Australia has a new commander at its main operating base in the Middle East.
CAPTION: Colonel Colin Blyth, left, takes over from Group Captain Jason Bowles, right, as Commander of Headquarters Middle East. Story and photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Hannah Schaefer.
Australian Army officer Colonel Colin Blyth has taken over as Commander of Headquarters Middle East from Royal Australian Air Force Jason Bowles after a transfer of authority ceremony on March 15.
Group Captain Bowles was the inaugural Commander of Headquarters Middle East, which replaced Headquarters Joint Task Force 633.
Reflecting on the evolution of command in the Middle East, Group Captain Bowles said the new headquarters will provide leadership for Australia’s continuing presence in the Middle East.
“I’m very proud of the joint team of Navy, Army, Air Force and Australian Public Service personnel who have worked hard over the past few months to support current operations across the Middle East,” Group Captain Bowles said.
“We have built on Australia’s proud history in this region, working closely with the host nation, Australian Embassy staff and coalition partners to ensure the base can scale its level of support as required into the future.”
Upon taking command, Colonel Blyth reinforced that the headquarters would continue to enable contingency operations and draw on the ADF’s excellent relationships across the Middle East.
“Australia has a proud history of over a century of operations across the Middle East,” Colonel Blyth said.
“The ongoing collaborative approach shared by our host nation and coalition partners can only serve to make Headquarters Middle East stronger, and ensure the ADF can sustain its regional operations, respond quickly to emerging contingencies, and build on our partnerships in the region.”