AN RAF airwoman from Bolton has won an award for her work overseas.

Flight Lieutenant Rachael Lee, aged 28, who comes from Harwood, received the commendation from the UK Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Al Gillespie.

He praised her efforts in telling the British public about the RAF’s work across the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Flt Lt Lee was told she had received the award on New Year’s Eve, hours before returning to RAF Brize Norton from the headquarters of 83 Expeditionary Air Group in the Middle East.

Flt Lt Lee, who attended Turton High School, said the award was totally unexpected.

“I was overwhelmed,” she said. “It sounds cheesy, but I really was just doing my job.”

Her work involved gathering and writing stories to inform families and the public back home in Britain about the RAF’s work.

Her work appeared in local newspapers and the RAF News. She also helped with stories for national and international media, including the BBC.

Flt Lt Lee’s commander, Squadron Leader Andy Wasley, nominated her for the award. He said: “Rachael was an absolute joy to work with. She’s endlessly creative, hard-working and always enthusiastic. She’s a superb officer and an inspiration to her colleagues.”

He added: “I’m very proud to have served alongside her.”

Now her tour has finished, Flt Lt Lee is taking a break before starting as a physical education policy officer at the RAF’s headquarters in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.