A sailor from Alfreton has been deployed to help the victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster.
Able Seaman Andrew Liston (25), has been deployed to South East Asia with the Royal Navy, as HMS Illustrious assists with the international relief effort following Typhoon Haiyan.
Known by his pals as ‘Sonny’, he is playing his part in the 2,500 personnel-strong Cougar 13 task group as a Weapons Engineer on board HMS Illustrious, the UK’s last remaining Invincible class aircraft-carrier.
He explained: “As a communication information specialist, I work with secret equipment and data, maintaining the ship’s communication circuits to ensure that we are to collect all the information we require.”
HMS Illustrious had been conducting counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa; however she is now en route to the Philippines.
Sonny attended Tupton Hall School and joined the Royal Navy in June 2012, completing his initial training at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall.
He was inspired to join the Armed Forces by his grandfather, who served in the Army during World War II.
Given his expertise in communications, Sonny will likely be asked to play a key role in the upcoming relief effort.
Sonny said: “The ship’s company has been moved by the images of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
“We are eager to help relieve suffering as part of this international effort; operations such as this are exactly why people join the Royal Navy.
I know that my family is incredibly proud of what I am about to do.”
HMS Illustrious is currently part of Operation Patwin; the Government’s action to support the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. The United Kingdom has committed £50 million worth of aid.