The lowering of the 7 RAR Task Group flag and the raising of the 2 CAV Task Group flag at Multi National Base–Tarin Kot represented the formal change of command authority for one of Australia’s largest force contributions to Afghanistan.
Commanding Officer 7 RAR Task Group Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells said the soldiers under his command performed to an exceptional level during their deployment from November 2012 to June 2013.
“The 7 RAR Task Group represented the ADF as a professional and adaptive force at a crucial stage of the transition to Afghan security responsibility,” Lieutenant Colonel Wells said.
Through the Afghan winter and into the traditional summer fighting season, 7 RAR Task Group advised the 4th Brigade in its conduct of more than 13 independent brigade-level operations to maintain relentless pressure on the insurgency.
Afghan forces conducted clearances of Langar, Shahid-e-Hasas, Char Chineh, Dizak, Khaz Uruzgan, Charmestan, Chora and Kajran to protect and secure the local population.
Lieutenant Colonel Wells said the success of the 4th Brigade, 205 Corps was not so much measured in the deeds done by Australian soldiers, but by what the 4th Brigade had achieved during the period of advising.
“The 4th Brigade, 205 Corps has achieved significant milestones during the deployment of the 7 RAR Task Group,” Lieutenant Colonel Wells said.
“Successful advising ensured the Afghan National Army enhanced their skills in the key enablers of modern warfare, including counter IED, aero-medical evacuation, offensive support, leadership, literacy and logistics.”
The Transition of Authority Ceremony was attended by Commander Joint Task Force 633 Major General Michael Crane, ANA 4th Brigade Commander Colonel Kandahari and acting Commander Combined Team Uruzgan Colonel Douglas Cardinale.
2 CAV Task Group will shift its mission focus gradually reducing advisory support as the ANA moves to independence in their Brigade Headquarters, the Combat Service Support Kandak (Battalion) and the Garrison Support Unit.
Commanding Officer 2 CAV Task Group Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bye said the change in the Task Group’s mission focus reflected the enormous progress made by the ANA’s 4th Brigade, 205 Corps.
“The success of the 4th Brigade is a source of pride, not only in the 205 Corps, but to the people of Uruzgan,” Lieutenant Colonel Bye said.
“The 2 CAV Task Group’s mission reflects the high level of competency within the brigade, with advisory support being given to the headquarters and in the areas of combat service support and garrison support.”
The deployment of the 2 CAV Task Group marks the culmination of an extraordinary military and whole-of-government journey in Uruzgan Province, which has seen great progress from the deployment of the Special Operations Task Group in 2005 and the Reconstruction Task Force in 2006.
“The soldiers of the 2 CAV Task Group are extremely proud to be part of the operation in Afghanistan,” Lieutenant Colonel Bye said.
“We recognise the efforts and sacrifices of our comrades who have gone before us, and will display the same tenacity, focus and courage required to conclude the long mission in Uruzgan.”
Like the 7 RAR Task Group, the 2 CAV Task Group will continue to provide force protection support to Australian and International Security Assistance Force elements in Uruzgan and support the process of security transition in the province which will see governance and security firmly in the hands of the Afghan people.
Imagery is available from the Defence Image Gallery.