Ripon sailor honoured by US army

A ROYAL Navy sailor from Ripon has been recognised by the United States Army for his exceptional service while stationed in Iraq.

Leading Seaman Stephen Murphy spent 14 months as part of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq and was awarded the US Army Achievement Medal by his American Commander in Baghdad for his work setting up an Iraqi Navy fast aluminium boat squadron.

The citation for the award highlights his outstanding leadership and mentoring abilities.

'surprise'

"It was a surprise and a great honour to be awarded this medal," said LS Murphy.

"My time in Iraq was immensely challenging but also hugely rewarding. I was able to make a real contribution to their efforts to stabilise their country by setting up and training a fast aluminium boat squadron which could undertake security patrols of the waterways and help to protect the vital oil terminals.

"To be singled out for recognition by the US Army is a great privilege, but I was part of a bigger team, all of whom deserve credit for these achievements."

'inspiration'

LS Murphy, 42, was presented with the medal by Captain Tom McBarnet on board HMS Cornwall.

His commanding officer, Commander Johnny Ley, said: "Leading Seaman Murphy's conduct is an inspiration and epitomises the qualities that make ships such as HMS Cornwall formidable fighting units and the Royal Navy one of the most effective and professional maritime forces in the world."