Kandahar Airfield Handover

16 November 2010

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(L-R) Air Commodore Gordon Moulds and Brigadier General Jeffrey KendallUK hands over command of Kandahar airfield

The Commander Kandahar Airfield, Air Commodore Moulds, handed over command to Brigadier General Kendall of the United States Air Force this week.

Air Commodore Gordon Moulds completed 6 months in command at Kandahar Airfield this week, handing over to Brigadier General Jeffrey Kendall of the United States Air Force. This move sees the UK hand over command of the 30,000 personnel strong air base after filling the role since 2006. The ceremony was held in one of the Afghan National Air Force hangers by kind permission of Major General Sherzai.

Elders and Maliks from all of the villages within the ground defence area of the Air base attended the ceremony. Air Commodore Moulds welcomed them explaining: “you’re the reason that we’re here and you are always at the forefront of our minds as we work together for a better Afghanistan.”

Air Commodore Moulds explained how he’d seen the air base grow approximately 20% during his time in post. At the same time he said: The Afghan Air Force has developed immensely, when I first got here, the mentors were doing most of the flying. The Afghan Air Force is very professional and [the pilots] are now conducting operations, in fact the security for the Afghan elections was done by the Afghan Air Force themselves.”

Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan

However, there will still be more that 1000 British personnel carrying out operations from Kandahar with the C130 Hercules Aircraft and the Tornado GR4s operating under the Officer Commanding 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, the Reapers of 39 Sqn continue to fly from Kandahar and the security for the base remains firmly under the lead of the Royal Air Force Regiment, currently 51 Squadron, under the command of No 5 Force Protection Wing.

Air Commodore Mould moves to a post in the Air Worthiness organisation on his return to the UK, but he said: “One day in the future I hope to return to this wonderful Country.”

Photography: MOD/Crown Copyright 2010.

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