A COVENTRY paratrooper is being recognised for his outstanding bravery and selflessness for the role he played evacuating British nationals and eligible Afghans from Kabul last summer.
Cpl Jamie Found, aged 32, of 2 PARA, received Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) in the latest operational awards.
He was part of ‘Operation Pitting’, as the British mission was known, which saw personnel deployed at very short notice to support the evacuation effort.
He went to Coundon Court School in Coventry and is one of three Colchester-based Paratroopers cited for their roles in the Evacuee Handling Centre at Kabul Airport when thousands of people desperately tried to flee and a suicide bomb which killed dozens – including US troops – when it was detonated.
Cpl Found, a Rifle Section Commander with C Company, 2 PARA, is being awarded the QCVS for his brave work preventing people from being crushed as they surged towards the Evacuee Handling Centre.
Cpl Found led his team into the crowd, pushing them back and forming a protective barrier to hold the line.
His citation reads: “For hours he commanded the action at the shield wall, revealing himself above the crowd whilst nervy and tense Taliban fighters observed from mere feet away.
“Providing hands on managements of his personnel, he reinforced the baseline himself when it was most vulnerable, enabling it to hold for more than three hours before relief eventually arrived.”
Cpl Found was surprised to have been selected for an award.
He said: “It’s a privilege – I feel honoured I’ve been nominated to stand out from everyone else who I was working alongside out there.
“To be honest, I feel that everyone did such a good job that you can’t really separate what I did from everyone else I worked alongside.”
For Cpl Found, taking part in Operation Pitting, ‘felt like we were a part of history’.
He added: “It was an operation we’ve not really seen before – not the norm we would train for.
“We’ve done public order training to prepare us for certain situations but for the humanitarian side of it, I don’t think there’s any way you can train for that.
“It was quite surreal once we did get out there. And, we didn’t know what to expect as well, that was a challenge.”
Being part of the Parachute Regiment, the paratroopers pride themselves on being ready to deploy at short notice.
“We can be called to go anywhere in the world. It’s something we’re used to and prepared for,” said Cpl Found, who joined the Army 12 years ago.