Australian military operations in Aghanistan

Australia's mission in Afghanistan is to ensure the country does not again become a safe haven from which terrorists can train and plan attacks on Australia and our allies

Australia remains committed to a rules-based international global order and supports efforts by the international community to countering terrorism. We have a direct interest in denying terrorists safe havens to plan and train for attacks on civilians including denying Afghanistan as a training ground for terrorists.

2001-09-14 10:14:06

Australian Government invokes ANZUS

Prime Minister John Howard announced that the Government was invoking Article IV of the ANZUS Treaty in response to the terrorist attacks against the US.

2001-10-22 10:14:06

Special Forces Task Group officially farewelled

The first contingent of the Special Forces Task Group was officially farewelled in Perth as they departed to assist the US-led International Coalition Against Terrorism.

2001-10-25 10:14:06

Deployment of Navy, Army and Air Force

The Government announced the deployment of Royal Australian Navy, Army and Air Force assets and personnel in support of Coalition operations.

2001-10-25 10:14:06

16th Air Defence Regiment Farewelled

16th Air Defence Regiment (16AD Regt) was officially farewelled from Adelaide to support the Australian maritime element in the war against terrorism.

2001-11-09 10:14:06

F/A-18 Hornets farewelled

A contingent of four F/A-18 Hornets was officially farewelled from RAAF Base Williamtown as part of Australia’s contribution to the fight against terrorism.

2001-11-27 10:14:06

Remaining soldiers depart Perth

The remaining soldiers from the Special Forces Task Group, making a total of 150 personnel, departed Perth to assist the Coalition in Afghanistan.

2001-12-03 10:14:06

Special Forces personnel arrive in Afghanistan

Defence Minister Robert Hill stated that the first of Australia’s initial contribution of 150 Special Forces personnel (the Special Forces Task Group) had arrived in Afghanistan.

2002-02-15 10:14:06

Second contingent RAAF detachment farewelled

The second contingent of approximately 80 personnel, forming the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet detachment, was officially farewelled for operations in support of the Coalition in mid-February

2002-02-17 10:14:06

first contingent of RAAF personnel welcomed home

On 17 February 2002, the first contingent of RAAF F/A-18 Hornet personnel was officially welcomed home to RAAF Base Williamtown following a 3½ month deployment.

2002-03-01 10:14:06

Operation Anaconda

Australian Special Forces Task Group soldiers took part in Operation Anaconda involving United States, Afghan and coalition forces.

2002-03-28 10:14:06

Second contingent of special forces farewelled

The second contingent of the Special Forces Task Group was officially farewelled in Perth.

2002-04-03 10:14:06

First contingent Special Forces welcomed home

The first contingent of the Special Forces Task Group was officially welcomed home from Afghanistan at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, WA, following their six-month deployment. One member was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross.

2002-05-21 10:14:06

F/A-18 Hornet detachment welcomed home

The F/A-18 Hornet detachment deployed to Diego Garcia as part of Australia’s commitment to the Coalition, was officially welcomed home to RAAF Base Williamtown following a 3½ month deployment.

2002-06-18 10:14:06

second RAAF B-707 contingent farewelled

A second RAAF B-707 contingent was officially farewelled from RAAF Base Richmond, NSW, to support air-to-air refuelling operations in Afghanistan from neighbouring country Kyrgyzstan.

2002-07-03 10:14:06

B-707 aircrew return home

The first contingent of B-707 aircrew and support personnel officially returned to RAAF Base Richmond following a 3½ month deployment in support of the Coalition.

2002-07-22 10:14:06

ADF deployed to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan & the Gulf

ADF personnel deployed to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Gulf, in support of Coalition operations, had reached around 850 to 1300.

2002-08-30 10:14:06

second contingent Special Forces welcomed home

Six months after departing Australia, the second contingent of the Special Forces Task Group was officially welcomed home from Afghanistan at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, WA.

2002-11-20 10:14:06

Gov announced SASR Task Group withdrawal in Nov

As the focus of Coalition operations in Afghanistan moved towards reconstruction efforts, the Government announced: ... that the third rotation to Afghanistan will complete Australia’s special forces contribution. The SASR Task Group will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in late November … The Minister noted that operational tasking for Australia’s Special Forces elements in Afghanistan was insufficient to justify their continued deployment.

2002-11-20 10:14:06

SFTG to complete special forces contribution

Defence Minister Robert Hill announced that the third rotation of Australia’s Special Forces Task Group would ‘complete Australia’s special forces contribution’ in Afghanistan. From 17 December 2002, Australia’s military commitment in Afghanistan would be minimal.

2002-12-17 10:14:06

Third contingent SFTG return to Perth

The third contingent of the Special Forces Task Group, which deployed to Afghanistan in August 2002, officially returned to Perth. On their return, the Meritorious Unit Citation was awarded to the Special Air Services Regiment.

