A new rotation of personnel to Air Task Group (ATG) 630 has arrived in the Middle East.

A ceremony to mark the transfer of authority was held inside the main hangar near Camp Baird on November 22, with Wing Commander Darren Lines handing over command to Wing Commander Alastair Robertson.

Wing Commander Darren Lines said the last six months had been a busy period for the contingent.

“During our tenure, we saw the completion of the mission for the E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A multi-role tanker transport, as well as supporting the reduction of Australia’s Operation Highroad,” Wing Commander Lines said.

“This is in addition to our continuing missions across the region, including with the United Nations, humanitarian and disaster relief missions to Lebanon, and support to task elements in Kingpin, the control agency managed by the United States Air Force, and the Combined Air Operations Centre.

“The team maintained a high rate of effort and I’m extremely proud of what they achieved.”

With the signing of the certificate of authority, Wing Commander Alastair Robertson formally took over responsibility of ATG 630.

“On behalf of Air Force, I thank Wing Commander Lines for his leadership, as well as his personnel, for their outstanding commitment to Australia’s operations in the Middle East,” Wing Commander Robertson said.

“My team and I are deeply honoured to carry on the work of those who have gone before.

“As we head towards the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force next year, I am proud and privileged to command the Air Task Group as we approach this extraordinary service milestone.”

The transfer of authority ceremony also recognised personnel who were completing their deployment, including members of the C-130J Task Element, TE 630.1.6.

Guests at the event included Joint Task Force 633 personnel, with the commander, Major General Susan Coyle, and coalition partners.