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Army August 18, 2011
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Mobility: Army is now available on Apple mobile devices.
over in Iraq
By Spr Nick Wiseman
THE Australian Security
Detachment (Secdet) to Iraq
ceased operations in Baghdad
on July 29, ending the eight-year
deployment with a 100 per cent
Secdet had provided security
for Australia's diplomatic staff
since 2003. No diplomatic person-
nel were harmed during that time,
although 15 Secdet members were
wounded throughout the course of
the mission and Pte Jake Kovco
was killed in a firearms incident in
The Chief of Joint Operations,
Lt-Gen Ash Power, said the with-
drawal of Secdet closed another
chapter in the ADF's contribution
"While the contribution was
small, the parallels between
Secdet's operational history and
Iraq's security transition are quite
clear," Lt-Gen Power said.
"The calmer conditions for
Secdet since 2008 reflect the grow-
ing stability in Iraq as a whole."
In August 2006, Sgt Sarah
Webster (then a corporal) was
wounded in an attack at Secdet's
working accommodation. Despite
the incident, she said it was an
exciting deployment to be on.
"It was full on for the first
few weeks, then after that first
month, things went very well," Sgt
"Everything I got trained to do
with my job, I got to employ as
part of Secdet."
Secdet adjusted its capabil-
ity over the years, switching from
using ASLAVs to up-armoured
civilian vehicles to coincide with
other embassies in Iraq.
Responsibility for the ongoing
security and protection of diplo-
matic staff has now passed to the
Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade, which has contracted a secu-
Two ADF members remain in
Iraq as part of Australia's contribu-
tion to the UN Assistance Mission
More Secdet coverage -- centrepiece
personnel in Iraq
photo was taken
in the early
stages of Op
End of an era: The 17 members of the final Secdet parade at the Australian
Embassy in Baghdad for the closure parade.
Photos by PO Damian Pawlenko
Folding up: Sgt Phil Hardaker (left) gathers the Australian flag with
WO2 Brendan Pieschel.
March off: Sig Matthew Reeves stands with the Secdet for the final
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