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Soldiers Return To Sydney After Months In Baghdad

Security Detachment Soldiers Return To Sydney After Six Months In Baghdad

Around 110 Australian soldiers will be welcomed home tomorrow by their families, the Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and the Deputy Chief of Army Major General Ian Gordon, at Sydney International Airport, concluding an arduous six-month deployment in Baghdad.

The men and women from Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin were part of the 9th Security Detachment (SECDET IX), protecting the Australian Embassy personnel in Baghdad, and contributing to the rehabilitation of Iraq.

Three of the soldiers returning tomorrow are looking forward to reuniting with their pregnant wives, who are all expecting to give birth this month. Five other soldiers, including the Officer in Command of SECDET IX Major Kyle Tyrrell, will be introduced to their new babies on return, born during their deployment.

Major Tyrrell is extremely proud of the cohesiveness of his team in Baghdad, “The team work and cohesiveness of the SECDET was demonstrated in mid-August when four members were wounded in a rocket attack. Within 12 minutes of the attack, the SECDET had conducted first aid and coordinated the evacuation of the wounded soldiers to a nearby Coalition medical facility,” Major Tyrrell said.

“Over the past six months, the men and women of the SECDET team conducted well over 80 operations supporting the Embassy staff in Baghdad’s ‘Red Zone’. Additionally, they upgraded the facilities and defences surrounding the Embassy for the protection of Australian Government personnel.”

“Our commemoration ceremony for ANZAC Day this year in the heart of Iraq was an amazing and poignant experience for us all.”

“We would like to thank those who sent us messages of support and small gifts. We received regular parcels from the RSL, full of magazines, and had numerous family members, community groups and schools send letters and Australian biscuits and lollies.”

“The loss of Private Jake Kovco during the deployment was a tragedy for all the SECDET IX members. Private Kovco was a valued member of the team who demonstrated a high level of devotion to duty and professionalism. He is sorely missed by us all,” Major Tyrrell said.

Ends

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