World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Changes To Australia's Contribution To Iraq


Changes To Australia's Contribution To Iraq

The Government has decided to make a number of changes to the structure of the Australian Defence Force contribution to the stability and reconstruction of Iraq to meet ongoing strategic interests.

Defence Minister Robert Hill has today announced that the Iraqi Army Training Team commitment has been extended for a further six months, a small medical team will be deployed and a revised Air Traffic Control Team will be introduced.

The current Air Traffic Control detachment of about 60 personnel are scheduled to return to Australia in mid August following the transition of responsibility to Iraqi Civilian Controllers. Senator Hill said that although the overall number of personnel deployed on Operation Catalyst will remain about the same, change is now required to the structure of the ADF capability.

"The second Army Training Team will overlap with the current team for a period of around six weeks to allow for a transfer of expertise and to meet ongoing training needs. The original Training Team will then rotate back to Australia," Senator Hill said.

"An ADF medical team of up to 20 personnel will be deployed to support a major Coalition military hospital.

"The Australian medical team will most likely include a combination of regular and specialist reserve personnel."

A small group of about six Royal Australian Air Force air traffic controllers will be integrated into Coalition forces at Balad Air Base near Baghdad.

These Australian personnel will continue to coordinate the movements of military aircraft in the area following the successful handover of control to Iraqi air traffic controllers at Baghdad International Airport.

Senator Hill said the Air Traffic Controllers have performed a crucial role in keeping Baghdad International Airport open to civilian and military air traffic.

"The handover of responsibility to the Iraqi civilian authorities marks an important step in Iraq's transition and reconstruction," Senator Hill said.

"The detachment has done an outstanding job and their efforts have allowed a steady stream of humanitarian, military and civilian supplies and personnel to flow into Iraq. I commend them for their dedication and professionalism and I know that they are very well regarded by our Coalition partners.

"The detachment has handled approximately 175,000 movements, with an average of approximately 400 movements per day.

"Unlike Labor's countless policy positions on Iraq, the Howard Government remains committed to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure and in particular, protecting Australia's personnel and interests in Iraq and strengthening the capability of Iraqi security forces."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO: