Prime Minister and Minister for Defence - Joint Press Release - Afghanistan Veterans' National Commemoration

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The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister

The Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Defence

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20 March 2015

Today, around the nation, we mark the completion of Australia’s longest war and honour the men and women who served in Afghanistan on Operation Slipper.

Operation Slipper saw the deployment of more than 34,500 Australian men and women from the Australian Defence Force personnel, the Australian Federal Police, and other agencies.

In the course of the Afghanistan campaign, 41 Australians were killed and 263 wounded. Hundreds more have unseen wounds.

Their mission is over, but our mission to stand with the veterans continues.

Australia’s contributions in Kabul, Uruzgan, Kandahar and Helmand, at other bases throughout the Middle East and aboard the ships of the Royal Australian Navy, have been significant.

Australians fight for peoples’ right to live their own lives and to make their own choices free from fear and free from terror.

Australia’s contribution has played a significant role in making Afghanistan and the world a safer and more peaceful place.

Today, we also honour the families of those who deployed, acknowledging it is they who carried you in their hearts and prayers.

As we gather, members of the Australian Defence Force continue to work in the Middle East fighting the death cult in Iraq and training the Afghan army.

We remember them today as they continue to serve in our name.

Media contacts:
Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews' Office)                0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations                                        (02) 6127 1999

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