War hero becomes business saviour

JAMIE LEISHMAN: Back home after a stint in Afghanistan
JAMIE LEISHMAN: Back home after a stint in Afghanistan
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A WAR hero is using skills honed on the Afghanistan frontline to help businesses with information technology.

Former Staff Sergeant Jamie Leishman has returned to his native North-East after completing the last overseas deployment of his Army career in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, the Task Force Helmand headquarters for British Forces.

Now, though, the 37-year-old from Billingham has joined CCS Mobile at its head office in Sunderland where he works as an expert in a service called SharePoint.

Jamie also completed tours of duty to Northern Ireland and Bosnia and volunteered for redundancy from the Army following the birth of his first son, Daniel, in 2010.

His commanding officer described him as having “an exemplary 20-year career” including dangerous high intensity operations in Northern Ireland and Bosnia when he specialised in telecommunications, electronic warfare and countermeasures.

After re-training as an information systems engineer, he led the military IT support team and brought in new IT capabilities overseas.

From 2006 to 2009 he led a military communications system and managed complex technical and training tasks.

Then, just before his posting to Afghanistan, he was assigned to the headquarters of the 4th Mechanized Brigade, at Catterick, and ultimately designed a built a SharePoint, a system which symplifies intelligence.

It was used by 2,000 people across the Brigade.

Then, when he began his deployment to Afghanistan, he asked his commanding officer if he could replace the outdated SharePoint server at the Helmand HQ with a new one so it could be used to its full potential.

He helped to significantly improve the ability of the Helmand HQ to process and disseminate information.

Jamie said: “One of the key benefits of SharePoint is that it creates a virtual office environment for disparate groups to communicate and collaborate, which is particularly important in military theatre where activity is high tempo and in an ever-changing environment.”

Jamie, now back in the North-East as a civilian, said: “While I am still getting used to life outside the military it is exciting to be working at a company that wants to be a leader in innovation and to help companies use the latest advances in telecommunications and technology to give them the competitive edge.”