An airman who single-handedly set up a police training course in Afghanistan has been awarded for his work in the Queen’s Operational Honours list.
Squadron Leader Chris Skaife, from RAF Shawbury, is said to have inspired both American and British soldiers to work with their Afghan counterparts.
He has received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for his work with the Afghan National Police (ANP) during a tour of duty between June 2011 and January this year.
The officer showed ‘sheer determination and remarkable zeal’, his citation said.
Squadron Leader Skaife has recently taken up the post as Officer Commanding Personnel Management Squadron at RAF Shawbury and said he was surprised to be honoured.
He said: “It was an exceptionally pleasant surprise to be told and it rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable tour in which I found working alongside my Afghan and American colleagues very rewarding.”
His citation reads: “Skaife formulated a concept for, and arranged, the only Police Officer Candidate Course in Afghanistan to be run outside the National Police Academy.
“Facing significant risk of failure and considerable cynicism of partners, Skaife persevered against almost overwhelming bureaucracy to surpass all expectations by graduating 73 extra Police Officers for Southern Afghanistan – triple the number predicted.
“In addition to his already demanding dual responsibilities, Skaife volunteered to fill a vital gapped position as Training Officer for the Afghan National Army (ANA) training cell.”