All images courtesy of the MoD
The latest Commander British Forces Gibraltar Awards Ceremony saw three members of the Service community being awarded Long Service and Good Conduct clasps. Commodore Mike Walliker, Commander British Forces presented the awards to Warrant Officer 1 Tim Isherwood, Lieutenant Tregaron Hammond and Sergeant Richard Florance at a Ceremony in the Tower Courtyard at HMNB Gibraltar. The ceremony was attended by friends, family and colleagues of the three Service personnel.
WO1 Tim Isherwood
The first presentation, the Long Service and Good Conduct Second clasp, was awarded to WO1 Tim Isherwood for completing 35 years’ disciplinary blemish-free service.
WO1 Isherwood joined the Royal Navy in October 1981 as a Junior Weapon Engineering Mechanic, finishing training in the ‘Radio’ specialisation. Drafts to HMS APOLLO, ARGONAUT and MINERVA interspersed with assignments to HMS INSKIP and the Falkland Islands set him on the course that defined his career as a communications specialist.
Career courses, several promotions and more exposure to the communications network resulted in selection for Petty Officer, then later Chief Petty Officer, as well as another tour in the Falkland Islands where he was selected to undertake the duties of Unit Sergeant Major of the Joint Communications Unit; this was the only time this rewarding post was filled by anyone outside the Royal Signals.
Following this, WO1 Isherwood joined HMS LIVERPOOL where he was heavily involved in disaster relief following the eruption of the volcano in Montserrat. In 2005 he was selected for promotion to Warrant Officer 1 and sent to HMS FORREST MOOR in Harrogate. He was then offered the chance to take up the position of Professional Divisional Officer at HMS COLLINGWOOD within Phase 2 Training Group, he enjoyed 3 years in the training pipeline before being selected to join Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) as a Weapons Engineering subject matter expert. Six years in FOST resulted in exposure to all types of ships from several different nations; particularly rewarding was the annual deployment to Chile, where the training team lived and worked with the Chilean navy to establish a ‘FOST based’ auditing team, for which he received numerous plaudits and recognition. In March 2016 he moved back to his adopted home of Gibraltar to take on the role as Station Engineering Officer at Windmill Hill Signal Station.
Tim is married to Giselle, a local Gibraltarian, with two grown up children and three grandchildren who reside in the UK. His interests include learning the Israeli self-defence system of Krav Maga and studying Philosophy, albeit more from the comfort of his armchair in the last two years.
Lt Tregaron Hammond
The next presentation of the Long Service and Good Conduct Clasp was awarded to Lt Tregaron (Trig) Hammond for completing 25 years’ disciplinary blemish-free Service.
Lt Hammond joined the Royal Navy in 1989 as a Weapons Engineer Mechanic (Radio) and qualified as a submariner in 1990, before joining the Fleet Maintenance Unit in Defiance Building, Devonport. Following an extended draft on-board HMS TRAFALGAR, he transferred to the Communications Technician Branch in 1995.
Choosing to follow the linguist path, he initially qualified in Arabic in 1997 and completed CT training on-board HMS BOXER, deployed mainly in the Gulf AOR, the ship also conducted a comprehensive Far East deployment, until she was de-commissioned. A relatively short draft to JSSU Digby followed, employed as a shift leader within 2 Sqn, until undertaking further language training in 2000 at the Defence Language Institute, Monterey.
This was following by deployments onboard HM Ships CUMBERLAND, ARGYLL, CORNWALL, PORTLAND and NORFOLD as well as submarine deployments in HMS SUPERB and SPLENDID.
In 2006, Lt Hammond was drafted to NSA Fort Gordon, Augusta, an exchange post where he was the non-commissioned officer in charge of a 50-strong team covering the Iranian Navy mission. Towards the end of this draft in 2009, he was selected for promotion to Warrant Officer 2, and on completion of the requisite qualifying course, joined HMS ARK ROYAL. In October 2011 he successfully passed his AIB and attended Britannia Royal Naval College in February the following year, passing out as a Lieutenant. He then attended the Joint Maritime Intelligence Course in the Fleet Intelligence Centre, HMS COLLINGWOOD and on successful completion, took his first appointment as the Operations Officer within the Fleet Information Operation Centre. Lt Hammond then joined Flag Officer Sea Training South in July 2013 for an extended period before being assigned to his current position as Officer Commanding Windmill Hill Signal Station. He was also recently selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander.
Accompanied by his wife Gail and grown-up children James and Emily, he is a keen sub-aqua diver and OiC of 317 military diving club. He divides his time between his family, his boat (when allowed!) and keeping fit chasing after his whippet.
Sgt Richard Florance
The final presentation of the Long Service and Good Conduct clasp was awarded to Sgt Richard Florance.
Sgt Richard Florance was attested into the Royal Air Force at the Swansea Careers Information Office in May 1991, completing basic training at RAF Swinderby and trade training as a Trade Group 18 Supplier at RAF Hereford.
His first posting was to RAF St Athan in 1992 which at the time was the largest aircraft repair facility for the Royal Air Force.
Posted to RAF Benson in 1995, he saw the arrival of the Puma fleet and Ace Mobile Force with whom he deployed on exercises to Hungary, Czech Republic and Norway, the latter to complete artic survival training. Operationally, he conducted a 4 month trip to Kosovo on Op Agricola and Op Barwood – a humanitarian operation during the floods of Mozambique.
Posted on promotion to Corporal to RAF Odiham in 2001 he carried on with his deployments completing a draft at Mount Pleasant Airport (FIs) before going away on operations to Sierra Leone, Jordan, and several locations across Iraq and Afghanistan. He has spent time on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS OCEAN and RFA WAVE KNIGHT during this five year period, only spending 18 months in the UK.
Sgt Florance returned to RAF Benson in 2006 for a normal supply job followed by another overseas deployment to Basra in 2007. He was promoted to Sgt in 2008 and moved across to the Continuous Improvement Team where he assisted the senior management with improving the running of the unit. This was followed by another deployment, and on his return in 2013 he decided to become an instructor. He was then posted to RAF Halton where he became a qualified Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) Dangerous Goods instructor, teaching to all three Services, including the logistics school at HMS RALEIGH. During this period, he conducted another deployment under Op Shader after which he was sent on his first overseas posting in 26 years to Gibraltar.
Sgt Florance is married to Jo and they have 3 children. He is an avid supporter of Wales and Ospreys rugby and Swansea city football club.
After presenting the Awards, Commodore Walliker went on to thank the three recipients for their loyal, unstinting and outstanding service to Queen and Country and said: “All three of you are worthy recipients of your clasps and I salute you individually, and also as a group from Windy Hill, who have collectively amassed 85 years of Service to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force respectively. Through those many years of Service you should all be rightly proud of your contribution to the wider Defence of the United Kingdom and specifically – in your current assignments – to the defence of Gibraltar.”