Adjustments to ADF posture in the Middle East due to COVID-19

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

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Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927

Kenny Ang (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 111 470

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23 March 2020


The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is temporarily relocating non-essential personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of COVID-19.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Australia regularly reviews its operational requirements in concert with our Coalition partners and in consultation with the Iraqi and Afghanistan governments.

“Non-essential personnel will be relocated to Australia’s main logistics base in the Middle East and those who are close to concluding their operational duties will be able to return home,” Minister Reynolds said.

“This temporary measure is to preserve the safety of our people and partners, and to limit the spread of COVID-19 in operational areas.

“There will be no impact to the force-protection of ADF personnel remaining in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the suspension of training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australia will continue to review its force posture and resume training in the region when it is safe to do so.

Details relating to personnel numbers being relocated cannot be provided for operational security reasons.


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