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31 July 2009
Ceremony marks the end of Operation Catalyst in Iraq

A short flag lowering ceremony, attended by Major General Mark Kelly, AO, the Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East, was held at 1600 on 28th of July to mark the end of Operation Catalyst in Iraq. The ceremony was held on top of the ‘Roundhouse’ building – which had been used as accommodation for Australian personnel – at Aussie Island in Camp Victory.

Following the ceremony, the last Australian personnel associated with Operation Catalyst departed for Baghdad International Airport, where they boarded an Royal Australian Airforce C-130 Hercules to begin their journey home.

Operation CATALYST is the ADF’s contribution to the US-led Multinational Force effort to develop a secure and stable environment in Iraq and assist national recovery programs.

Defence will conclude its military commitment to the rehabilitation of Iraq on 31 July 2009 marking the end of a mission that commenced on 20 March 2003.

The cessation of Operation CATALYST does not include 80 ADF personnel providing protection for Australian diplomatic staff and the Australian embassy in Baghdad under Operation KRUGER, nor two ADF officers serving with the UN assistance Mission for Iraq under Operation RIVERBANK.