RAF's 6 Force Protection Wing returns from Afghanistan
6 Force Protection Wing (6 FP Wg), including 58 Squadron (58 Sqn) RAF Regiment, has returned safely to RAF Leuchars following a successful seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.
On Monday, 31 October, more than 150 personnel returned to RAF Leuchars to be reunited with family and friends.
6 FP Wing deployed as a formed unit to Camp Bastion in April in support of Op HERRICK. Working alongside the US Marine Corps and Afghan National Army, they provided a specialist, air-minded force protection capability in support of air operations in Afghanistan.
The Officer Commanding (OC) 6 FP Wg, Wing Commander Dave Tait, said:
This has been an incredibly demanding seven months for the Wing, operating in tough conditions, and I could not be more proud of the way in which everyone involved has gone about their task.
We have worked alongside a number of International Security Assistance Force stakeholders, notably the US Marine Corps and the Afghan National Army, to deliver effective force protection to air assets in and around Camp Bastion.
The success of this is represented by the fact that a number of personnel from the Wing have been awarded commendations by our US allies for their contribution to security in Afghanistan.
Squadron Leader David Stellitano, OC 58 Sqn, added:
Every single man has delivered an outstanding personal performance and played his part in ensuring the success of the squadron on operations. It has been a complete team effort in providing the security and defence of Camp Bastion in order to allow freedom of air operations.
The threat of attack from rockets and improvised explosive devices was ever-present and we played our part in deterring such attacks, winning the consent of the Afghan people living in the area of operations.
The Gunners deployed into the desert for days on end, enduring extremes of temperature in challenging conditions and, despite this being the first operational tour for the majority of the squadron, they have excelled.
Our contribution to the Medical Emergency Response Team mission has earned 58 Squadron praise in theatre and seen us help save many lives and make a real difference in our time there.
Air Officer for Scotland and Station Commander RAF Leuchars, Air Commodore Gavin Parker, said:
I am delighted to welcome the officers and men of 6 FP Wing and 58 Squadron safely back to Fife. They have done an exemplary job in enabling air operations from Camp Bastion, supporting NATO’s aim of a more stable Afghanistan.
Before leaving Afghanistan, 6 FP Wg handed their security duties over to 3 Force Protection Wing supported by 2 Squadron RAF Regiment.
6 FP Wg and 58 Sqn will have the opportunity to celebrate their operational achievements with the local community in Scotland at a homecoming parade through the streets of St Andrews on 8 November 2011.