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Army October 11, 2012
A change of command for Operation Slipper
DEFENCE personnel serving in the
Middle East Area of Operations wel-
comed their new commander, Maj-
Gen Michael Crane, at Al Minhad Air
Base on October 1.
Maj-Gen Stuart Smith is seen
here on the left handing over com-
mand of Joint Task Force 633 in a
Commander Joint Task Force
633 is in charge of all ADF units
assigned to Operation Slipper.
Maj-Gen Smith said leading
Australian personnel in the Middle
East and Afghanistan was a memora-
ble period of his career. He commend-
ed the efforts of the men and women
he led during his time as commander.
"I have been fortunate to witness the
courage, compassion and commitment
of our troops in the Middle East," Maj-
Gen Smith said.
"Their actions in Afghanistan have
allowed us to begin the transition of
security responsibilities to Afghan
national forces and the assumption
of Australian leadership of Combined
"Sadly, these decisive events have
occurred at a cost and my deepest
sympathies remain with the families
of our six soldiers killed in action this
Maj-Gen Smith said the new com-
mander would witness the change in
roles and was in no doubt the troops
would continue their important work to
an admirable standard.
"I welcome Maj-Gen Crane,
and I know he will lead Australian
troops with distinction," he said.
Maj-Gen Crane congratulated
the outgoing commander on a
successful tour and thanked him
for his hard work and dedication.
"It is a great privilege that I am able
to assume command of this task force
that has served Australia and its inter-
ests with distinction for many years,"
Maj-Gen Crane said.
"I look forward to the continuing
transition of our role in Afghanistan,
including training the Afghan
National Security Forces to ready
them to assume security responsi-
bility for Uruzgan Province by 2014.
"During my time as commander,
we will develop our redeployment
plan to ensure the Australian forces
leave the Middle East in a respon-
sible, ethical and environmentally
"We want to help ensure
Afghanistan is a safer place for
everyone when we leave and for
years to come."
On return to Australia,
Maj-Gen Smith will assume
command of the HQ 1 Div
Deployable Joint Force HQ in
Brisbane. Photo by Capt Jay Ellul
Allies: Maj Keith Lawton, Operations Officer with the 3RAR Task
Group meets senior leaders from the Afghan National Army's 4th
Photo by Sgt William Guthrie
Youngsters: Cpl Lyntton Tonta shows a Jervis Bay
preschooler the controls of the MRH-90 helicopter during
a visit to HMAS Albatross in Nowra. Photo by LS Yurl Ramsey
Online PTIs Cpl Renae Fritzell-Flintand and Sgt Lisa
Richmond sit with CA Lt-Gen David Morrison for a
Facebook chat to answer candidates' questions about
pre-enlistment fitness assessments.Photo by LAC Vasilis Solomou
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