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Troop withdrawals from Vietnam

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EMBARGO; Not for Newspaper. Radio or TV use before 1 a.m., A.E.S.T.. Wednesday, March 1. 1072 '



(Statement by the Minister for Defence, the Hon. David. Fairba.irn, DFG MP)

The final major lift of Australian troops and

equipment from Vietnam was under way with the departure of

HMAS SYDNEY from Vung Tau, the Minister for Defence, Mr.

David Fairbairn, said today. -

HMAS SYDNEY which left earlier today, has on board

some 500 troops, as well as vehicles and stores.

Lieutenant General M.F. Brogan, the Chief of the

General Staff, was present at Vung Tau to thank and to

farewell the last elements of the Australian troops leaving

the operational theatre.

Withdrawal from Vung Tau has been completed.. A

small rear party will return to Australia from Saigon by RAAF

0-130 aircraft within the week. The last of the RAAF Caribou

transport aircraft, which had been in Vietnam since 1964,

returned to Australia a few days ago.

Mr. Fairbairn said that the Australian Army

Assistance Group, which numbered about 150, would not have

a combatant role; it comprised instructors, advisers, and

engineers, including some instructors assigned to the

training of Cambodians in United States training establishments

in Phuoc Tuy Province. .

Mr. Fairbairn commented that the withdrawal of

Australian troops had gone smoothly. He recalled that apart

ยท ./2

EMBARGO; Not for Newspaper, Radio or TV use before 1 a.m. A.E.S.T., Wednesday, March 1. 1972

EMBARGO: Not for Newspaper, Radio or TV use before 1 a.ia., A.B.S.T., Wednesday, Inarch 1. 1972

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from continued economic aid, Australians had been assisting the

Republic of Vietnam in their struggle against aggression since

the first advisers of the Australian Training Team arrived in ago. July, 1962 - almost 10 years/ Since then, more than 50,000 men

of the three Services and some members of the Army Nursing

Corps had served in the country with honour and gained the

appreciation of the people of the Republic of Vietnam,

Further Enquiries; Director of Public Relations, Department of Defence, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600

Telephone; 65 2897

EMBARGO; Not for Newspaper. Radio, or TV use before 1 a.m.,A.E.S.T,, Wednesday, March 1', V972