Multi National Base Commander –Tarin Kot Transfer of Authority
15 August 2013
Managing base security, infrastructure and utilities for a population, at times, of almost 7000 military personnel, civilians and contractors was like running a small town.
The mayoral duties for this role were handled by the Base Commander of the Multi National Base Command – Tarin Kot (MNBC-TK), Wing Commander Lee de Winton who transferred her authority to Wing Commander Simon Sauer on 2 August.
This is the last rotation for the Royal Australian Air Force base command element before the base is transferred to the Afghan government by the end of 2013.
The 26 personnel with Headquarters MNBC-TK Rotation Six assumed responsibility for coordinating logistics resupply, aviation, medical response and base support functions of the base on 20 January.
In welcoming the new Base Commander. Wing Commander de Winton said her team had left the MNB-TK in different shape to how they found it for the final rotation of MNBC-TK.
“We’ve worked through maintaining the base while helping to coordinate the upcoming redeployment plan as the base is gradually drawn down,” she said.
“The challenging part of my role was in knowing who did what within the different organisations.
“Within the coalition environment there were some capabilities we were not familiar with, so it was vital we discovered who could be of assistance in different situations.
“With help from the US Expeditionary Disposal Remediation Team, MNBC-TK coordinated the removal of more than one million kilos of scrap metal through a waste management site.
Royal Australian Air Force Ground Defence and security personnel provide security and access control to MNB-TK.
The MNBC-TK Security Force element provides security for the base and associated airfield.
The base commander was also ably supported by the MNBC-TK Security Police.
Wing Commander de Winton said she was exceptionally proud to have commanded such an amazing group of airmen and airwomen who had achieved great things during their rotation.
“It was a challenging and exciting mission,” she said.
“The security of the base was our responsibility and at times it was like running a medieval fort.
“It was our job to protect everybody within MNB-TK, so we redrafted the force protection plans, secured the base and searched it multiple times.
“We also maintained the power supply and spent more time discussing and fixing sewerage than anybody could possibly have imagined.”
Guests at the transfer of authority Parade included Lieutenant General Ash Power, Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS), Major General Michael Crane, Commander Joint Task Force 633 (CTF-633) Colonel Simon Stuart, Commander Combined Team Uruzgan (CTU) and Colonel Wade Stothart, incoming Commander CTU.
Colonel Stuart welcomed Rotation Seven and told Rotation Six that apart from acknowledging the transfer of authority, the parade allowed the combined team in Uruzgan to recognise their demonstrated commitment to the mission.
“You have done a sterling job to improve every aspect of this now large operational base’s functions, from security to contractors, and literally everything in between,” he said.
“In each and every endeavor encountered you have proven equal to the challenge and there have been many.
“Rotation Six have displayed determination, perseverance and a lot of initiative which represented your Service exceptionally well.
“MNBC-TK has routinely been tested, but they approached the lot with good humor and good heart.
“You have contributed much to the unity among the formation and through your engagement with every unit that resides at the multi-national base.
“Each of you should depart clear in the knowledge that your efforts contributed to helping protect and support coalition and Afghans alike.
“You have made a difference and it matters.”
During the parade Lieutenant General Power presented the Australian Active Service Medal (International Coalition Against Terrorism), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the NATO (ISAF) Medal to eligible members and awarded a CJOPS Gold Commendation to Squadron Leader Alan Brown.
Major General Crane awarded a CTF-633 Silver Commendation to Sergeant William Burnett and CTF-633 Bronze Commendations to Corporal Nicolas Sheriff and Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Jarrett.