Aust.: Further ADF Deployment To Afghanistan
Further ADF Deployment To Afghanistan
A small contingent of three Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed to Afghanistan early next year as part of the Canadian led Multinational Brigade to be based in Kandahar, Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced today.
The group will deploy to Canada next week for training prior to going to the southern Afghanistan province to join the Canadian Headquarters as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Senator Hill said the deployment is an invaluable opportunity to build situation awareness of developments in southern Afghanistan as Australia continues to consider its options to send a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) next year.
The initial deployment will be for a period of six months. ADF staff will be involved in operations, logistics and explosive ordnance management - as mines currently pose a major problem for the people of Afghanistan.
This deployment brings Australia’s total ADF commitment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper to approximately 200 people.
"The Australians joining this headquarters will gain an insight into NATO and Canadian operations in Afghanistan and will help in the planning and execution of international reconstruction projects," Senator Hill said.
"The experience gained by our ADF personnel will also be of considerable benefit to our planning should the Government decide to send a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan in 2006.
"A key benefit of the deployment is the opportunity to work with Canadian and other NATO Defence Forces at senior command levels.
"This will provide us with valuable experience in NATO interoperability and operational practices and help build relationships with key allies involved in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
"The deployment adds to Australia’s increased commitment to the fight against terrorism.
"Afghanistan has made significant progress since its liberation and it is important that the international community continues to work with the Afghan Government to build a stable future and a better quality of life for the Afghan people."