A statement from the Chief of the Defence Force on the conclusion of ADF operations in Uruzgan province
16 December 2013
Yesterday marked the completion of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) military mission in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, with closure of Combined Team – Uruzgan and the final Australians leaving Tarin Kot.
Our work, in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), has degraded the insurgency, our training and mentoring mission has allowed the Afghan National Army (ANA) 4th Brigade and ANSF to develop into a capable force, while the Provincial Reconstruction Team and Managed Works Team have successfully built and restored basic infrastructure and essential services throughout the province.
The Australian commitment in Uruzgan commenced in 2005 with the deployment of the Special Forces Task Group. Since then the evolving nature of the mission has seen the ADF mount and deploy a Reconstruction Task Force in 2006, a Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force in 2008, a Mentoring Task Force in 2010, an Advisory Task Force from 2012 and assume command of Combined Team Uruzgan from October 2012. Additionally, the ADF has provided base management, security and sustainment for Tarin Kot since 2010 and 2012 respectively. While these major units provided the cornerstone of our commitments, many smaller ADF units also deployed to provide key enablers to operations in the province.
Through the contributions of the three Services and with the valuable efforts of Defence civilians and our whole-of-government partners, the ADF has built and maintained an excellent reputation with its coalition and Afghan partners for its professionalism and work ethic. These skills and experiences will help Defence better prepare for its next operational engagements.
Sadly our mission has also come at a cost with the loss of 40 ADF personnel and the wounding of a further 261. We have honoured our fallen by completing the transition of security lead in Uruzgan to the ANSF. I continue to be immensely proud of the contribution the ADF has made in Afghanistan, and greatly appreciate the work of all the supporting personnel and the sacrifices made by families here in Australia.
While our mission in Uruzgan may have ended, Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan has not. The ADF is now contributing to national programs that are supporting the ANA including training and military advisers. The story of our operation in Afghanistan thus continues, however, as the Uruzgan chapter closes, I think the ADF can look back with honour and pride in what it has achieved in the province.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999