Thursday, December 6, 2012
Troops from RAF Honington are among those to have taken over defence of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
No 7 RAF Force Protection Wing which includes troops from RAF Coningsby, 15 Squadron RAF Regiment from RAF Honington and a security squadron of RAF Police drawn from various stations is now stationed at the base, in Helmand Province.
Augmented by soldiers from the Fifth Contingent of the Tongan Defence Services, an Automated Sense and Warn detachment from 16 Regiment Royal Artillery and, more recently, a Squadron from The Queen’s Royal Lancers, their role is now to minimise hostilities against the camp and protect a 700km perimeter from insurgents.
Squadron Leader Max Kroyer, Officer Commanding 15 Squadron RAF Regiment said: “The squadron has quickly settled in after a successful hand over and we are now in the thick of operations. “All personnel are working extremely hard, employing the comprehensive training we received back in the UK.
“This, combined with the quality and professionalism of our personnel, enables us to continue to disrupt the insurgents freedom of manoeuvre around Camp Bastion.”
Camp Bastion houses more than 28,000 people while its airfield supports on average nearly 3,000 flights per week. It is considered one of the busiest airfields in the world.
Squadron Leader Stewart Beekman, Officer Commanding Security Squadron, said: “Herrick 17 has started at a frenetic pace, with all personnel on the Security Squadron settling in and laudably rising to all potential security challenges.
“Our hard work prior to deployment during Mission Specific Training has benefited us immensely and has already delivered sound results on operations.
“Each of the sections on Security Squadron is being kept busy and we remain ready for the challenges ahead.”
Wing Commander Chris Bishop, Commanding Officer of Bastion Force Protection Wing, said: “Having assumed responsibility for the Bastion Force Protection Wing task on October 29, our first month in the ‘hot seat’ has flown past.
“From the outset, Herrick 17 was advertised as the tour of change - the first month surpassed expectation.
“The Force Protection Wing comprises a mixture of cap badges consisting of RAF Regiment, RAF Police and Royal Artillery. Adhering to the adage that variety is the spice of life, shortly after setting foot in Bastion ‘A’ squadron from The Queen’s Royal Lancers joined the fold.
“Leaning into the task, ‘A’ Squadron, working alongside my RAF Regiment Gunners set about increasing our presence on the ground, conducting an array of counter-threat patrols to deny the insurgents freedom of movement.
“As we reach the end of a roller-coaster month, the Force Protection Wing is ready to face the challenges of Herrick 17.”