Prince Charles presents Afghan honour to North Walsham sailor

Aircraft Engineer Iain Robertson, from North Walsham, has been presented with his Afghanistan Operational Medal by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Iain, 23, an ex North Walsham High School pupil, received the award at Clarence House, in London, earlier this month.

He joined the Royal Navy in 2008 and, after completing a number of rigorous engineering and military courses, was posted to 845 Naval Air Squadron last year.

The squadron forms part of the elite Commando Helicopter Force which operates both Sea King and Lynx helicopters and is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, in Somerset.

Iain described the presentation day as a fantastic experience. He added: 'Marching down the Mall with my mates in front of cheering crowds was a first for me and is a very rare occasion for sailors. To then be presented with my medal by Prince Charles was an extremely proud moment, and something that I will always remember.'

He added that he had looked forward to serving in Afghanistan because it gave him an opportunity to put his training into practise.

Iain, who is spending Christmas with his family in north Norfolk, added: 'My parents were very supportive, and knew what was required. When in theatre I knew that my engineering skills were ensuring our aircraft were serviceable 24-7. Each challenge posed a different problem but it was rewarding to know that the result of your efforts provided essential support to the troops on the ground.

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'The aircraft require considerable care due to the harsh environmental conditions and occasional holes from enemy ground fire.'

Iain's parents Pam and Dave Robertson live in Park Avenue, North Walsham, and his father is the town's deputy mayor. He has two brothers: Neil, 22, and Alex, 15.

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