Senior Afghan National Army Officer visits Australia
10 October 2012
The Afghan National Army (ANA) reached another significant milestone this week when the first senior ANA officer visited Australia.
Major General Abdul Hamid, Commander of the ANA’s 205th Corps met with the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith and the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley in Canberra, highlighting Australia’s ongoing commitment to the continued development of the ANA.
The Australian-mentored ANA 4th Brigade in Uruzgan is part of the 205th Corps. Australian Defence Force personnel from the 205th Corps Coalition Advisory Team work closely with Major General Hamid and his staff on a daily basis as part of the ongoing partnership between the two countries.
Major General Hamid said that the visit was a continuation of the close working relationship the ANA and ADF enjoyed in Uruzgan.
“Together, the ANA and ADF have made great progress in Uruzgan.
“A few years ago there were no schools, work or security. Now there are schools and work opportunities. People are more secure and there is a good relationship between the local people, our soldiers and the coalition forces who are helping us right now,” he said.
The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power also hosted talks with Major General Hamid at Headquarters Joint Operations Command.
Lieutenant General Power said the visit provided Major General Hamid with greater exposure to the operation and management of the Australian Defence Force, and improved our common understanding of the strategic and operational challenges facing military operations in Afghanistan.
“We wanted to show him how we do business to give him an opportunity to see how we train, educate and professionalise our officers and how we’re structured to conduct operations.
“We were able to brief him on our thoughts and the way we were going to progress through and beyond 2014 in Afghanistan and whilst he was here in my Headquarters we were able to compare notes,” he said.
Accompanied by his Chief of Operations, Colonel Abdul Hadi Tareen, Major General Hamid observed personnel from the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Task Group in the final phase of preparation to replace the currently deployed 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Task Group in Uruzgan later this year and toured Army’s 3rd Brigade and 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville.
During his visit, MG Hamid also took the opportunity to pay his respects at the Australian War Memorial and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
MG Hamid said that his visit to the memorial was a very moving experience.
“The sacrifice all soldiers make for their country is something that should always be remembered,” he said.
“This is something Australia does very well, and on my return to Afghanistan I will be speaking to my countrymen on how we too can best remember our fallen.”
Images will be available from the Defence Imagery Gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12131268
Vision will fed to the television networks at the Parliament House Press Gallery at 9.30am.
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