Sixty five soldiers from the Australian Defence Force’s Security Detachment Sixteen (SECDET XVI) returned home to Brisbane today after their successful deployment rotation to Iraq.
The soldiers from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), were deployed as part of Operation KRUGER, the ADF’s contribution to the provision of security and support for the Australian embassy and its staff in Baghdad.
The Enoggerra based soldiers were welcomed home by family and friends.
The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, commended the Officer Commanding, SECDET XVI, Major Allan Hamley and his soldiers who completed more than 1400 diplomatic tasks, over 40900 personnel searches and approximately 2800 vehicle searches during their deployment.
“SECDET XVI has continued to demonstrate the professionalism, flexibility and dedication to duty which Australian soldiers are renowned for,” Lieutenant General Evans said.
“I commend Major Hamley and his detachment for their tireless efforts providing effective security for Australia’s diplomatic mission and their interaction with Iraqi and Coalition forces, further enhancing Australia’s reputation in the international community.”
Major Hamley says the strong relationships that his soldiers had established with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) enabled them to complete their mission with the full support of the host nation.
“The ISF have made noticeable improvements in Baghdad. Our soldiers’ adaptability enabled SECDET XVI to tailor its procedures to not only comply with, but fully support their vision. The Iraqi people have been very supportive and we are deeply grateful for their warmth and hospitality,” Major Hamley said.
“The uncertain security situation surrounding the Iraqi elections provided a good test of SECDET XVI’s ability to undertake a demanding security task in a complex and dangerous environment.”
The next security detachment, SECDET XVII, drawn from Darwin based units, has deployed to Iraq and continues to provide security support to the Australian embassy through protecting Australian government officials, visitors and other staff.
SECDET XVII’s deployment marks a further reduction in the number of ADF personnel deployed to Iraq. Thirty five ADF personnel will assist in the provision of embassy security, as responsibility for this task transitions away from the ADF.
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,