New Australian Task Group takes over in Afghanistan
23 November 2012
Soldiers from the Adelaide based 7RAR Task Group are now advising the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade after a recent Transfer of Authority ceremony in Tarin Kot.
An advisory task force based on the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, has replaced personnel from the Townsville-based 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
Lowering the 3 RAR flag and raising the 7 RAR flag at Multi National Base Tarin Kot represented the formal change of command authority for Australia’s primary force contribution to Afghanistan.
Commanding Officer 3 RAR Task Group Lieutenant Colonel Trent Scott said the men and women under his command achieved significant operational success during their deployment from June to November.
“Not only did we continue the sterling work done by our predecessors in enhancing the operational viability of the (ANA) 4th Brigade, we also prepared them for independent operations at the Kandak level, retrograded from our Patrol and Forward Operating Bases and set up 7 RAR for success in operational support,” Lieutenant Colonel Scott said.
“The 3 RAR Task Group displayed remarkable patience, perseverance, maturity and professionalism in the way they went about their business and I am extremely proud of each and every one of them.”
Through the Afghan summer and autumn, 3 RAR Task Group conducted major operations clearing the Tangi Valley, Chora Valley, Khaz Uruzgan and Shah Wali Kot to disrupt the insurgency and secure the local population.
Successful mentoring also ensured the Kandaks enhanced their skills in marksmanship, literacy, navigation, maintenance, combat medical aid, combat service support and offensive support and countering Improvised Explosive Devices.
The 7 RAR Task Group will focus on advising the leadership of the ANA 4th Brigade, rather than mentoring and training at the Kandak level.
Commanding Officer 7 RAR Task Group, Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells, said the shift in posture has been made possible by the positive progress of the transition process and the ANA's growing independence and capability.
“The 3 RAR Task Group has done a magnificent job. They have left an indelible mark here on the province, the ANA 4th Brigade and the local people. They have left very big shoes for us to fill,” he said.
“The challenge for us is to help ensure the 4th Brigade continues to proceed along the transition path to full security responsibility. ”
The ceremony was attended by Commander Joint Task Force 633 Major General Michael Crane, DSC, AM, ANA 4th Brigade Commander General Zafar and Commander Combined Team Uruzgan Colonel Simon Stuart.
Images from the ceremony are available at http://images.defence.gov.au/12131933
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999