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ADF Personnel Involved In Iraq Mission

Chief Of The Defence Force Pays Tribute To ADF Personnel Involved In Iraq Mission

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, today paid tribute to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who contributed to Operation CATALYST (Iraq).

Speaking at the national parade to mark the end of the Operation, Air Chief Marshal Houston said Operation CATALYST was one of the most complex operations ever undertaken by the ADF.

“Today, I encourage all Australians to pause for a moment to consider the service of their fellow countrymen. In our name and under our flag they risked their lives to provide others with a brighter future,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said. “As your Chief, I am immensely proud of you and thankful for your skill and commitment. You have been wonderful ambassadors for our nation. As indeed, are the men and women still deployed in Iraq with the United Nations and those who are providing security for the Australian Embassy.

“Of course, the success of Operation CATALYST is also due, not only to those who deployed to Iraq, but also to the performance of the defence organisation here at home.

“I would also like to pay special tribute today to the families and friends of those who contributed to Operation CATALYST.

“Without their love and encouragement, the men and women of the ADF would not have been able to perform as well as they did. For that I am most grateful.” Air Chief Marshal Houston said Operation CATALYST was a very dangerous mission and that we should never forget the human cost.

“Very sadly, three Australians never came home from their military service in Iraq. Today I honour the service of Warrant Officer Class Two David Nary from the Special Air Service Regiment and Private Jacob Kovco of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“I also wish to mention Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel, a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, who was killed in Iraq whilst serving with the Royal Air Force.

“To the Nary, Kovco and Pardoel families I want them to know that they are in our thoughts, just as David, Jake and Paul are in our thoughts. “Today we should also remember the 27 ADF men and women who were wounded during this operation. Some made full recoveries. Others will never fully recover.

“To all our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen who contributed to Operation CATALYST, I offer my sincere gratitude for your service.”

ENDS

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