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Chief of Air Force visits Middle East

Chief of Air Force visits deployed RAAF personnel in Middle East

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal (AIRMSHL) Mark Binskin, has praised the tireless efforts of deployed RAAF personnel who continue to play a crucial role in the ADF’s Middle East operations.

AIRMSHL Binskin has just completed a visit to RAAF elements in Afghanistan and at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. Air Force has more than 400 people deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations.

“The Air Force team is working day and night in the Middle East to get the job done professionally. Our air and ground crews continue to impress with their ability to overcome challenges and dedication to duty in the high tempo environment. I’m extremely proud of what they’re achieving,” AIRMSHL Binskin said.

“I attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at Tarin Kot. This was a time to reflect on the recent operational deaths and injuries the ADF and its partners have suffered in southern Afghanistan and a reminder of the continuing challenges in conducting operations there.”

AIRMSHL Binskin also visited the Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft detachment while in Afghanistan.

“RAAF has flown more than 2,500 Heron hours since January 2010. The Heron is an important component to the modern battlefield, providing vital situational awareness for troops on the ground. It has assisted in saving lives by identifying threats,” he said.

“Air Force Orion crews are also working hard to support soldiers on the ground, through their wide-area intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. In addition, our Orion crews are conducting maritime patrols in the Arabian Sea and counter-piracy tasks off the Horn of Africa.”

“RAAF’s giant C-17s and C-130 Hercules play a crucial role in the ADF’s Middle East operations carrying troops, vehicles and essential supplies in often very difficult operating conditions. And none of RAAF’s operations could occur effectively without the hard work of our Combat Support Unit personnel at Al Minhad and bases in Afghanistan.”

AIRMSHL Binskin also met with his United Arab Emirates counterpart, Major General Mohammed bin Suwaidan Saeed Al-Qamzi, Chief of Air Force and Air Defense.

“The excellent working relationship between the RAAF and the UAE Air Force has proved to be an important element in the ADF's ability to conduct successful operations from Al Minhad Air Base.” AIRMSHL Binskin said.

Images of AIRMSHL Binskin’s visit to the Middle East Area of Operations are available at:

http://www.defence.gov.au/op/afghanistan/gallery/2010/20101117/index.htm

ENDS

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