New British Forces Cyprus commander sworn-in

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New British Forces Cyprus commander and Sovereign Base Areas Administrator, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Peter Squires, was sworn in at Flagstaff House in Episkopi.

The AVM, who has enjoyed more than three decades of service in the RAF, having joined in 1989, spoke of his pride at taking up the dual roles and said he was now looking forward to all that Cyprus offers.

As a pilot whose career has seen him fly worldwide, AVM Squires is keen to take on this new challenge.

He said: “It is an immense privilege and honour to be the Administrator of the SBAs and CBF.

“The sense of responsibility and the sense of expectation has been underlined by this ceremony, and I must confess to a degree of nervous excitement at the prospect of what lies ahead.”

After finishing his previous tour as Head of Defence Operational Capability, AVM Squires was quick to pay tribute to his predecessor and said he was looking to build on his hard work.

“I have much to thank my predecessor for – Major General Rob Thomson – whose energy and passion was remarkable.

“His desire to work in a spirit of cooperation and a spirit of friendship was evident to all – principles I intend to emulate.”

And in looking ahead at his tour, he outlined some objectives for the next two years

“Clearly, it is too early to offer anything specific, but I can say this, for those who live and work in the SBAs, I want you to feel valued and your voice to be heard, and I want the SBAs to make a positive contribution to the citizens and government of the Republic of Cyprus.

“We have shared opportunities and, undoubtedly, will face shared challenges.

“I am looking forward to working with the local communities and with members of the government as part of our collective responsibility to look after this jewel of an island for future generations.

“I will not be doing this alone.

“I have an excellent team in the SBAs bringing this to life, and I know I have excellent support from community leaders and RoC Government officials and ministers who will help me in my journey.

“I have much to understand and much to learn from you all.”