The Duke of York embarked on a morale boosting visit to personnel in Camp Bastion and Kandahar Airfield as UK combat troops work towards the end of operations in Afghanistan.
Prince Andrew met personnel from all three services, including supporting civilians as well as senior commanders who updated him on campaign progress since his previous visit to Bastion in November.
Andrew, a former pilot in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, was keen to meet aviators from the Joint Aviation Group (JAG) and men and women from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, who manage Bastion’s vast airfield.
During his visit to the state-of-the-art Role Three Hospital he commended the first-rate medical care for injured service personnel from all coalition nations and thanked the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) for the part they have played in affording support to troops on the ground.
Speaking to personnel, Prince Andrew, commented:
“The medical advances made at the Hospital in Camp Bastion over the last few years are just outstanding – I know some of the people who have been through here and I’ve seen them on a number of occasions. The trauma expertise that you’ve been able to develop here and take back to the NHS is remarkable. It is a very valuable service that you provide, so thank you very much indeed. I hope the rest of your tour goes well.”
The Duke of York later met soldiers from the Manoeuvre Battle Group, listening to their experiences of patrolling outside the perimeter of Bastion to defend the base from insurgent attack.
He then lunched with men and women from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Artillery.
“It was a privilege for troops serving in Afghanistan to meet the Duke of York on his visit to the very frontline of operations in Afghanistan. We were extremely pleased to be able to show him the full range of the work we are doing alongside the US Marine Corps as we prepare to transition to the Afghans,” Brigadier Rob Thomson, Deputy Commander Regional Command (South West) noted.
After a short flight to Kandahar Airfield, The Duke met with British Army and Royal Air Force personnel who deliver support to operations in the South of Afghanistan.
Before departing Afghanistan, he also took the opportunity to express gratitude to the troops at the Tactical Air Transportation Detachment for their contribution.
Photos by: Cpl Chantelle Cooke (RAF) Crown Copyright