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Army July 7, 2011
A JOINT statement between the
ADF and New Zealand Defence
Force formalises the close relation-
ship between the two countries in
regard to emergency responses in
CDF ACM Angus Houston and
CDF Designate Lt-Gen David Hurley
signed the joint statement on the
Anzac Ready Response force with
New Zealand CDF Lt-Gen Rhys
Jones in Canberra on June 24.
"Disasters such as the 2009 Pacific
tsunami and the recent series of earth-
quakes across the region highlight the
need for well-planned and executed
humanitarian assistance and disaster
relief operations," ACM Houston said.
"The ADF and NZDF are work-
ing together to develop and exercise
plans under the RRF for a common
response to these types of regional
contingencies, and the first exercise
with an RRF element will be held
later this year."
An essential component of the
agreement has been for NZDF person-
nel to embed with ADF planning staff
in the ADF Deployable Joint Force
HQ in Brisbane to enable a collabora-
tive approach to planning. This first
occurred in March this year.
Both countries' national opera-
tional HQs will coordinate operational
aspects of the Anzac RRF and the
commander and force structure will
be mutually determined for each mis-
The decision to activate the Anzac
RRF will be coordinated through the
two countries' respective national
Anzacs respond to call
THE US troop draw down in
Afghanistan is not expected to have an
impact on Australian soldiers, accord-
ing to Defence Minister Stephen Smith,
who said there were no plans to reduce
Australia's commitment this year.
Despite US President Barack Obama's
announcement 33,000 US troops will
draw down by the end of next year, Mr
Smith said it was business as usual.
"On the basis of the discussions we
have had with our US counterparts, we
don't have any concerns this will have
any significant or adverse implications for
us in Uruzgan province," Mr Smith said.
"When the draw down is complete,
there will still be 68,000 US troops in
"We've got 1550 troops on average
in Uruzgan province and we believe that
number is required to complete our mis-
sion in Uruzgan, which is to train the
Afghan National Army so they can take
responsibility for security there by the
end of 2014."
Specifics of the draw down will be
managed by International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander US
Gen David Petraeus and his successor,
US Gen John Allen, who is expected to
take command in Afghanistan this month.
Mr Smith said he didn't expect the US
draw down plans to include a reduction
in air and artillery support available to
Australian troops in Uruzgan province.
"From a military perspective, [air and
artillery support] would be the last things
that you would seek to draw down on,"
The US troop draw down demon-
strated the success of ISAF efforts in
Afghanistan and the ANA's growing
capability, Mr Smith said.
"We welcome the draw down as being
consistent with the Lisbon summit strat-
egy, which is a transition to Afghan-led
responsibility by 2014.
"It does confirm, as we have been say-
ing for the last recent period, that we're
making progress against the Taliban.
"We've seen over the recent period the
ANA and police forces increase in size
by about 100,000. We've got now nearly
300,000 Afghan soldiers, local police and
"As more of those are trained, as
the Afghan security forces become bet-
ter, then other countries like the US can
reallocate their own resources.
"We believe we're on track to train
the ANA in Uruzgan by the interna-
tional community's deadline of the end
Working together: Capt Jim Wallace pours US Navy Leut Patrick Blue a glass of chai tea during a Shura
in the Mirabad Valley, Afghanistan. The withdrawal of 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of
next year is not expected to have an adverse effect on Australian soldiers.
Photo by Cpl Christopher Dickson
Aussie troops to
go the distance
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