Following completion of Australia’s mission in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan at the end of 2013 the nature of the Australian Defence Force’s mission in the Middle East Area of Operations has changed significantly and today (1 July 2014) Operation SLIPPER has split into three separate operations.
The Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston said this arrangement more accurately reflects the changing nature of Australia’s military contribution in the Middle East.
“Our efforts within Afghanistan continue but our footprint and mission has changed so we have adapted accordingly,”
‘These changes recognise that we still have significant numbers of ADF personnel in the Middle East but our role continues to evolve and these changes are a refection of that. It makes good sense.’ VADM Johnston said.
Australia’s military commitment in Afghanistan will continue to be conducted under Operation SLIPPER until the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission concludes in December 2014 and the Australian contribution to the post-2014 NATO-led ‘train, advise, assist’ mission is confirmed.
Commitment to Maritime Security Operations in the Middle East and counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden is now conducted under Operation MANITOU. HMAS Darwin is currently assigned to this task.
Support provided to Operations SLIPPER and MANITOU within the neighbouring Gulf States, primarily from the United Arab Emirates, is now conducted under Operation ACCORDION.
Operation SLIPPER continues to be classified as a ‘warlike’ service, while Operations MANITOU and ACCORDION are classified as ‘non warlike’ service. The different classifications reflect the current operational environment of each of the operations.
Currently approximately 400 ADF personnel are deployed on Operation SLIPPER, approximately 550 on Operation ACCORDION and approximately 250 on Operation MANITOU.