined the RAF in 2008, He has previously completed tours and detachments in Coningsby, Oman, the USA and the Falkland Islands.
He arrived at RAF Benson in February 2013 to work with the Puma Force and soon transferred his expertise to the Merlin Force. It was as part of the Merlin Force that he deployed to Afghanistan.
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