New Commander for Australian forces in the Middle East

Aus­tralian Defence per­son­nel serv­ing in the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions will wel­come a new com­man­der today. After 12 months at the helm, Major Gen­er­al Angus Camp­bell AM, will for­mal­ly hand over com­mand of Aus­tralian Defence Force Joint Task Force 633 to Major Gen­er­al Stu­art Smith AM.

Com­man­der Joint Task Force 633 com­mands all ADF units assigned to Oper­a­tion SLIPPER – Australia’s mil­i­tary con­tri­bu­tion to the inter­na­tion­al cam­paign against ter­ror­ism, mar­itime secu­ri­ty in the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions and coun­ter­ing pira­cy in the Gulf of Aden. 

ADF per­son­nel and coali­tion part­ners marked the for­mal tran­si­tion of Com­mand with a cer­e­mo­ny at Al Min­had Air Base in the Unit­ed Arab Emirates. 

Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell described lead­ing Aus­tralian troops deployed to the Mid­dle East and Afghanistan as the pin­na­cle of his career and com­mend­ed the efforts of the ser­vice men and women he had met dur­ing his time as Commander. 

“I will nev­er for­get the sac­ri­fice made by the fall­en; the com­pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and courage of our sol­diers, sailors and air­men who have served their coun­try with dis­tinc­tion. I am very proud of each and every one of them,” Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell said. 

“The Aus­tralian mis­sion is on track, and while we have suf­fered loss­es griev­ous­ly felt, there is no ques­tion that the cam­paign is advanc­ing, although much still needs to be done.” 

“I reflect on 2011 as a chal­leng­ing yet clear­ly suc­cess­ful year for the inter­na­tion­al mis­sion in Afghanistan.” 

Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell said that dur­ing his appoint­ment he had observed sig­nif­i­cant progress in Uruz­gan Province, where the major­i­ty of ADF per­son­nel are deployed. 

“I wel­come Major Gen­er­al Smith, and know he will lead Aus­tralian troops with dis­tinc­tion,” he said 

Major Gen­er­al Smith con­grat­u­lat­ed the out­go­ing com­man­der on a suc­cess­ful tour and thanked him for his hard work and dedication. 

“It has been a great priv­i­lege to assume com­mand of a Task Force that has con­tributed so much to secu­ri­ty in the region under the guid­ance of Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell,” Major Gen­er­al Smith said. 

“I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this work dur­ing 2012, with our main effort being the train­ing and devel­op­ment of the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces to assume respon­si­bil­i­ty for Uruz­gan Province by 2014, pos­si­bly earlier.” 

On return to Aus­tralia, Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell will take a well deserved peri­od of leave before assum­ing the role of Deputy Chief of Army. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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