First Counter-IED Devices delivered to Afghans
29 January 2015
Afghan, Australian and NATO Resolute Support officials held a ceremony this week (28 January) at the Australian Embassy in Kabul to recognise the first deliveries of counter improvised explosive device (IED) equipment that will increase protection offered to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Developed by Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation, under a program sponsored by Defence’s Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, the project aims to provide Afghan forces with personnel and vehicle force protection systems to protect against IEDs.
The Australian Ambassador to Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr Matt Anderson, said the first delivery of 450 personnel devices, which were distributed to Afghan officials at the ceremony, marked an important milestone in Australia’s relationship with Afghanistan.
"The provision of these easy to use, robust and lightweight devices will assist in protecting the ANSF from the threat of IEDs which remain a significant threat to Afghan soldiers and police," the Ambassador said.
"I am delighted that Australia with our NATO Resolute Support partners can, through the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund, assist our Afghan partners in countering this threat."
The Defence Materiel Organisation's Australian Military Sales Office is working closely with Australian defence industry partners who are manufacturing the equipment.
Over the next four months these devices will be delivered to the ANSF, improving survivability rates for the important summer fighting season.
Afghan Ministry of Interior Director General of Planning, Policy and Operations, Major General Naimatullah Haidari, said the devices were a welcome contribution that will increase the confidence of his forces.
"Many of the Afghan civilian, Afghan National Police, National Directorate of Security and ANA casualties are caused by IEDs," he said.
"It is a really good time for us to be receiving the devices from the Australian government so we can further our fight with our enemies.
"We are strongly appreciative of the delivery of these devices."
Australia is a committed partner in the development and sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces. Since the ANA Trust Fund’s inception in 2007, Australia has been one of the most significant contributors to the ANA Trust Fund through its contribution of US$200 million over 2009 to 2014. As part of this commitment, Australia will continue to provide US$100 million annually from 2015 to 2017 towards the sustainment of the ANSF.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was the National Commander of Australian Forces in Afghanistan, Commander Joint Task Force 636 Major General David Mulhall, AM, CSC; Afghan Ministry of Defence Deputy of General Staff, Engineering Department for CIED, Brigadier General Sana UlHaq; and Afghan National Directorate of Security Director of Department 124, Mr Mahir Yaqoubi.