Home' Army News : March 4th 2010 Contents 18 CENTREPIECE
AFTER more than eight months
of intense operations, the 730
members of MRTF 2 can take
time out to reflect on their
achievements after transferring authority
to the Mentoring Task Force 1 (MTF 1) on
A stronger Afghan National Army 4th
Bde, a visible security presence for locals
in Oruzgan province, education opportuni-
ties for local children and a new medical
centre are among the key successes for the
Australian soldiers of MRTF 2.
The achievements were conducted against
the backdrop of a threat level that saw the
joint Afghan and Australian patrols respond
to 43 IEDs, 27 indirect fire attacks and
numerous armed contacts with the Taliban
throughout MRTF 2's deployment.
MRTF 2 CO Lt-Col Andrew Hocking
praised his people who worked tirelessly
during their deployment.
"Like most people in Australia, I'm
extremely proud of the bravery and dedica-
tion shown by my troops over the past eight
months," Lt-Col Hocking said.
"The MRTF's Operational Mentor and
Liaison Teams who have been mentoring the
ANA provided highly effective joint patrols
and, along with the newly established patrol
bases, have offered greater security for locals
in the Mirabad, Chora and Baluchi valleys.
"It has been a great privilege for everyone
in the battle group to develop the capability
of the ANA and ultimately help the people of
Oruzgan," he said.
Among the many successes of MRTF
2 was the discovery of about 90 weapons
and ammunition caches, which improved
the safety of locals and caused disruption to
Taliban insurgent attacks in the region.
As well as continuing the mentoring proc-
ess MRTF 2 maintained the high tempo of
reconstruction work set by their predeces-
sors, which included the construction of a
waste-management facility in Tarin Kowt, a
boys' high school and primary school, a med-
ical centre and an all-weather river crossing.
Ongoing projects that will be managed
by MTF 1 include the construction of girls'
high schools in Tarin Kowt and Malalai, and
redevelopment of the Oruzgan Ministry of
Energy and Water compound.
With the transfer of authority between the
Australian task forces, they also took time
to remember a fallen mate, Pte Benjamin
Ranaudo, who was killed by an IED in July
2009. Twenty-nine MRTF 2 members were
wounded in the course of operations.
With the handover complete, Lt-Col
Hocking said his troops were looking for-
ward to returning home.
"It's now time for the battle group to
remember our fallen, rest and rehabilitate
with our families and, in time, prepare our-
selves for any future challenges in the inter-
est of our country.
"I wish the men and women of MTF 1 the
best of luck."
The Mentoring Reconstruction Task Force 2 has just completed its deployment in Afghanistan. In that time, it
continued the work MRTF 1 had started and furthered the drive to gain the trust of the Afghan people.
Stronger ties: An ANA soldier provides protection during a
shura, which CO MRTF 2 Lt-Col Andrew Hocking addressed
(inset) in the Mirabad Valley region.
Time's up: The MRTF 2 flag is
handover parade to MTF 1 at the M
in Tarin Kowt.
Visible presence: WO2 Darren Murch befriends a local in the Mirabad
Joint projects: Capt Daniel Waugh inspects the progress of a
project with Tila Muhammad Hassan Zai, an Afghan engineer.
Photos: Sgt Mick Davis
Links Archive February 18th 2010 March 18th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page