2003-02-21 10:14:06

2000 ADF involved in Middle East

By February 2003, approximately 2000 ADF personnel were reportedly involved in two operations in the Middle East: Operation Slipper and Operation Bastille (the latter involved the forward deployment of ADF elements to the Middle East). Australia’s military commitment in the Middle East at that time comprised an Australian command team ‘in tactical control of the multinational interception force in the Persian Gulf’ to support the enforcement of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.’ Australia maintained tactical control of six coalition vessels, including HMA Ships Anzac, Darwin and Kanimbla. In addition, a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft detachment had been deployed to the Middle East in January 2003 and continued to conduct maritime patrols in the Gulf.

2005-07-13 10:14:06

Special Forces element to return to Afghanistan

Prime Minister John Howard announced that a 190 member Australian Special Forces element would return to Afghanistan for a period of twelve months in support of the ‘legitimate Government in Afghanistan [that] has come under increasing attack and pressure from the Taliban in particular and some elements of Al Qaeda.’

2005-08-24 10:14:06

Special Forces Task Group farewell

The Special Forces Task Group was officially farewelled on 24 August 2005 at Campbell Barracks, Perth, home of the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment. The Prime Minister, John Howard, joined the Minister for Defence, Robert Hill, Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and the Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, in wishing the Task Group every success as it prepared for deployment.

2005-09-23 02:03:21

Special Forces Conduct Operations in Afghanistan

Australia’s Special Forces Task Group commenced operations in Afghanistan on the 23 September. The SFTG established its operating base after conducting final familiarisation training. These operations included combined Afghan National Army (ANA) and SFTG patrols that provided effective support and protection to remote polling centres and security checkpoints during the Afghan National Elections.

2005-09-26 10:03:21

Minister for Defence visits STFG in Afghanistan

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Robert Hill, visits an Australian Special Forces Task Group Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan.

2006-02-25 02:03:21

Afghan Veterans welcomed home

Western Australia-based soldiers returned from an operational tour of duty in Afghanistan and were officially welcomed home in a ceremony at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, WA, on Saturday 25th February.

2006-02-25 02:03:21

medal for gallantry

A Sergeant and a Warrant Officer Class Two were both awarded the Medal for Gallantry for their outstanding actions, leadership and bravery during a long and difficult engagements with anti-coalition militia elements early in the SFTG’s tour

2006-06-13 02:03:21


The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, announced that Lieutenant Colonel Mick Ryan has been appointed as the Commander of the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF).

2006-07-25 02:03:21


A contingent from the Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment departed for service in support of the ADF contribution to the international effort in Afghanistan.

2006-08-09 02:03:21

Special Forces Task Group Home from Afghanistan

Special Forces soldiers landed in Perth after four months fighting in Afghanistan and were officially welcomed home by Prime Minister John Howard

2006-08-22 02:03:21

Afghanistan Deployment Begins

The advance party of the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) starts to deploy to Afghanistan to join a small team already on the ground preparing for the arrival of the main force.

2006-09-18 02:03:21

Aussie Reconstruction Task Force in the Ground

The first of around 400 Australian soldiers arrived in Afghanistan and started setting up their base in the Oruzgan Province. The Australian commitment is in partnership with the Netherlands and forms part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s Stage III expansion.

2006-11-17 02:03:21

Middle East Task Force command team return home

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Senator Sandy Macdonald welcomed home the Coalition Task Force 158 (CTF-158), after more than four months of command in the Northern Persian Gulf.

2006-11-24 02:03:21

Afghanistan Veterans Welcomed Home

East-Coast Australia-based soldiers returned from an operational tour of duty in Afghanistan, as part of the Special Forces Task Group (SFTG), and were officially welcomed home in a ceremony at Tobruk Lines, Holsworthy Barracks on Sunday 26 November.

2006-11-25 02:03:21

Special Forces Task Group Welcome Home

Special Forces Task Group Welcome Home

2006-11-26 02:03:21

Commandos Receive Decorations for Gallantry

Australian Commandos Receive Decorations for Gallantry- Australian Army to be awarded the star of gallantry Commando Sergeant ‘A’ and Commando Corporal ‘B’

2006-12-02 02:03:21

Afghanistan Veterans Welcomed Home

Afghanistan Veterans Welcomed Home- Soldiers’ Gallantry Honoured- Australian Army to be awarded the medal for gallantry SASR Segeant ‘C’, SASR LANCE CORPORAL ‘D’, SASR LANCE CORPORAL ‘E’, SASR TROOPER ‘F’.

2006-12-06 23:37:38

The Royal Australian Regiment homecoming

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) returned following a deployment on Operation CATALYST with Australia's 500-strong Overwatch Battle Group (West), based at Camp Terendak, Tallil Air Base, Iraq.

