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Bravos awards honour the RAF's pride of Brize Norton
Buy this photo » Sgt Ryan Briggs, left, with Group Captain Eddie Cole
THERE were looks of surprise and shock on their faces – and a sprinkling of celebrity stardust from Olympic star Victoria Pendleton.
But nothing could mask the pride felt in the room for the winners of the inaugural RAF Brize Norton BRAVOS Awards on Friday night.
There were standing ovations for the 10 winners who were honoured for their extraordinary achievements.
Among them was Sergeant Ryan Briggs for his life-saving action during what has become known as the Battle of Bastion in Afghanistan in September 2012.
When the fighting broke out, Sgt Briggs rushed to the aid of his colleagues, set up an aid station and administered medical treatment.
The 33-year-old father-of-two, who lives at the RAF base, told the Oxford Mail: “I’m quite humbled.
“You just do your job. As tasking as it was, I just had to get on with it.
“I was more concerned about the guys who were involved.”
Flight Lieutenant Michael Hadley, who hosted the evening, said of Sgt Briggs: “The actions and the speedy medical treatment undoubtedly saved lives and limbs of the combat troops.”
Olympic cycle sports star Victoria Pendleton was at the ceremony to present an award and told the Mail: “I always have massive respect for the military.
“I feel that if my sporting career hadn’t come off, I felt going into the military is something I would have done.
“These are real people doing real jobs. It is nice to mix with people I have a lot of time and respect for.”
Corporal Andrew Rogers, who returned from a four-month tour of Afghanistan last week, was named outstanding individual for his performance in a number of important roles in the past year, including acting sergeant.
The father-of-two, 35, said: “It is absolutely fantastic. I certainly didn’t expect it. I work with a fantastic team.”
Senior Aircraftman Lauren Hogarth was announced as the winner of the valiant volunteer award.
She was honoured for giving up her own time to work in the community, including hosting an air cadet summer programme around the station.
The 27-year-old, who lives on the base, said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all. It is nice to do something outside the air force.”
Of the awards, she said: “I think it is a good thing because I think a lot of hard work goes on on the base that doesn’t always get recognition.”
Civilian Meg Evans, 25, from Highworth, near Swindon, was named the winner of the Support to the Armed Forces award for providing support to Brize Norton by reuniting lost baggage with its rightful owner.
Outstanding individual – Corporal Andrew Rogers
Support to the Armed Forces – Meg Evans
Ambassador for Brize – Corporal Martin Puxley
Valiant Volunteer – Senior Aircraftman Lauren Hogarth
Brize’s Unsung Hero – Sergeant Johnny Carberry-Rogers
Outstanding Achievement in Sports – Royal Air Force Brize Norton Buccaneers
Outstanding Personal Development – Senior Aircraftman Natasha Mukungungwa
Top team – The Force Protection Training Unit
Special Achievement Award – Lin Kennedy
Triumph Through Adversity Award – Sergeant Ryan Briggs
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