21 Jan. 2009
PR# 2009-059

UK Secretary of State for Defence visits ISAF troops in Southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - British Secretary of State for Defence John Hutton met with British troops deployed to Kandahar Air Field, ISAF Regional Command South as part of his two-day visit to Southern Afghanistan.

This is the second trip to Afghanistan for Mr. Hutton since being appointed to his position last October.

Mr. Hutton spent the first part of the morning with Lt. Col. Charlie Stickland, Commander 42 Commando Royal Marines, in a private session at Camp Roberts to discuss recent operations conducted in the ISAF Regional Command South area by 42 Commando.

Afterwards, Mr. Hutton received working demonstrations of vehicles, equipment and weaponry currently being used by 42 Commando. During the demonstrations, he continuously thanked the Royal Marines for their hard work and dedication.

“It’s not an easy thing we’re asking you to do,” he told one Marine. “Please know that we’re all thinking of you at home, you’ve done very well and make us proud.”

Sgt. Richard Hayden of the Manoeuvre Support Group for 42 Commando said he was glad to see someone of Secretary Defence Hutton’s position mingling with the troops.

“He just walked right up and immediately started asking questions about our equipment and what we needed,” Hayden said. “It’s fantastic to see the civilian leadership like that take a genuine concern over what we need and be genuinely curious about what we’re working with.”

Mr. Hutton later met with leaders and troops of the 904th Expeditionary Air Wing where he was briefed on the aircraft currently deployed by the Air Wing. He will round off his tour tomorrow after meeting with British troops in Camp Bastion.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/