Minister visits troops in Middle East

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester thanked Australian Defence Force men and women in the Middle East for their ongoing efforts during a visit to Afghanistan and Iraq last week.

CAPTIONCommander Task Group Taji-7, Australian Army Colonel Michael Say briefs Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq. Photo by US Army Specialist Audrey Ward.

In Afghanistan, Mr Chester visited ADF personnel providing advice and assistance to Afghan Army trainers at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, and the Afghan Air Force at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

“ADF members in Afghanistan are making a significant contribution, alongside our NATO partners, to develop the capabilities of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces,” Mr Chester said.

In Iraq, Mr Chester visited Australian and New Zealand personnel serving with Task Group Taji and the Australian Special Operations Task Group.

“Task Group Taji, the Special Operations Task Group and the Air Task Group continue to provide vital roles in training and supporting the Iraqi forces, building on the successful outcomes in their fight against Daesh.”

In Baghdad, Mr Chester also met with members of Iraq’s Invictus Games team, who will be competing at the annual global event in Sydney later this year.

“It was heartening to meet the members of Iraq’s team and to hear how the Invictus Games are helping Iraq’s veterans to recover from their injuries.”

During the visit Minister Chester also met ADF personnel at Australia’s main logistic base in the Middle East and personnel from the Air Task Group at Australia’s main air operating base.

“The Australian people can be proud of the outstanding work being done by our Navy, Army and Air Force personnel in operations throughout the Middle East Region to support the Afghan and Iraqi forces in their operations,” Mr Chester said.





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Brian Hartigan

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