Wg Cdr David Tait
© Alex T (RAFMA), Jun 2009 Wing Commander David Tait has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list. The award was a well deserved accolade for his outstanding leadership of the British Services' Makalu Expedition 2008 and support to British Services' mountaineering over the years. Dave is currently the chairman of the Royal Air Force Mountaineering Association(RAFMA).
Having grown up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Dave was commissioned into the RAF Regiment as a direct entrant. He has served in Germany, Belize, the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is currently employed within the UK's Permanent Joint Headquarters having previously commanded the RAF Regiment's Parachute Squadron.
Dave started climbing while he was at school and after joining the RAF managed to continue his climbing ambitions. He has climbed extensively in the UK and the European Alps as well as in the Canadian Rockies. He summitted Ama Dablam in 1998 and was a member of the 2004 Expedition to Makalu's South East Ridge.
As well as putting several British climbers and sherpas on the summit of Makalu in 2008, Dave's leadership and years of planning allowed a team of 42 servicemen and women experience mountaineering in the Himalayas. In the process of selecting the final team, scores of other personnel also had the oppourtunity to climb in the UK and the Alps, a number of whom gained instructional qualifications. Personnel were exposed to physical hardship and the complexities of expeditionary logistics. This experience and the teamwork involved has stood the expedition members in good stead as they now go about their normal jobs on operations all over the world.