2006-12-19 23:37:38

OPERATION SLIPPER – RTF troops patrol Tarin Kowt

A contingent of Australian Defence Force personnel worked in Afghanistan as part of the Netherlands-led Provincial Reconstruction Team under the NATO International Security Assistance Force. Australia’s contribution, known as the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF), was made up of a mix of engineers and security personnel deployed to Afghanistan for up to two years, working on reconstruction and community-based projects as part of Australia’s commitment to assisting Afghanistan achieve a stable and secure future

2006-12-22 23:37:38

Vision of Latest ADF Construction Work in Afghanistan

The Australian Defence Force’s Reconstruction Task Force (RTF), based in Southern Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province, continued to provide essential engineering assistance to the people of Tarin Kowt. Works included erecting a street light in Tarin Kowt, making repairs to the local Mosque and hospital and conducting a trade training school.

2007-03-02 23:37:38

Second Reconstruction Task Force (RTF 2)

Exercise Afghan Dusk, held at the Wide Bay training area - Camp Kerr, prepared soldiers of the Second Reconstruction Task Force (RTF2) for their deployment to Op SLIPPER in Afghanistan. The men and women of RTF2 trained for their deployment since October 2006. Soldiers worked through many scenarios that included community engagement, engineering, security and media awareness serials during the week long exercise. The task group also trained to work closely with Dutch forces in readiness for their task in the reconstruction of the Orazgun province in Afghanistan.

2007-05-18 22:29:03

Special Operations Task Group Deploy

Perth based members of the Special Operations Task Group deploying to Afghanistan were officially farewelled at Perth’s Campbell Barracks, home of the Special Air Service Regiment. In line with the Government decision to increase the troop commitment to Afghanistan, approximately 300 personnel deployed as part of a Special Operations Task Group into Oruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan. The Task Group was made up of personnel comprising elements of the Special Air Service Regiment, the 4th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (Commando), Incident Response Regiment and other support elements.

2007-06-24 22:29:03

ADF Supports Dutch against Taliban attacks

Australian Defence Force (ADF) elements deployed in Afghanistan provided routine forms of military support to a Dutch-led operation against Taliban extremists over the period 16-17 June. The Dutch led operation was conducted in direct assistance to the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) who were trying to contain a dramatically deteriorating security situation in the Chora Valley in Southern Afghanistan.

2007-08-10 22:29:03

11 Squadron’s outstanding achievements

Adelaide’s No 11 Squadron committed up to 70 personnel at any one time to support Operations FALCONER, CATALYST AND SLIPPER. Today they were recognised for successfully completing one of the longest continuous periods of operational service in the unit’s history. Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd, said the Squadron’s extraordinary four and a half years of continuous active service in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) was an outstanding achievement and a reflection of 11 SQN’s professionalism. Throughout its time in the Middle East, 11 Squadron conducted a variety of surveillance operations over Iraq, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, supporting both Australian and Coalition Forces

2007-08-11 22:29:03

Taliban attack successfully repelled

Australian soldiers in Afghanistan repelled a further attack by Taliban extremists as reconstruction work continued at a site in Oruzgan Province. The security element at the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) site was involved in a 90-minute engagement with extremists around midday Friday, 10 August. Brigadier Nikolic said the extremist attack was successfully repelled by the RTF, with no Australian troops wounded, no RTF vehicles damaged and no disruption to the engineer task being undertaken.

2007-08-16 22:29:03

Construction Complete, Taliban Repelled

The Afghanistan-based Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) completed the construction of a police out-post in the southern Oruzgan Province. The out-post was completed in six days under trying circumstances, including two serious clashes with the Taliban and an encounter with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was found and removed before it could harm anyone.

2007-09-17 22:29:03

RTF completes major health projects

The Afghanistan based Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) completed two major construction projects this week, with the opening of the redeveloped Tarin Kowt Hospital and the newly constructed Yaklengah Comprehensive Health Clinic.

2007-09-27 22:29:03

Diggers Defeat Taliban attack in heavy fighting

Australian soldiers with the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) in Afghanistan successfully repelled a prolonged attack by approximately 50 Taliban extremists. The failed attack was one of a number of decisive defeats suffered by the Taliban in Oruzgan Province and the neighbouring Helmand Province during the past week. The attack came as the RTF was conducting a reconnaissance mission for the construction of Afghan National Police outposts about eight kilometres north of Tarin Kowt. There were no civilian casualties resulting from this incident. No Australian soldiers were wounded, nor was there any damage to Australian vehicles.

2008-05-13 22:29:03

CDF visit troops in Afghanistan

Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston flew in to Tarin Kowt to meet Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) and Special Operations Task Group troops, as they prepared for summer operations in support of the Afghan Government and against Taliban extremists in Uruzgan Province.

2008-07-02 10:14:06

Reconstruction Task Force 4 expanding operations

Reconstruction Task Force 4 expanded its operations north from its base in Tarin Kowt, building a series of patrol bases for use by ISAF and the Afghan National Police and Army. The RTF was given a clearly defined role to work on reconstruction, improvement of provincial infrastructure and community based projects. The RTF provided trade training to the local population and military engineering training to the Afghan National Army.

Australian military operations in Aghanistan

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