Defence leaders visit Australian troops in Afghanistan
20 February 2013
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley visited Australian troops at Multi National Base - Tarin Kot on 19 February, labelling 2013 a critical year in the Afghan campaign.
During the visit the Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force received operational briefs, addressed the troops and met the Uruzgan Provincial Governor, Amir Mohammad Akhundzada. Before arriving in Tarin Kot the leaders visited Kabul and held meets with President Hamid Karzai, ISAF Commander, General Joseph Dunford and Australian Defence Force personnel embedded in ISAF Headquarters.
Minister Smith spoke to the Australian contingent at Tarin Kot - thanking them for their continued work in difficult and dangerous conditions.
“We are confident that we will effect transition in Uruzgan at the end of this year. A lot of effort is now going in to essentially getting our people and our kit home, but we still have a very big and important job to do.
“The work that you do is greatly appreciated. It’s appreciated by the Parliament, it’s appreciated very much by the Australian public,” added Minister Smith.
General Hurley stressed that 2013 will define the transition to Afghan independence.
“This is a very important year. The Afghans are stepping up to take the lead on security. Members of the Afghan National Army are proving themselves in the field and we are able to see all the good work that ADF personnel have put in over a number of years come to fruition this year,” said General Hurley.
The Chief of the Defence Force also thanked the Australian troops for their efforts.
“I always enjoy coming to Tarin Kot, Kabul and Kandahar - to get the opportunity to see our people doing what they are trained to do and what they aspire to do. I hear about it on a daily basis. You are a great credit to the country. It is a privilege to see the ADF excelling at what it does,” said General Hurley.
The Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force were accompanied on the visit by Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power and Commander of Joint Task Force 633 Major General Michael Crane.
Imagery is available at the Defence Image Gallery http://images.defence.gov.au/12132765
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