A contingent of Australian soldiers set to deploy to Afghanistan were farewelled by family, friends and colleagues today at an official farewell parade in Adelaide for members of the 7th Battalion (Mechanised) Royal Australian Regiment Task Group (7RAR Task Group).
The parade, held at 1st Brigade Headquarters at RAAF Base Edinburgh, comprised approximately 450 servicemen and women of the 7RAR Task Group who will depart for operations in late October and early November.
The 7RAR Task Group will be the first rotation to conduct an advisory role to the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade in Uruzgan province, as the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan transition to take the lead for security, development and governance responsibilities from Australian forces.
Commanding Officer 7RAR Task Group, Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells, said the new role to be conducted by Australian soldiers reflects the progress made by the Afghan National Army, not just in Uruzgan but acrossAfghanistan.
“Our deployment as advisors rather than mentors to the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade is testament to the growing professionalism, confidence and influence we see in our Afghan partners,” Lieutenant Colonel Wells said.
“The Afghans want our assistance and advice as they progress and we will stand with them and provide the guidance and support they need to protect their people.”
Commander 1st Brigade, Brigadier John Frewen AM said the Task Group’s mission was as significant as the ANSF gradually gaining security in the region.
“The new role of the 7RAR Task Group is a reflection of the success of previous rotations and oursoldiers are ready to build upon the foundations laid down by their predecessors,” Brigadier Frewen said.
“The soldiers understand the importance of their mission and are focused on continuing the high level of progress being made by the Afghan National Security Forces.
“I am proud of the commitment of both the deploying members and their families, ahead of what is an important mission. I wish the deploying members every success and look forward to their safe return.”
Captain Kris Gardiner, PAO 1 Brigade, 08 8925 3808
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999