Change of command for Middle East Air Component
20 July 2014
The Joint Task Force 633 (JTF 633) Air Component at Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE has a new Commander, with Wing Commander Steve Laredo taking over from Wing Commander David Howard on 16 July 2014.
Wing Commander Howard deployed as the Executive Officer of the Air Component in January and assumed Command in April.
"It has been a great job and reinforced to me that if you look after your people they will look after the job for you,” Wing Commander Howard said.
"This is a great bunch of hardworking people who have done a superb job."
"I have no doubt Steve’s knowledge and experience will ensure the ongoing success of the Air Component and will bring a different perspective to the way we perform our role and deal with any additional requirements.”
The Air Component provides coordination and tasking support to Headquarters JTF633 for all aircraft and air combat support elements assigned to Operation ACCORDION.
The Air Component utilises two C-130J Hercules aircraft which provide intra-theatre air movement for Australian forces throughout the Middle East Region, as well as catering for strategic aero-medical evacuation.
Wing Commander Howard was awarded a Commander Joint Task Force 633 Silver Commendation as a result of his work as the JTF 633 Air Component Commander as well as his work in coordinating the aviation requirements for humanitarian tasks in South Sudan in January.