Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit rotation seven (EAOU-7) completed its mission and handed over to Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit rotation eight (EAOU-8) on Operation Accordion in the Middle East on October 26.

Commanding Officer EAOU-7 Wing Commander Matt Walsh said their six and half month deployment with Joint Task Force 633 was a success.

“Without a doubt the team’s focus and expertise allowed us to maintain airbase operations support throughout all the challenges that confronted us during COVID-19,” Wing Commander Walsh said.

“The fact we were able to support day-to-day operations at Camp Baird and Camp McNamara VC and respond so quickly to the Beirut disaster [earlier in the year] highlighted how adaptable and responsive the team was in getting the job done.

“I’m proud to have served alongside such an amazing group of people during such unique times.”

The unit handover was marked by a medal presentation ceremony attended by the Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Major General Susan Coyle, and guests.

“I sincerely thank the Wing Commander Walsh, Precinct Warrant Officer Korey McGregor and everyone for their hard work and valuable contribution to our mission,” Major General Coyle said.

“Despite the formidable challenges thrown up by COVID-19, Matt and his team have been able to maintain seamless operations through hard work and dedication.”

EAOU-8 Commanding Officer Wing Commander Garth Herriot, eager to build on the work of their predecessors, praised the work of EAOU-7.

“Wing Commander Walsh and his team did an outstanding job. They have left us with a solid foundation to build on as Air Force continues to provide airbase operations for Australia’s mission in the Middle East,” Wing Commander Herriot said.

“Rotation eight is a diverse group from across Australia. We are privileged to have been selected for this deployment and we are looking forward to continuing the legacy of those that have come before us as we celebrate the centenary of Air Force next year.”