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16 May 2008
Combat Team Waler stays focused

Australian Diggers from Combat Team Waler remain focused on reducing the Improvised Explosive Device threat in Southern Iraq.

The soldiers from the Overwatch Battle Group (West) are conducting mounted and dismounted patrolling, and conducting vehicle check points with Iraqi Security Forces.

The patrols also provide a training bonus, allowing the Australians to mentor the Iraqis during the vehicle check points and assessing their overall security skills.

Recent patrols have also provided local familiarization for US forces, who will take over from the Battle Group mid-year.

The Australian troops have already commenced their pack-up and are on track to return to Australia in line with the Government’s election commitment.

The 516 soldiers of Overwatch Battle Group (West) 4 are mostly drawn from units of the Brisbane-based 7th Brigade. The Battle Group is comprised of the headquarters and cavalry squadrons of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), operating Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs); an Infantry company from the 6th Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) operating Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMVs); and specialists from the 7th Combat Services Support Battalion.

OBG(W) 4 is based at Tallil Air Base from where it undertakes a security overwatch role for Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar Provinces as part of a larger Coalition Force.

The security role supports the Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) and Provincial Government’s efforts to build a secure and stable Iraq. In this role OBG(W) 4 undertakes security patrols, develops ISF capabilities and supports reconstruction and rehabilitation projects. OBG(W) 4 operates as part of the Multi National Force - Iraq (MNF - I).