On Friday 8 and Saturday 9 April 2022, the Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP will recognise the significant contribution of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in the evacuation of over 4,000 Australians, foreign and Afghan nationals and their families at RAAF Base Amberley and Lavarack Barracks respectively.
At the two medal presentation ceremonies the Australian Operational Service Medal – Greater Middle East Operation will be awarded to those who deployed in support of the Afghanistan Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO).
Over 400 ADF members will be recognised for their support to the evacuation effort, as a result of a change to the Australian Operational Medal Regulation 2012.
“Australia's military air evacuation in Afghanistan was one of the largest humanitarian operations in our history,” Minister Dutton said.
“In honour of the unique nature of Afghanistan NEO and the outstanding performance of our personnel, I requested the Governor-General to approve changes to the Australian Operational Medal Regulation 2012 to enable these medals to be awarded today.
“I thank the ADF personnel who, along with civilian colleagues, deployed to the Middle East region to conduct the emergency evacuation.”
“The extraordinary circumstances under which the ADF conducted airlift evacuations from Hamid Kazi Airport in Kabul were extraordinary. Working with Australian officials, they operated around the clock to evacuate as many people as possible in a highly volatile and dangerous environment.”
Australian Government officials from the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Border Force, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will also be recognised for their work on the ground by being awarded the Australian Operational Service Medal (Civilian) – Greater Middle East Operation.
“The terrible events in Afghanistan in August 2021 should not detract from the service and courage of more than 39,000 ADF personnel who served in support of Afghanistan over the 20 year history of Australia’s engagement. We remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made by 41 Australian soldiers who died on operations in Afghanistan,” Minister Dutton said.
“It is an honour to appropriately recognise the contributions of our ADF.”
For more information about the Australian Operational Service Medal – Greater Middle East Operation visit https://www.defence.gov.au/adf-members-families/honoursawards/medals/aus...