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83 EAG leads UK operations in Middle East

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton
  • 379th Expeditionary Air Wing Public Affairs
As the world’s oldest independent air force celebrates their centenary, the Royal Air Force’s next 100 years are being defined by coalitions and partnerships built on common values and mutual objectives through operations commanded at Al Udeid.

The 83 Expeditionary Air Group, headquartered here, leads United Kingdom operations in the Middle East by managing five subsidiary wings whose mission is to exploit the air environment in support of national and coalition interests, reassure regional allies and partners, and deter and defeat enemies in delivering a safe and secure region.

“We are the Royal Air Force’s operational headquarters for aircraft and personnel in the Middle East,” said Squadron Leader Bridge, 83 EAG media operations chief. The 83 EAG oversees approximately 1,000 personnel supporting Operation KIPION, U.K.’s maritime presence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to promote enduring peace and stability in the region, and Operation SHADER, the U.K. contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve.”

According to Air Commodore Roddy Dennis, U.K. Air Component Commander and Air Officer commanding 83 EAG, in a coalition of almost 20 different nations, one of the largest challenges is understanding each other.

“That’s one of the biggest challenges when we do any kind of warfare — understanding what the problem is and then coming together as a coalition to try and address it,” Dennis said. “Coalitions are really about identifying everyone’s shared interests. What shared interests do the U.K., France, U.S., Germany, Poland have? I think on this occasion, defeating Daesh would be quite an easy one to identify.”

Formed on April 1, 1918, the members of the Royal Air Force celebrate the centenary of their service in 2018. According to Air Commodore Dennis, being deployed during the Royal Air Force’s 100th year is accompanied by a unique honor.

“I think it’s the greatest privilege,” Dennis said. “I really do. Participating in operations is what everyone joins the service to do. So being able to be deployed during our 100th year is really important.

“As military people, we’re all very patriotic,” Dennis continued. “I think that’s one of the defining bits of Service: that you want to be selfless — you want to serve your nation. We’re all extremely proud to be members of the oldest independent air force.”

Looking toward the future, the 83 EAG remains ready to secure Daesh’s lasting defeat and help local authorities build a stable, prosperous and united future for communities in northern Iraq and Syria.

“Daesh is a global challenge,” Dennis said. “Although we’ve done a brilliant job in defeating them in their orbit — of defeating them in Iraq and Syria — it’s not over. This is something that’s not going to just go away, so we need to engage them. The fight against Daesh will continue and whatever that turns into in the future, U.K. defense is going to be involved in trying to protect the homeland.”