Operations in Afghanistan

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki "Griff" Griffiths killed in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan

It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must announce that Senior Aircraftman Kinikki "Griff" Griffiths, from the RAF Regiment, was killed in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan on Friday 16 July 2010.

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths (All rights reserved.)
Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths (All rights reserved.)

Senior Aircraftman Griffiths, serving as part of the Camp Bastion Force Protection Wing, was killed in the vicinity of Camp Bastion, Helmand province.

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griff Griffiths

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griff Griffiths was born on 12 August 1989 and was soon to celebrate his twenty-first birthday.

He joined the Royal Air Force on 15 February 2009 as a Gunner in the Royal Air Force Regiment. In July, on completion of training and passing out as Best Shot, he was posted to Number 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, where he flourished earning the respect of his colleagues and peers alike.

Kinikki was selected as his flight commander’s signaller and driver, and it was whilst carrying out these duties that he met his untimely death.

Senior Aircraftman Griffiths was hugely proud to be a member of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force Regiment family. A naturally quiet character he was an immensely strong and resourceful gunner who always got stuck-in to any task and was an utterly dependable member of his flight and squadron.

Senior Aircraftman Griffiths planned to complete his tour in Afghanistan, remaining on 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, and on returning to the UK was intending to complete pre-parachute selection training with a view to eventually serving with the UK Special Forces.

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths was part of the Bastion Joint Operating Base Force Protection Wing and was conducting a patrol within the surrounding area of operation when he was involved in a tragic accident involving a Jackal patrol vehicle.

The thoughts and prayers of his Squadron, his Wing and the Royal Air Force Regiment family are with his loved ones, in particular his parents and his girlfriend, Chloe, during this very difficult time.

The Royal Air Force Regiment has lost an exceptional young man, with a very promising future ahead of him, but this is nothing compared to his family’s loss. Senior Aircraftman Griffiths will always be remembered for the proud and dedicated gunner he was and will always be.

Wing Commander Paul Weaver Smith, Commanding Officer Bastion Force Protection Wing, said:

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths tragically died whilst on vehicle patrol within the Bastion Joint Operating Base area of operation, just short of his twenty-first birthday. Kinikki was the consummate professional gunner and, even at this early stage, had much promise; he will be sorely missed by all who knew him in the RAF Regiment.

Kinikki was serving his country by protecting a key UK operating base and he died whilst ensuring the security of others and enabling airpower. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and girlfriend at this very difficult time.

Squadron Leader David Crook, Officer Commanding 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said:

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths was a young gunner with huge potential. He loved his job, took pride in his work, and gave his all to every task he was given. I could not want for a better gunner. But more importantly, Kinikki was an affable, modest and thoughtful young man, who was a pleasure to know, and whom I had the privilege to command. He will be missed by all on 1 Squadron. Per Ardua.

Flying Officer Matthew Quinney, Officer Commanding B Flight, 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said:

Senior Aircraftman Griffiths was my signaller and right hand man. He was always positioned next to me on patrols and as such we were close, both on and off duty. At work, he was a consummate professional; always ready to help, and at weekends, we would run the cross country routes around RAF Honington and play football.

He was enthusiastic about his career in the Royal Air Force Regiment and we were planning to undertake the Pre-Parachute Selection Course together in March next year. I will miss ‘Griff’ both personally and professionally. He was a fine Gunner and a good man.

Corporal Ryan David, B Flight, 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said:

Griff was a very hardworking soldier, always smiling and never complaining about any task given. Whilst working with him on the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), he would never need prompting to help casualties.

He would also work as hard as he possibly could, impressing everyone who had the pleasure to work with him. Griff was always happy and was an extremely fit person, who excelled in fitness and could always be found on the running machine during downtime. It was an honour to have had Griff in my Section, not just as an exceptional soldier, but as a close friend who always acted professionally and inspired everyone he met.

Senior Aircraftman Stuart Smith, C Flight, 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said:

Griff always had a smile and never a bad word for anyone. I know Robbo will miss his favourite phys partner. We started on ‘Basics’ together, El-Alamein Flight, and I know on behalf of everyone, but especially Senior Aircraftman Robson we share the grief with your family. Rest in Peace Griff. Love you forever, Senior Aircraftman Smudge Smith and all those from El-Alamein flight.

Senior Aircraftman Christian Tee, C Flight, 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said:

Griff was a great friend and role model. I could always count on him to help me and watch my back both on and off duty. I will always remember his seemingly constant smile and his uplifting attitude towards everyone around him, no matter what the situation, whether it was on ‘Basics’, the Squadron, or a night out.

Griff was always ready to help his friends with their troubles and without any thought for himself. Cheers buddy, for everything; you will always be missed and never forgotten.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths. He was a dedicated and professional gunner who by all accounts had a promising career in the Armed Forces ahead of him.

He died providing essential security for his colleagues on the ground and in the air and his sacrifice will not be forgotten.