A British sailor was decorated for his services to the international effort to maintain peace and security in the Gulf region, with a medal that is rarely awarded to foreign personnel.
Chief Petty Officer Lewis 'Flash' Gordon was awarded the US Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal – commonly referred to simply as the Navy Achievement Medal or NAM.
The medal is presented to US sailors, marines and Coast Guard personnel who have performed "meritorious service or achievement in either combat or non-combat situations based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature".
- HMS Scott arrives in Portsmouth USA for 400th anniversary celebrations
- Defence secretary commits to Indo-Pacific tilt in Singapore speech
- Warship HMS Defender destroys drone during large naval and missile defences test
CPO Gordon was recognised for sharing his expertise in mine warfare with his US counterparts.
During a week aboard USS Dexterous, as the minehunter took part in one of the world’s largest multi-national naval exercises, IMX23, CPO Gordon trained US personnel to identify and neutralising explosive devices found on the seabed using the Royal Navy's Seafox Mine Disposal System.
The Seafox is a remote system that uses fibre optic cables from a 'parent' ship to identify explosive ordnance.
Combined Task Force 52, a group of US mine warfare operations specialists, recognised CPO Gordon's commitment over the course of a year.
US officers praised the British sailor's "exceptional professionalism, perseverance, and dedication to duty".
"It is an honour and a privilege to be awarded the Achievement Medal," said CPO Gordon.
The British sailor was able to help the crew of USS Dexterous fix a fault in the launch cable of the Seafox.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time aboard USS Dextrous and would encourage anyone else who gets the opportunity to serve aboard a US ship to relish it," he added.
Originally from Somerset, the decorated sailor's expertise also helped ensure the safety of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, during his six-month tour of duty in the Gulf.
As part of the Mine Warfare Battle Staff, the senior rating contributes to a small team of experts who effectively co-ordinate the operations of all three Royal Navy minehunters from RFA Cardigan Bay.