A logistics officer from RAF Wittering has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours List.
Acting Wing Commander Beverley Cartwright was given the award following an incredible year of work last year - and in the 25 years since she joined the RAF.
She helped co-ordinate the response to last year ‘Beast from the East’ extreme weather - and also helped the culinary team’s successes, including taking part in the Culinary World Cup, and winning a TV cooking show.
The award came as a complete surprise, having been organised in complete secrecy by RAF Wittering Station Commander, Group Captain Tony Keeling.
Wing Commander Cartwright said: “I’m absolutely astonished. Thank you, it’s a real honour to have your work recognised like this and it’s lovely to know that you’ve made a real difference. You need good people around you to make things work and throughout my career I have been inspired by the people I work with; we are very lucky at RAF Wittering to have exceptional people and an amazing and supportive local community.”
Group Captain Keeling said: “Beverley’s tour at RAF Wittering has been typified by selfless devotion to the Service and a tirelessly unselfish work ethic. Wing Commander Cartwright’s body of work is exemplary, she is always putting others first and is a significant force for good and an outstanding Royal Air Force Officer.”
Beverley arrived at RAF Wittering in 2016. In addition to her primary duties, she is Director of Sponsors and Communications for the MoD Combined Services Culinary Arts Team (CSCAT).
CSCAT compete in National and International catering competitions both in the UK and overseas and last year Beverley helped to plan their participation in the Culinary World Cup held in Luxemburg. Beverley’s work has meant that British military chefs have achieved new levels of recognition and professional respect. Notably, the CSCAT team competed in Bake Off: Crème de la Crème and Bake Off: The Professionals, winning the 2017 series.
The Beast from the East deluged Lincolnshire with snow and ice in March 2018. Wing Commander Cartwright led the co-ordination and planning for the RAF Wittering response as drivers and specialist vehicles from RAF Wittering rescued stranded emergency service workers and health professionals. With very little notice Beverley and her team mobilised qualified RAF drivers and a fleet 4x4 vehicles. The drivers tackled treacherous conditions to make sure that Lincolnshire’s key people were where they needed to be.
Last year was a big year for Royal Air Force Wittering, not least because the station reinvented the traditional Families’ Day. Families’ Day is a Station’s thank you to its hardworking personnel and their families, but in a marked changed with tradition, RAF Wittering opened its gates to the people of Wittering village.
The event had a record number of attendees, exhibits and attractions including an evening music festival and was a mammoth organisational feat for Wing Commander Cartwright, who was project manager. Her planning skills, which had worked so well in countless military operations and exercises, ensured a memorable day for Station and village alike.