THE 'exceptional' and 'selfless' Chinook crewman is among those to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the birthday honours.

Master Aircrew Mark Bradley, serving at RAF Benson, has been handed an MBE for his unerring devotion to the Chinook Force for more than 20 years.

Master Bradley joined the RAF in 1995 as a weapons system operator and is one of only a handful of individuals still serving today that has amassed more than 6,000 hours flying.

During this time the crewman has notched up some 20 operational deployments and currently works with the Support Helicopter Standards and Evaluation team at RAF Benson, ensuring consistent high standards are maintained by crews operating all helicopters.

Master Bradley was notified of the good news while in Afghanistan on a short visit. He said: "I really can’t believe this.

"Being in the RAF has been the most fun and rewarding 23 years of my life and to be awarded an MBE is an honour.

"I have to thank my wife, Jenny, close friends and colleagues for all of their support."

The citation for his award described Master Bradley as having 'exceptional leadership and selfless commitment to the Chinook Force' and noted that he always placed 'the needs of his country, the Service and the people under his command before that of his own'.