A new chapter in Australia’s mentoring mission in Afghanistan has started with the official Transition of Authority between Mentoring Task Force — One (MTF‑1) and Mentoring Task Force — Two (MTF‑2) taking place at Multi National Base – Tarin Kot on the 20th of October.
The drawing down of the MTF‑1 flag marked the conclusion of an eight-month deployment, which saw Australia’s mentoring role expand to include responsibility for the entire Afghan National Army (ANA) 4th Brigade.
MTF‑1 Commanding Officer, LTCOL Mark Jennings, said the greater mentoring role achieved by the Australian contingent is something the troops can be proud of.
MTF‑1 was originally responsible for mentoring two Kandaks (battalions) and since August the role has expanded to mentoring the 4th Brigade’s five Kandaks, as well as the headquarters.
“We’ve taken on extra tasks and expanded into new areas since arriving in February this year,” LTCOL Jennings said.
“MTF‑1 soldiers can walk away from the mission with their heads held high.”
MTF‑1 achievements included:
- Clearing areas in the Mirabad Valley region and the construction of a new patrol base to assist the ANA 4th Brigade to establish an area of operations for a new Kandak to provide security to the local population there;
- Raising a new mentoring team to operate in Deh Rawud and achieving a mentoring and partnering relationship with the 1st Kandak: and
- Providing security in partnership with the ANA 4th Brigade for the Afghan National Elections across Uruzgan province.
Much of MTF‑1’s success was also attributed to the genuine mateship developed between the Australian and Afghan soldiers. MTF‑2 has now officially taken over the reins and its commander LTCOL Darren Huxley believes it is up to the challenge.
“I’ve come with a force specifically designed to do the tasks we’ve been given,” LTCOL Huxley said.
“Our training has prepared us extensively for the tasks we’re going to face here.”
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,