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Army June 7, 2012
PTE TJ Findlay, of MTF 4, was wound-
ed in a secondary explosion while rescu-
ing an Afghan soldier from a vehicle
which hit an IED in Uruzgan province
on May 29.
The Afghan soldier was in a stable
condition after he and Pte Findlay were
evacuated to Tarin Kot. Pte Findlay
returned to light duties within a few days
of the incident, which occurred during a
joint patrol in the Char Chineh District.
Acting Joint Operations Chief RAdm
Steve Gilmore said an Afghan National
Army vehicle carrying munitions hit an
IED during the patrol.
"Initial reports suggest an Australian
soldier near the vehicle was knocked
to the ground in the explosion," RAdm
"He reacted quickly and moved to the
damaged vehicle to rescue a wounded
Afghan soldier inside.
"After saving the Afghan soldier, the
Australian was wounded when the vehi-
"The Australian soldier's quick think-
ing saved another man's life."
Recovering: Pte TJ Findlay has
returned to light duties after being
wounded while rescuing an Afghan
colleague from a burning vehicle
loaded with munitions.
Photo by Cpl Hamish Paterson
TRANSITION to Afghan-led secu-
rity in Uruzgan province will be
overseen by an Australian command-
er when leadership of Combined
Team -- Uruzgan (CT-U) passes to
Australia later this year.
Defence Minister Stephen
Smith and CDF Gen David Hurley
announced the planned leadership
change on May 31.
Gen David Hurley said
Australian troop numbers in
Afghanistan would not be affected
and the US commitment to CT-U
would also remain the same.
The US will continue to provide
helicopter, medical and headquar-
Australia has been a major con-
tributor to CT-U, in particular with
the Mentoring Task Force, since its
inception in 2010.
Mr Smith said leadership of the
CT-U would be a positive part of
the transition of security respon-
sibility from ISAF to the Afghan
National Security Forces.
"Australia sees this as the appro-
priate time to take the leadership
role in Uruzgan province, to help
ensure that transition in Uruzgan
over the subsequent 12 to 18 month
period [from mid-year] is effected
in a seamless way," Mr Smith said.
"Our experience in the province
across the security, governance and
development lines of operations
means that we are well placed to
deal with any issues that may arise
leading up to the transition pro-
Gen Hurley said the next two
years would be crucial to the suc-
cess of the Australian mission in
"Over the next two years, the
force will be conducting a number
of concurrent, complex and inte-
grated operations," he said.
"These include the transition
to the Afghan National Security
Forces' lead for security, the
extraction of ADF personnel and
their equipment from the prov-
ince, preparation for whatever the
Government may decide will be
Australia's commitment after the
transition process in 2014, and sup-
port to the whole-of-government
transition of the programs of work
it delivers through Uruzgan to
Afghanistan and abroad.
"The weight of the effort in the
transition still falls on Australia's
activities to transition lead to the
[Afghan National Army's] 4th Bde.
"This decision puts us in the
driving seat to control that interac-
tion over the next year or so."
CT-U is made up of troops from
Afghanistan, Australia, Singapore,
Slovakia and the US.
Australia to take command of Combined Team -- Uruzgan late this year
Leading the team
troops say goodbye
Capt Jillian Gaze
HUNDREDS of supporters gathered on May 23 to
farewell 350 members of MTF 5 who will deploy
to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.
Led by 3RAR, the battle group includes sol-
diers from Townsville's 3 Bde, Brisbane's 7 Bde
and several other units across Australia.
CO MTF 5 Lt-Col Trent Scott said the 3RAR
Battle Group members were ready and eager to
make a contribution.
"We have received the highest level of train-
ing, which has prepared us well," he said.
"We have the finest equipment and I know
that the men and women in the 3RAR Battle
Group are going to do an excellent job."
Attending the parade was Forces Commander
Maj-Gen Michael Slater, who told the troops their
families back home would be supported during
"If you need anything, please let us know, as
we cannot help you unless we know you need
Cfn Rhys Dubberley will be on his first
deployment, leaving behind his partner Rory
Modena and two children Miyu, 12, and Vincent, 5.
"I don't think you'll ever really get used to it,"
Ms Modena said. "We have had practice with him
going away for training. We're very proud of him."
The battle group's role will be to mentor the
Afghan National Army's 4th Brigade and build its
ability to provide security in Uruzgan province.
The soldiers will play an important role as
Australia transitions security responsibility to the
Afghans over the next 18 months.
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