"Mission completed" for more than 100 RAAF personnel
IT'S "mission completed" for more than 100 Royal Australian Air Force personnel after months spent bravely serving their country in Afghanistan.
Crowds gathered at RAAF Base Amberley yesterday to celebrate the return of the RAAF men and women who had been deployed to multinational base Tarin Kot, located in Uruzgan province
The welcome home parade provided formal recognition to personnel who returned to Australia in December 2013 and their families.
The troops' return signalled the end of what had been Australia's longest military engagement, one that cost 40 lives and left 256 wounded.
Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston was present at the ceremony yesterday to thank and support the RAAF personnel for their service.
Senator Johnston said Australia's mission in Uruzgan had drawn to a close, in line with the transition strategy agreed by the international community and the Government of Afghanistan.
He said Australia's outstanding work, along with that of its international partners, had led to demonstrable improvements in security, development and governance capacity in Uruzgan.
Focus would now shift to providing support and assistance to Afghanistan at the national level, he said.
Since the war started in 2001, about 25,000 Australians have served in the country.