Lancaster army officer honoured

Major Wes Hughes
Major Wes Hughes

AN ARMY officer from Lancaster has received an MBE in the latest Operational Honours and Awards List.

During his tour of Afghanistan last year, Major Wes Hughes, of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, was involved in establishing the Provisional Operational Coordination Centre (OCC-P) as the tool for the handover of security from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

His award is in recognition of his vision and drive towards the transfer of security to Afghan Forces throughout Helmand Province.

Wes, 33, of Brookhouse, faced continual threat working within an Afghan Police compound where 10 police officers were killed by a suicide bomber during his tour.

The barracks next to his were also targeted when a rogue Afghan policeman killed two British Army mentors.

Despite the risks, he drove the OOC-P concept forward and serious steps were made towards transfer of security control to the Afghan Forces.

A former pupil of Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Wes fulfilled a childhood ambition when he joined the Army in 2001.

He spoke of his shock and surprise at hearing he had received the honour.

“I’m speechless and very humbled,” he said.

“My family are obviously very pleased too. I see this award as much for them as for me for having to put up with my grumpiness and absenteeism over the last year.”