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May 9, 2013
THE Joint Task Force Air Component at Al
Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates
has a new commander.
GPCAPT Donald Sutherland accepted
command from GPCAPT Kevin Murray at a
Transfer of Authority parade on April 21.
GPCAPT Murray had been the Air
Component Commander since October 19 last
He said the success of the Air Component's
mission was made possible by the extraordi-
nary work of all its component personnel.
"I am proud to have served with such a
dedicated and professional team in the Air
Component," GPCAPT Murray said.
"Not only did we achieve an almost per-
fect mission success, but also maintained an
enviable safety record despite the challenges
we were presented with. This doesn't happen
by accident -- it takes great people to work
hard together and do the great things we have
GPCAPT Sutherland said he assumed
authority, secure in the knowledge strong foun-
dations were in place.
"I look forward to continuing to lead the Air
Component in our mission here in the MEAO
and that's a job made easier, safe in the knowl-
edge the team is not only capable, but eager
to go above and beyond to ensure success,"
GPCAPT Sutherland said.
The Commander of the Joint Task Force,
MAJGEN Michael Crane, attended the cere-
mony along with all Air Component personnel.
The Air Component provides coordination
and tasking support to the task force for all air-
craft and air combat support elements assigned
to Operation Slipper.
Air Component handover
a taste of MEAO life
WELCOME: Right, from
left, Task Unit 633.2 Air
GPCAPT Kevin Murray,
Commander Task Force
633 MAJGEN Michael
Crane and GPCAPT
Donald Sutherland at the
Air Component Transfer
of Authority Parade at Al
Minhad Air Base. Above,
official guests and
members of the task unit.
Photos: PO Phil Cullinan
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
FIVE parliamentarians were given a
taste of ADF operations during a visit to
Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab
Emirates, Afghanistan and Iraq from
Federal parliamentarians Senator
Anne McEwen, Nicholas Champion,
Wyatt Roy and Stephen Gibbons
were joined by South Australian State
Minister John Snelling during their sev-
en-day tour of the region.
The parliamentarians visited person-
nel at Headquarters Joint Task Force 633
and other task groups at Al Minhad Air
Base before flying to Tarin Kot where
they met with Air Force's Security
Force, and air load team personnel
and soldiers from Combined Team
Uruzgan, 7RAR Task Group, the Special
Operations Task Group and the Shadow
UAV group movements.
The visitors moved on to Kandahar
Airfield to meet Air Force's Heron
Remotely Piloted Aircraft detachment,
medical personnel at the Role 3 Hospital
and Army's rotary wing group. In the
final leg of the tour, a smaller group vis-
ited embedded personnel working in Iraq.
Mr Gibbons said his experience meet-
ing and seeing what ADF personnel did
on operations was an eye opener.
"It impressed me how ADF personnel
are so professional with everything they
do," Mr Gibbons said.
"They are so dedicated and believe in
what they do and they've done a superb
job in the Middle East."
Mr Roy said personnel were making a
fundamental difference to the lives of the
people of Afghanistan and were doing a
"All Australians should be incredibly
proud of our service men and women." Mr
AN INSIGHT: WGCDR Adrian Maso shows (left to right) Stephen Gibbons,
Nicholas Champion and Wyatt Roy a Heron RPA.
Photo: LS Andrew Dakin
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