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British Army Air Corps Col. Peter Eadie is the new commander for the British Armed Force’s Joint Aviation Group in Afghanistan, Eadie assumed command from Royal Navy Capt. Paul Shawcross as the commander of the deployed U.K. rotary aviation community at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, April 15.

Photo by Cpl. Rashaun X. James

UK aviation command changes hands in Afghanistan

19 Apr 2011 | Cpl. Rashaun X. James

The United Kingdom’s Joint Aviation Group and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) welcomed a new commander for the deployed U.K. rotary aviation community in a ceremony at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, April 15.

British Army Air Corps Col. Peter Eadie assumed command of the group from Capt. Paul Shawcross of the Royal Navy.

The Joint Aviation Group is formed of U.K. troops from the Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army Air Corps. The group works with the U.S. Marine Corps aviation community to support coalition forces in southwestern Afghanistan with close air support, medical evacuations, and troop and cargo transport, using aircraft including the Apache AH-1 and Merlin HC Mk3.

During his six-month tour in Afghanistan, Shawcross worked alongside both the 3rd MAW (Fwd.) and 2nd MAW (Fwd.) commanding generals, bringing experience across the transition of the wings.

“It was a really good experience working with him,” Shawcross said of Brig. Gen. Glenn M. Walters, the commanding general of 2nd MAW (Fwd.). “Having been here a few months before he arrived, he listened to the way we did things and adopted some of our methods, so we got on very well. He’s a charming chap.”

Shawcross said his experience working alongside U.S. Marines was a pleasant one.

“Being here with the Marines has worked out very well,” said Shawcross. “They have been fine partners. Their outlook on life, sense of humor and overall like-mindedness made it easy to get on with the job at hand.”

Eadie served for seven years as an infantry officer before his transfer to the aviation field in 1989. His last assignment was at the Joint Helicopter Command Headquarters near Salisbury, England, where he served as the assistant director for capability development. Prior to his assignment at the JHC Headquarters he commanded an aviation detachment in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“His background is ideally suited to take the reins here,” said Shawcross. “He’s just come from a joint command, which looks after all the helicopters in the British Armed Forces. He knows exactly what this job entails.”

Eadie said though his first few days in Afghanistan learning the ropes of being commander of the Joint Aviation Group from Shawcross have been fast-paced, he is ready for his new mission.

“The last few days have been quite intense,” said Eadie. “We’ve had to fit in a lot of information in a short space of time. I’ve learned a lot in the last week and I’m looking forward to learning more.”

Although he has not worked closely with coalition forces in a deployed environment, Eadie has participated in several training exercises with the U.S. military, including taking part in a 2nd MAW (Fwd.) mission rehearsal exercise where he worked alongside Walters, the wing’s commanding general.

“There are two things I’m really looking forward to on this deployment,” Eadie said. “I’m looking forward to working with the U.S. Marines and helping the people of Afghanistan.”

 


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