(Source: UK Ministry of Defence)
12:00 AM, January 14, 2009
Quentin Davies, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, has visited British Forces in Afghanistan and heard first-hand views from those on the front line on the quality and availability of equipment on operations.>> In addition to seeing the Commander of Regional Command South, Major General Mart de Kriuf, Mr Davies received a briefing at Kandahar Airfield from the British Joint Force Support, where the news of a significant increase in equipment coming to Afghanistan operations was relayed.>> At Camp Bastion Mr Davies met General Dutton, Deputy Commander ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), and visited the Joint Helicopter Force who have the challenge of flying and maintaining the helicopter assets, without which operations would grind to a halt. He also visited the Equipment Support Group where he inspected the vehicles used by British Forces in Afghanistan.>> Mr Davies also paid his respects at the sunset vigil service for Corporal Elms of 2 Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, and Serjeant (spelling with a 'j' unique to The Rifles) Reed of 6th Battalion The Rifles (Territorial Army). He later learned of the efforts to treat wounded personnel on a visit to the Camp Bastion field hospital.>> Later, on his visit to Task Force Helmand Headquarters in Lashkar Gah, Quentin Davies met with the Commanding Officer of Task Force Helmand, Brigadier Gordon Messenger. He was briefed on the recent operation, Sond Chara, and met servicemen from 1st Battalion The Rifles and 42 Commando who had played a vital part in its success. Many had been out on the ground for weeks, enduring gruelling weather conditions and fighting pitched battles with insurgents testing their equipment to the full.