Portobello Major to be honoured with MBE for Afghan service

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A Portobello-born army officer is to be honoured with an MBE for his service in Afghanistan.

Major Duane Fletcher, of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, has been recognised in the Operational Honours and Awards List.

The 51-year-old, who now lives in Bedale, is credited with saving many lives after developing the first fully-functional Afghan-run trauma centre in Helmand province.

Major Fletcher said: “The main emphasis was to develop the medical team to enable them to provide care on the withdrawal of UK forces from Afghanistan.

“Gaining the trust and respect of the Afghan Army was vital, and without the surgical and nursing team and both regular and reserve soldiers the mission would have failed.”

The Army citation said: “Maj Fletcher has personally driven the development of the Afghan Trauma Centre, contributing greatly to the maintenance of morale within the Afghan National Security Force throughout Helmand Province.

“His work has established a capability that will undoubtedly continue to save more lives.”

Proud mum, June Haldenby, of Havercroft, said: “We are all very proud of Duane being awarded an MBE.

“When I found out I was so emotional. He has worked extremely hard for it and fully deserves the recognition he’s getting.”