Joint Task Force 636 raised on 1 November
4 November 2014
A new task force has taken command of Australian forces in Afghanistan following the formation of Joint Task Force 636 (JTF636) on 1 November.
JTF 636 now commands Australia’s Defence personnel in Afghanistan including those working in mentoring roles with the Afghan National Army and soldiers on force protection duties.
Maj-Gen David Mulhall, Commander JTF 636, said the task force represented a new way of operating.
“It is a time of change, it’s more than creating a new name and a new flag,” he said.
“It’s a different approach to doing things here in Afghanistan as we transition into Operation HIGHROAD, Australia’s commitment to the post-2014 NATO-led Resolute Support mission.
“As we focus exclusively on Afghanistan we’ll be building on the success of those people who’ve come before us.”
Australia’s role in supporting the NATO led non-combat train, advise, assist mission in Afghanistan will be a demanding one, according to Maj-Gen Mulhall.
“It will be a dangerous environment that we will continue to work in,” he said.
“The safety of personnel remains my upmost priority as we go into Operation HIGHROAD.
“Afghanistan remains a dangerous environment however the mission profile we have will change.
“Our reliance on the Afghan National Security Forces will increase as they provide force protection to us.”
Maj-Gen Craig Orme, Commander JTF 633, said his task force will still have a role in helping personnel in Afghanistan.
“633 will continue to support them via the Theatre Personal Support Centre, which will continue to do their administration,” he said.
“I don’t think you could be in much better hands (with Maj-Gen Mulhall) and I know from long experience he’ll look after you.”
The formation of JTF 636 is part of the operational redesign to simplify Australia’s commitment to Middle East operations.
A new patch for JTF 636 features a brown kangaroo over a representation of the Afghan flag, symbolising Australia’s commitment to a stable and secure Afghanistan.