MORE than 150 RAF Leuchars-based personnel have returned safely from Afghanistan.
Number 6 Force Protection Wing (6 FP Wg) including Number 58 Squadron (58 Sqn), RAF Regiment were reunited with family and friends following a successful seven month operational deployment as part of the RAF’s contribution to improved security in Afghanistan.
6 FP Wing deployed to Camp Bastion in April in support of Op Herrick.
Working alongside the US Marine Corps and Afghan National Army, they have been providing a specialist, air-minded force protection capability in support of air operations in Afghanistan.
Commanding officer of 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.”
Squadron Leader David Stellitano, commanding officer of 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 recovery 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.”
6 FP Wg and 58 Sqn will have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements in Afghanistan with a homecoming parade through the streets of St Andrews on Tuesday, November 8.
The homecoming ceremony – which will include a flypast and music from the Band of the RAF Regiment – has been organised in conjunction with Fife Council and Fife Constabulary.