January 31 2015 Latest news:
Friday, January 10, 2014
The leader of a squadron that has returned home from a “demanding” six-month tour of Afghanistan has thanked the troops’ families and loved ones for their “unwavering support”.
No 2 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, which is based at RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, was responsible for the defence of Camp Bastion, including the aircraft that fly in and out of the base in Helmand Province.
A parade and medals ceremony will be held in Bury St Edmunds toomorrow to welcome the troops home.
Squadron leader Liam Mitchell said: “I am extremely proud to have commanded the officers, Royal Air Force Regiment gunners and airmen of 2 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, throughout this tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“The squadron has delivered outstanding results despite austere conditions and protracted separation from home, all in the face of a determined and dangerous enemy.
“I offer my heartfelt thanks to the families and loved ones of all II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment personnel for their unwavering support; their contribution to our operational output is extremely valuable.
“It only remains for me to wish our successors on 51 and 58 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment the very best of luck for a safe and successful tour of duty in Afghanistan.”
He added: “It is extremely heartening to see just how far the security situation in Afghanistan has progressed throughout the period of the UK’s involvement and the Squadron is extremely proud to have played its part in that transition.
“This tour in Afghanistan saw us operating alongside many multi-national partners from the International Security Assistance Force as well as the Afghan National Security Forces.”
Throughout the tour members of 2 Squadron have been manning the towers around the perimeter as well as providing 24/7 force protection patrols within a 600km square area of operations around Camp Bastion.
Other members of the squadron have supported those on the ground by performing the engineering, communications, logistics and administrative roles.
Tomorrow’s parade in Bury will begin at 11am at the Abbey Gardens.