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Warrant Officer 1 David Rowlands in front of an RAF Merlin helicopter

RN Air Engineer awarded MBE

Published: 22 Jan 2013

NAVY Air Engineer, Warrant Officer 1 David Rowlands (46), from 78 Squadron RAF Benson, has been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List 2013.

WO Rowlands is currently part of a Royal Navy team based at RAF Benson Oxfordshire, preparing for the transition of Merlin MK3 and MK3A aircraft from RAF to RN ownership.

Previously based with Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset as the Operational Fleet Controller he was responsible the administration, allocation and movements of 37 Sea King helicopters. During his tenure the decision was taken to retire the Sea King MK4 and WO1 Rowlands was tasked to liaise with other MoD departments and compile the retirement plot, whilst still maintaining the Aircraft Operational focus and capability.

He was commended for making an invaluable contribution over a long and distinguished career, his outstanding knowledge and management skills have ensured the success of Naval rotary wing assets deployed in Afghanistan and on world wide Exercises.

WO1 Rowlands, whose home is in Stoke Sub Hamdon in Somerset, joined the Royal Navy in 1986 as an air Engineering Artificer Apprentice, qualifying post completion of apprenticeship in 1990. Spending many years within the squadrons of CHF, he has spent most of his career on Operations in extremely diverse locations such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

On hearing that he was to be presented the MBE, WO1 Rowlands said, “I am extremely honoured and humbled to have been considered for such an award and feel tremendously proud to have been recognised for the small part I have played in the overall success of the Commando Helicopter Force.”


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