Saturday, 29 April 2017
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inmemoriam

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT RAKESH CHAUHAN, RAF ODIHAM

Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan was born in Birmingham on 3 February 1985. In February 2008 he commenced Officer Training at RAF Cranwell. Upon commissioning into the RAF's Intelligence Branch he underwent further training at the Defence School of Intelligence at Chicksands in Bedfordshire, serving at RAF Waddington, RAF Marham and in Afghanistan.Flight Lieutenant Chauhan deployed to Afghanistan for his third tour on 13 February 2014 as an Intelligence Officer in support of the UK's Armed Forces deployed on Op HERRICK.

His Commanding Officer paid the following tribute:

"Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan was a hugely influential and well
respected officer whose enthusiasm and professionalism permeated every
aspect of his work. Charming, funny and sharp as a tack, he was
immensely proud of his role and of his service. An exceptional officer,
he clearly had a bright future ahead of him. His loss has devastated
the Station and our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family
and friends".

The Commander for the deployed Lynx Detachment said of him:

"Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan or Rak to his friends was an
outstanding Royal Air Force officer in every respect. Bright,
articulate, charismatic and loyal, he was a pleasure to be around.
Certainly the best Intelligence Branch officer I have known, his
presentations were considered essential viewing by aircrew and others
alike. A rising star of the Royal Air Force, Rak was a team player in
every respect and worked passionately for those around him. One of my
go-to individuals he would unselfishly take on additional work, safe in
the knowledge that his peers would do less as a result. His positive
attitude was infectious and he would always be seen with a bright smile
on his face. His sense of humor was contagious and you could guarantee
he would be at the centre of any laughter in the room. Not only did I
have the privilege of commanding Rak in Afghanistan but he also worked
directly for me at RAF Odiham. He commanded a small team of dedicated
intelligence personnel with skill, humility and professionalism; they
will miss him. Rak was my midweek neighbor in the Officers' Mess and we
were close friends both in and outside of work. He will be sorely
missed by all whot new him but my thoughts and prayers are with his
family at this extremely difficult time".

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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.

 

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