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Published: 18 Dec 2014



Christmas came early to a group of sailors at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose during the Second Sea Lords recent visit, when he presented awards for distinguished service to four naval personnel.


The Second Sea Lord (2SL) Vice Admiral David Steel CBE DL was touring the Fleet Air Arm’sWest Cornwallbase when he was asked to present Valedictory certificates, a Warrant Officer’s parchment and a Long Service and Good Conduct medal.


Lt Cdr Paul Toon, the First Lieutenant (1LT) at Culdrose, along with WO 1 Paul Lofthouse the Base Warrant Officer (BWO) also of the base, were presented with their Valedictory Certificates at the small ceremony in the Air Station’s Wardroom.


Paul Toon began his career as a junior Air Engineer Mechanic, working on Sea King helicopters with several Culdrose Squadrons. In 1996 he joinedBritanniaRoyalNavalCollegeon taking a commission. As an Aviation Officer he has served with several Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ships, HMS Ark Royal as the Flight deck Officer and at RNAS Culdrose, commanding the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations and the Fire Station, before becoming the Station’s First Lieutenant.


Paul Lofthouse started his naval service in 1976 when as a junior seaman he served on HMS’s Active and Cleopatra as a Seaman Missileman. Changing branches he joined RNAS Culdrose for Aircrewman flying training before joining 829 Naval Air Squadron and flew helicopters on HMS’s Lowestoft and Naiad whilst stationed at RNAS Portland inDorset.  Paul’s Flying career has seen him move through the ranks on several squadron at Culdrose andScotlandas part of an evaluation team with the Sea King Mk 6, before joining 819 NAS for Search and Rescue duties. He converted to the Merlin in 2000 and once again was involved in an evaluation team that brought the aircraft into frontline service. A spell at Navy Command HQ inPortsmouthas career manager for the FAA warfare branches followed, before taking up the BWO job at Culdrose.


2SL thanked them for their combined service of 70 years in the Royal Navy. He said, “Your professionalism and dedication has influenced so many people, throughout your careers. I wish every success in the future and hope that you will remember with affection your time in the Royal Navy”.

Receiving his Warrant Officer’s Parchment was WO2 Keiryn Moffitt. He currently works at Culdrose as the continuous airworthiness manager for Sea King. Qualifying as an Air Engineer Mechanic in 1988, Keiryn has served on 849, 771, 857 and 854Naval Sqn’s. Deploying to the Gulf on numerous occasions he has also seen active service during Op Palliser off the coast ofSierra Leoneand Op Bolton in theNorthern Arabian Gulf. Taking up senior Engineering appointments with the ‘Bagger’ Sqn’s at Culdrose he has also seen service inAfghanistanwith the Navy’s airborne surveillance helicopters.


“It’s always a delight to present Warrant Officers in the naval service with their parchments”, said 2SL, “and I know you will treasure it for the rest of your life”.


 The final award went to CPO PTI Lee Herron who received his Long Service and Good Conduct (LSGC) medal. Lee has been at Culdrose for a number of years having served as a PTI since 2004. In his earlier naval career he served with Type42 Destroyers on several deployments worldwide.

Lee qualified for his LS&GC medal after 15 years exemplary service and on a recommendation from his commanding officer. 2SL said: “The LS & GC medal is the oldest medal still awarded by the Monarch, and I am so very pleased to be presenting this to Chief PTI Lee Herron”.  


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