Minister for Defence Stephen Smith today advised that all four Infantry Kandaks of the Afghan National Army (ANA) 4th Brigade are now operating independently without advisers in Uruzgan Province.
The 2010 Lisbon NATO/International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Summit agreed to transition to Afghan-led security responsibility in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
The 2012 Chicago NATO/ISAF Summit agreed to a post 2014 transition mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The commencement of independent operations by the 4th Brigade Infantry Kandaks is a significant step in the process of transition to Afghan-led security responsibility in Uruzgan over the next 12 months and confirms that the Lisbon/Chicago transition strategy is on track in Uruzgan Province.
In July, transition to Afghan security lead in Uruzgan for the four infantry Kandaks and the two combat support Kandaks of the 4th Brigade of the Afghan National Army (ANA) commenced.
In early October, the 3rd Infantry Kandak of the 4th Brigade commenced operations independently without advisers.
The 1st and 6th Infantry Kandaks commenced independent operations early this month and the final 4th Infantry Kandak commenced independent operations on 15 November.
With the commencement of independent operations by the four Infantry Kandaks, the Australian Defence Force has now transferred control of joint Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases in Uruzgan Province to the 4th Brigade.
Australian troops are no longer operating from Forward Operating Bases or Patrol Bases in Uruzgan Province and have consolidated their presence at the Multi-National Base Tarin Kot.
The ADF Task Group is shifting emphasis from partnering and mentoring at Kandak level to advising at Headquarters 4th Brigade level and at the Afghan Operational Coordination Centre – Provincial in Uruzgan.
Independent operations for the 4th Brigade Infantry Kandaks do not mean the end of a role for the ADF in Uruzgan.
The ADF will also continue to advise the two combat support and combat service support (logistics) Kandaks of the 4th Brigade.
The ADF task group will remain combat ready to assist Afghan Forces should the need arise and the Special Operations Task Group will continue to conduct partnered combat operations to disrupt the insurgency.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999