The Australian Defence Force is deploying more than 250 personnel to support urgent Australian efforts to evacuate Australian citizens and visa holders from Afghanistan.
CAPTION: A contingent of Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army personnel board a KC-30A multi-role tanker transport at RAAF Base Amberley bound for the Middle East to support evacuation efforts from Afghanistan. Photo by Corporal Brett Sherriff.
A KC-30A departed Amberley today, 16 August 2021, for Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East and will commence refuelling operations in support of the wider US-led operation later this week.
Two C-17A Globemasters will also depart for the Middle East later this week.
The situation in Afghanistan remains highly volatile and dangerous.
Defence says it is taking all necessary precautions to protect its people and those authorised for evacuation.
The mission will be constantly assessed against latest developments.
Australia’s evacuation efforts are being closely coordinated with international partners.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Andrew Gee said this was a distressing time for many Defence personnel and veterans who served our nation in Afghanistan with courage, dignity and honour, and made such a significant contribution to the allied military effort.
“I understand many of those who served our nation in Afghanistan may feel frustrated, concerned and distressed at what is unfolding there,” Minister Gee said.
“My primary concern is the wellbeing of all of our veterans, Defence personnel, here at home and abroad, and their families.
“I have asked the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contact the families of ADF members who lost their lives in Afghanistan, as well as any veterans the Department is aware of who could suffer adversely as a result of what is currently happening in Afghanistan.
“I encourage anyone who served in Afghanistan to reach out to support services available to them and their families if they need it.
“For those who are not currently registered with DVA, please know that help and support is there for you. Please call DVA if you would like to access services or call Open Arms for counselling support.”
ADF personnel, veterans and their families can call Open Arms 24 hours a day on 1800 011 046.
If you need to talk but don’t want to disclose your name, please call Safe Zone Support which offers anonymous counselling service for ADF personnel, veterans and their families. Its free and available 24/7. You can call 1800 142 072.