Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton, the Chief of the Air Staff, has visited the British military and civilian personnel currently deployed in Qatar, conducting Operations Shader and Kipion.
Air Chief Marshal Knighton met personnel from all three services, plus civilian support staff from 83 Expeditionary Air Group and its subordinate units. Also attending were personnel from the Joint Force Communications and Information Systems (Middle East) unit that are also located in Qatar.
The meeting, known as a ‘Town Hall’, is the latest in a series of meetings that the Chief of the Air Staff has been conducting at the main RAF locations, since he took over as the head of the RAF. They allow him to engage directly with as many members of the Royal Air Force as possible, explain his priorities and receive direct feedback.
"Thank you everyone for the part you play in these extremely important operations. At this time when the RAF continues to be extremely busy conducting operations and exercises around the world, it is easy to forget that we are still conducting operations here in the Middle East.
These operations are vital to protect the British people and our friends and Allies, and that must continue to be a priority for all of us."
Air Chief Marshal Knighton
Chief of the Air Staff
The meeting allowed those in attendance to raise questions and put forward their views on a range of topics directly to the head of the Royal Air Force.
During his short visit to Qatar, the Air Chief Marshal visited the Al Zaeem Air Academy where the first four RAF students will arrive later this month. He also met the Chief of Staff of the Qatar Armed Forces, His Excellency, Lieutenant General (Pilot) Salem bin Hamad bin Aqeel Al Nabit.
During the meeting they were able to discuss the ongoing success of the Royal Air Force and Qatari Emirati Air Force joint squadrons, bilateral training exercises and other defence activities that contribute to the UK and Qatar defence relationship being so strong.