Last days at Tarin Kot
14 January 2014
The Australian Defence Force mission in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, concluded on 15 December 2013 after a decade of operating in the province, and the majority of our personnel are now back home.
Combined Team Uruzgan, under the command of Colonel Wade Stothart, transferred the remaining infrastructure at Multi National Base - Tarin Kot to the Afghan government on 11 December, marking the conclusion of International Security Assistance Force’s primary mission in Uruzgan.
The Tarin Kot mess where hundreds of coalition personnel sat down to their breakfast, lunch or dinner now sits empty. Gone is the banter of soldiers from many nations and shared stories from home.
The communications centre, accommodation, workshops, carpenters or ‘chippies hut,’ Q-Store, ready room, theatre, guard towers, medical facilities, vehicle garages or ‘the stables’ and common areas, all had a great many people pass through.
Packing was conducted in stages and personnel made sure everything that needed to be boxed up and sent back through the logistics chain was done.
Home to nearly 10,000 people at the height of the campaign, Multi National Base - Tarin Kot developed extensive infrastructure during its decade of operation, much of which has been transferred to the Afghan National Security Force.
Recording the state of facilities prior to handover to the Afghan government in both Camp Holland and Camp Russell was an interesting and reflective time. Hallways and rooms that once had been the scenes of frenetic activity, stood silent ready for the handover.
The Commander of the Australian Joint Task Force in the Middle East, Major General Craig Orme, paid tribute to the effort of Australians who have served in the province over the years together with our coalition partners.
Major General Orme said the base has been transferred to various Afghan Government ministries in accordance with the determination of the Uruzgan Base Closure Commission held in August 2013. All transferred infrastructure has been deemed safe, secure and sustainable.
“We can be proud of what we have achieved, and have completed our mission in Uruzgan knowing that we have made a difference,” he said.
After the end of the International Security Assistance Force mission in 2014, Australia will continue to support Afghanistan’s security, development and governance. Australia has also pledged to contribute to the post-2014 NATO-led ‘train, advise, assist’ mission.
Combined Task Force 150 plans and executes operations involving a range of ships and aircraft from the Combined Maritime Forces member nations across an area of over two million square miles, encompassing the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman