Australian Artillery Advisors complete Afghanistan rotation
14 March 2012
The third rotation of Australia’s Artillery Training Advisory Team detachment (ATAT-3) in Afghanistan has officially handed over to rotation four at a ceremony in Kabul, following a busy eight month deployment.
The ATAT is based at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) and has been operating under the leadership of Australian ‘gunners’ for 17 months.
Commander of Australia’s Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, Major General Stuart Smith, said the contribution made by the Australian mentors has had an enduring affect on the Afghan National Army (ANA) artillery capability.
“The Australian artillery trainers have achieved significant results in providing the ANA artillerymen with the skills and knowledge they require to take responsibility for the future of this training,” Major General Smith said.
The trainers and mentors from coalition nations at ATAT conduct 10 different artillery courses, from the most basic soldier level up to advance course level for ANA mid ranking officers. For ATAT-3 this included the introduction of a new maintenance course and the expansion of Afghan-wide mobile mentoring teams to deliver operational capability.
ATAT-3, Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Griggs, praised his Australian and International Security Assistance Force team for their efforts.
“I have had the privilege of commanding a group of skilled gunners who have worked incredibly hard, shoulder to shoulder with the Afghans, to improve the ANA capability.
“ATAT has achieved extraordinary results,” Lieutenant Colonel Griggs said.
The Australian ATAT 3 contingent was comprised of approximately 20 artillerymen, mostly drawn from the Townsville-based 4 Field Regiment. They formed the core of a multinational team of 150 artillery mentors at ATAT who provide training to around 700 ANA artillerymen across Afghanistan.
ATAT 4 is mostly drawn from 1 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery based at Enoggera in Queensland and is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Kelly.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=11122272
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