ADF commitment continues in southern Afghanistan
13 February 2014
With the end of the ADF mission in Uruzgan province, the ADF has now shifted to a nationally-focussed mission with around 400 military personnel providing ongoing training and advisory support for the Afghan National Security Forces.
Australia is also maintaining a cadre of embedded personnel at International Security Assistance Force Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Regional Command – South, a commitment that is valuable to the United States and other coalition partners.
ADF personnel in these roles will continue the important process of building the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces to take full security responsibility for their country.
Regional Command South’s headquarters contains a number of key ADF personnel with Australia’s most senior being Brigadier Patrick Kidd the Deputy Commanding General for Force Development.
“Here at Regional Command South, the Australians working alongside their International Security Assistance Force colleagues are doing everything they can to enable the Afghan National Security Forces, that’s the police and the army, to operate on their own. If we are going to make real progress here it is all about them being able to step up and take the lead, so a great deal of effort has gone into that over the last few years,” Brigadier Kidd said.
“Right now, we are in a pretty good place. The Afghan National Security Forces are in the lead for operations on a day-to-day basis, so at this point in time it’s largely about trying to finish that off, making sure they have the right capabilities, the right capacity and importantly, the confidence to do what it is they have to do.”
There are also Australians providing direct support to NATO airfield operations in Kandahar as well as a team providing advisory support to the Afghan National Army’s 205th Hero Corps.
In March, the next rotation of Australian medical specialists is expected to arrive at the Role 3 Medical facility at Kandahar.
“We have a bunch of Australian experts in planning, logistics and medical and they are individuals who work inside what is largely an American effort, although there are many other nations here,” Brigadier Kidd said.
“Working inside this multi-national military environment is providing a real opportunity for Australians to contribute their expertise and provide a unique perspective and it is making a genuine difference.”
Australia will also remain committed to Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014, when the current International Security Assistance Forces mission in Afghanistan comes to an end.
Australia has pledged to contribute to the post-2014 NATO-led ‘train, advise, assist’ mission.