Soldier gets royal medal honour

By Ian Dipple 11/05 Updated: 11/05 10:16

Buy photos » Capt Sam Mackie with his campaign medal presented to him by HRH Prince Philip. Picture by Staff Sergeant Ian Houlding – RLC. (s)

AN ARMY officer from Redditch has spoken of his pride after being awarded with his campaign medal by Prince Philip following a demanding tour of Afghanistan.

Captain Sam Mackie spent six months in the country with 3 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to help provide vital technical and engineering expertise as preparations continue to ensure the Afghans are able to take control of their own country’s security.

The 27-year-old was presented with his medal, along with other members of the battalion, by the Duke of Edinburgh during a special ceremony at Barker Barracks in Paderborn in northern Germany in front of friends and family.

The former Kingsley College student joined the army in 2002 and commanded the protected mobility platoon in Afghanistan responsible for the provision, repair, recovery, and general electrical and mechanical engineering support to all British land-based units across Afghanistan. Their role included working on a variety of equipment and machinery, which ranged from heavily armoured vehicles and weapon systems, to surveillance equipment and radios often operating in hazardous environments, often while under fire from enemy insurgents.

He said: “Any vehicles that needed repairing were brought to us I often deployed guys to forward positions to retrieve vehicles from the field to bring them back.

“It was a good tour, we all wanted to keep busy. It was a great honour receiving my medal from His Royal Highness, a very proud moment.”

Having returned from Afghanistan in April Capt Mackie will enjoy a period of well earned post tour leave before returning to their base to begin training for their next potential mission.

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