Louth’s own Royal Navy officer gets MBE honour

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A ROYAL Navy officer who grew up in Louth has been mentioned in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Commander Andy Riggall is to be made an MBE after his work as Commanding Officer of 847 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset.

The award is given for the central role he played to the squadron’s success on operations in Afghanistan.

He said: “I am very honoured to receive this recognition for the work at 847 Squadron. It was a unique opportunity towards the end of my RN operational flying career to lead a RN Commando Helicopter Squadron on operations providing armed escort and aerial support to coalition troops. It was challenging environment to work in but rewarding at the same time.”

Andy grew up in Louth and went to Birkbeck School in North Somercotes where in 2004 he returned to visit the school piloting a Lynx helicopter.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1982 as an engineer apprentice and in 1992 he became an officer pilot.

He served in Afghanistan during the winter of 2008 and 2009 flying the Lynx Mark 7 helicopter, which at the time had problems coping with the high temperatures.

Andy is currently serving at Royal Air Force College Cranwell, where he is responsible for the Royal Navy flying training within the Royal Air Force training system.