Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chinook Pilot Awarded DFC

A Royal Air Force Odiham Chinook pilot was presented with his Distinguished Flying Cross at a prestigious ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.

Flight Lieutenant Marc Heal, aged 29 was amongst personnel from various stations across the UK to be honoured in the Armed Forces Operational Awards for their bravery and service in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in Search and Rescue missions around the UK announced earlier this year.

Brighton born Heal was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his actions whilst on operations in Afghanistan in July 2009. As the Captain of the Chinook helicopter Immediate Response Team (IRT) aircraft during Operation PANCHAI PALANG (Panthers Claw), based at Camp Bastion he commanded 8 IRT missions and was regularly tasked into areas with a very significant enemy threat. He consistently demonstrated exceptional levels of professional ability combined with unflinching courage throughout, successfully extracting 29 casualties from the battlefield and delivering them into medical care. Throughout this most intense operational period, his superior flying skills, inspirational command of his crew and calmness under fire set an outstanding example of gallantry, professionalism and courage that undoubtedly saved lives.

Flight Lieutenant Heal spoke following the presentation of his award at Buckingham Palace,

“I was very proud and honoured to receive my award from the Queen yesterday on behalf of my crew. It was a very humbling experience to be in the presence of people who had achieved so much.”

“It was a day that myself and my family will never forget and I am glad I was able to share it with them.”


  1. Congratulations and well done to you and all. Thank you.

  2. What an incredibly brave and modest man, always thinking of his buddies.
    I salute you sir.