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Annual Report 2013-14

Feature articles

Drawdown from Afghanistan


The Australian contribution in Afghanistan in 2013–14 focused mainly on support roles after the majority of ADF personnel redeployed from Uruzgan in late December 2013.

This support included a continuing advisory mission to the Afghan National Army 4th Brigade of the 205th Corps in Uruzgan Province, adviser support to the 205 Corps, logistics training and advising to the Afghan Central Supply Depot, and embedded staff support to the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters elements including Regional Command (South). The ADF commenced and has continued to provide adviser contributions to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and Headquarters of the General Command of Police Special Units and 205 Corps in preparation for the Train-Advise-Assist Mission of Resolute Support, which will begin on 1January 2015.

The ADF began to reduce its presence in Uruzgan Province during 2013 in preparation for the transfer of security responsibility to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Security Forces. As the lead nation in Combined Team Uruzgan, Australia, working with the United States and other key coalition partners and the Afghan National Security Forces, conducted a drawdown of adviser elements and enablers, while continuing to advise key personnel in the Afghan National Security Forces. The ADF deployed a specialist team of logisticians, signallers and engineers to support the redeployment of Australian forces and complete the remediation and handover of a large part of the multinational base at Tarin Kot to the Afghan National Security Forces.

The 2013 drawdown and end of the ADF mission in Uruzgan resulted in a reduction of personnel numbers, which also marked a change from a provincially focused mission to one centred on adviser support to national institutions. The logistics training mission ceased in mid-2014.

Commensurate with the drawdown in Uruzgan, the ADF also reduced its headquarters and support functions in Kabul, in Kandahar and at the Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates. Australia maintains a modest national headquarters element and air mobility, logistics and communication enablers at Al Minhad Airbase to support continuing operations in the region, including those deployed on Operation Slipper in Afghanistan.

Photograph of a line of military vehicles moving across a desert landscape.

A long line of Afghan and Australian vehicles convoyed across the Uruzgan and Kandahar deserts during Operation Tor Ghar IV.