Army Reservist Major Eb (Ebrahim) Mukhtar was mobilised as part of the COVID Support Force to assist public services during the Coronavirus outbreak, to support the NHS with the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE). He is to be awarded an MBE.
Major Mukhtar, who is a Staff Officer at the National Reserve Headquarters attached to 16 Air Assault Brigade, lives in Luxembourg where, in his civilian life, he is the Director of Operations EMEA for Google Shopping. He also previously worked for Amazon Logistics. He was able to use his knowledge of e-commerce and accessing central supply chains to bring the idea of an e-portal to the NHS. The portal allowed smaller healthcare providers such as care homes and dentists who couldn’t obtain PPE from their traditional suppliers to access the NHS supply chain.
He took the lead in bringing online a new fulfilment centre, which shipped 1 billion items of PPE during the first 10 weeks to over 45,000 users, maintaining the confidence of the frontline health workers and bolstering both the capacity and resilience of their supply network. He said, “You can make a fundamental difference to frontline healthcare workers who are the people who are really under pressure and a tangible difference to people’s lives.”
Eb, 42, who hails from Kettering in Northamptonshire and went to Kimbolton School, is married with his first child due in December. He is a keen hockey player and plays for Luxembourg in the Belgian National League. He is also an experienced skier and is looking forward to more winter sports when the opportunity arises.
He credits both his civilian and military lives as helping him achieve the monumental logistical task for the NHS. He had initially served in the military from 1996-1999 working within an Officer Training Centre, leaving to pursue his civilian career. In 2007, missing the Army environment, he rejoined with 131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers where he led Commando training for soldiers and officers. The highlight of his career there was organising US Marine Engineer Battalion training in Pennsylvania.
His citation reads: ‘It was Maj Mukhtar who ensured the strategic priorities set at NHS Gold Command were manifested in daily operations, thus guaranteeing the right supplies went to the right customers in time to maintain the confidence of the frontline health workers. The fact that no NHS hospital ever ran out of stock is largely due to improvements he made.’
On learning of the award, Eb said; “I am really trying to take it all in, but this has given me such a warm glow. I was part of an exceptional team and we couldn’t have achieved it without the help of my colleagues and from partner organisations such as eBay and the Royal Mail. Once the announcement has been made, I will be making some phone calls to thank other members of the team.”