Commodore Darren Bone MA has been appointed as the next Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands (CBFSAI), with headquarters in the Falkland Islands, and in April will replace Air Commodore Russ LaForte who has held the post since August 2013.
Commodore Bone has served in the Royal Navy since 1987 and has visited the Islands previously. Whilst BFSAI headquarters are based at Mount Pleasant, the remit of the post covers all South Atlantic islands with a British Forces presence, including RAF Ascension.
During the farewell round Air Commodore La Forte and wife Gillian thanked members of the elected Legislative Assembly for their kind words and said they would most of all miss the people of the Islands.
“Your warmth, your hospitality, your friendship and your support and your community spirit” said the outgoing CBFSAI commander.
“We both thank you and wish the Falkland Islands every continued success in determining your future as you continue to Desire the Right.”
Referring to Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon's announcement regarding the outcome of the review into the defense posture of the Falklands he urged the public to access and read the statement in its entirety.
Commander La Forte said he was personally delighted with the statement and the outcome of the review and particularly welcomed the long term investment in infrastructure in the Falkland Islands as well as the return of the Chinook helicopters.
“The review reaffirms the UK’s absolutely steadfast commitment to safe guarding the right to self determination of the Falkland Islanders and the security of your beautiful Islands, whatever the threat may arise,” said Air Commodore La Forte.
He said it was a privilege to serve in the South Atlantic. Quoting Secretary of State Fallon he added, “safe guarding our citizens and their way of life remains the most important responsibility of her Majesty’s Government and the MoD” and added he agreed wholeheartedly with the statement, pointing out it was the principle reason he had joined the RAF some 37 years previous.
“Since then I have served in operations all over the world and can think of no better conclusion to my career than to have the honor of doing my bit to safe guard the way of life of my fellow citizens in the South Atlantic” concluded Air Commander La Forte .