A welcome home parade at RAAF Base Amberley today recognised and celebrated the return of more than 100 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel deployed to Multi National Base – Tarin Kot (MNB-TK), Afghanistan.
Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston was there to thank and support the returned RAAF personnel.
Senator Johnston said Australia’s mission in Uruzgan has drawn to a close, in line with the transition strategy agreed by the international community and the Government of Afghanistan.
“Australia’s outstanding work, along with that of our international partners, has led to demonstrable improvements in security, development and governance capacity in Uruzgan. Our focus will now be on providing support and assistance to Afghanistan at the national level,” he said.
Senator Johnston said the families of returning personnel were informally presented with Military Kids/Partners Deployment Recognition Medallions in recognition of the sacrifices made during the deployment of their loved ones.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO said the return of MNB-TK personnel has coincided with the transition of responsibility for base to the Government of Afghanistan. It demonstrates that Australia has conducted an orderly withdrawal in accordance with our commitment to our partners.
“MNB-TK Command and Security Force personnel provided a critical air base capability while simultaneously preparing the base for the handover to Afghanistan authorities. Air Force personnel have served with professionalism and honour and they have earned the respect of coalition and service partners,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“I also acknowledge the valuable support of our Air Force families who have made great sacrifices so that our serving members can deploy and serve abroad.
“Since July 2010, Air Force has deployed 320 airbase operations personnel to MNB-TK. They have ensured that the base ran smoothly, providing security, logistics and engineering support to enable safe aircraft operations,” Air Marshal Brown said.
The welcome home parade provides formal recognition to personnel and their families who returned to Australia in December 2013. The parade recognises the return of the last formed body of RAAF personnel to Australia.
Imagery and video from the welcome home parade will be available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140287
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560
Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 554
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999