Chief of Joint Operations welcomes Australia’s strong partnership with NATO
21 May 2015
The Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, has welcomed the continuing strength of Australia’s partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including through the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) contribution to the NATO-led non-combat Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
During the NATO Chiefs of Defence meeting on 19 and 20 May, Vice Admiral Johnston represented the Chief of the Defence Force at a Military Committee meeting on the Resolute Support Mission.
Australia remains one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the Resolute Support Mission, through a contribution of about 400 ADF personnel. This commitment continues to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security ministries and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
At the meeting, Resolute Support partners agreed on the value of the current mission, and the effect it continues to have on the confidence of the ANDSF. With advisory support from international partners, the ANDSF continues to lead its own operations and take the fight to the insurgency.
“The Resolute Support Mission is having a crucial impact on Afghanistan’s stability, consolidating the gains made by the International Security Assistance Force mission before it,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.
Australia is also a significant financial contributor to the sustainment of the ANDSF, through a pledge of US$100 million annually out to 2017.
During the NATO Chiefs of Defence meeting, Vice Admiral Johnston also attended a Military Committee meeting on NATO’s Interoperability Partnership, and a Combined Forces Initiative Task Force meeting.
“At these meetings, I discussed further opportunities for Australian Defence Force practical engagement with NATO through exercises, strategic dialogue and bilateral exchanges,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.
Alongside Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden, Australia was given the opportunity to become an ‘Enhanced Opportunities Partner’ by NATO in October 2014. This status reflects our longstanding contribution in Afghanistan and continued commitment to being a valued NATO partner.
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