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Department of Defence
Media Release


01/05/2009 MECC 145/09



Representing the Minister for Defence, Member for Dobell, Mr Craig Thomson MP, and the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates AM RAN, yesterday welcomed home the Combined Task Force 152 (CTF152) Command Group, led by Commodore Bruce Kafer AM CSC RAN, after more than six months of duty in the Middle East Area of Operations.


They were joined by families and friends in welcoming home Commodore Kafer and his team of 16 Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors.


“I congratulate the men and women of CTF 152 who have returned from a very successful deployment.  During the deployment the Task Force faced the challenge of transitioning from one important campaign to another and did so very effectively.  Each member should be very proud of their service and commitment,” Rear Admiral Coates said.


“These reunions are always heart warming. I am extremely proud of the professionalism and commitment shown by the Command Group. I thank them for the sacrifices they have made in the service of their country and I also thank their families for their support.”


Commodore Kafer assumed command of CTF 158 in October 2008 and of CTF 152 in January 2009.  The position is one of the most senior Coalition Navy positions in the Middle East Area of Operations.


“I am extremely proud of the men and women who assisted me in commanding Combined Task Forces 158 and 152. We achieved excellent results in two very different missions. I am also very appreciative of the support provided by our families and friends throughout the seven month deployment,” Commodore Kafer said.


This was the first occasion that a Royal Australian Navy Command Group has been given responsibility for this important Coalition command. It follows four previous Australian rotations in command of other international Task Forces in the Persian Gulf. Prior to commanding CTF 152, Commodore Kafer and his Royal Australian Navy staff commanded the former CTF 158, protecting Iraq’s offshore oil terminals and territorial waters.


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664




Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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