The 2019 Royal Navy COMPORFLOT Award Ceremony

On  19th July, I represented The Master at the 2019 Royal Navy Portsmouth Flotilla Award Ceremony.  The ceremony was held in the official residence of the 2nd Sea Lord; a very grand and historic building in the middle of Portsmouth dockyard. Unfortunately the 2nd Sea Lord could not join the ceremony as he was, not unsurprisingly, working hard dealing with the Royal Navy’s response to the tanker hijackings in the Gulf that day.


In essence, the captain and crew of each ship and shore establishment at the base nominate the individual who has made the greatest contribution to their unit for the past year.  The Prizes were awarded by Rear-Admiral Jim Higham, Commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, and the award for “our” ship, HMS Defender, was made to ET (ME) Orette Findlay; a delightful young man from Jamaica who attended with his wife.  The citation reads:


Engineering Technician Marine Engineering Orette Findlay has been the stand out performer onboard HMS DEFENDER this year.

Initially working within the Domestics section, he was instrumental in maintaining mission critical services such as the Galley, Laundry and Fresh Water in support of Post Upkeep Sea Trials and Basic Operational Sea Training.

He has regularly displayed impressive problem-solving abilities, including routinely rectifying defective equipment without the correct stores to hand, in a safe and efficient manner.

A keen and proactive sailor, even before transfer to the High Voltage Section, he spent many hours researching and developing his knowledge to above and beyond the required standard.

ET(ME) Findlay has proven himself an asset and stalwart of the Ship’s Company, and is a thoroughly worthy recipient of a COMPORTFLOT Sailor of the Year Award.


After champagne and photographs, the company adjourned to the Officer’s Mess for drinks and an excellent dinner. Sitting next to Commander Richard Hewitt, Defender’s Captain, at dinner, he was very fulsome in his praise for the winner. And the navy personnel I talked to had high praise for Defender as one of the best ships in the fleet. 

On 12 August, HMS Defender left Portsmouth on deployment to the Far East, maybe with a Gulf detour en route depending on the security situation.  The Fletchers good wishes go with her.


Michael de Styrcea

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