A VALE of Glamorgan RAF reservist has received an honour for his work in delivering mass coronavirus testing in Wales.

Sergeant Andrew ‘Shaggy’ Oldham is from Rhoose and was named as the Army’s top officer in Wales for his role in the mass Merthyr Tydfil testing centres.

Sgt Oldham serves with the Number 614 (County of Glamorgan) Squadron, RAF Reserves. He received a commendation for going ‘above and beyond’ in his duties. The award was given to him by Brigadier Andrew Dawes, commander of Brecon-based 160 Brigade.

Sgt Oldham and his colleagues Flight Lieutenant Jude Simpson from Cardiff and Corporal Tom Woodward from Trellech in Monmouthshire were tasked as part of Operation Rescript, where they joined the main command and control hub at Sennybridge Camp near Brecon.


They were responsible for tasking the testing teams to meet the requirements given by Merthyr Tydfil Council. They also had to track the teams’ movements, log incidents and liaise with Joint Military Command (JMC) Wales to ensure that all RAF personnel’s welfare was catered for.

Sgt Oldham, who was one of 170 RAF personnel to support Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, NHS Wales, the Welsh Government and the UK Department for Health and Social Care, said: “We’re proud that we’ve been able to help test thousands of people in Merthyr and help make the military operation there work smoothly. It’s great that as locally-based RAF Reservists we could step in and help in the fight against coronavirus.”

In total, the team helped to run 14 testing sites around Merthyr, carrying out 11,000 of the lateral flow tests to help identify asymptomatic cases and potentially break the chains of transmission.