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41 Wing's outstanding achievements in Afghanistan acknowledged.

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THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement

Thursday, 10 July 2008 037/2008


Greg Combet, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, and Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore, Air Commander Australia, today formally welcomed home Air Force personnel who have served in Afghanistan.

“Personnel from RAAF Williamtown’s Number 3 Control and Reporting Unit (3CRU) have been deployed to the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) for six-month periods since April 2007, providing air surveillance and air battle management for operations from Kandahar,” said Mr Combet.

“The CRC is a key component of Australia’s commitment to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force operations.

“Afghanistan’s airspace is one of the busiest operational environments in the world with a large number of civilian and military aircraft movements each day.

“Our CRC personnel have made an important contribution, and the Australian Government is extremely proud of what they’re achieving. They rarely get public recognition, so this is an important event,” said Mr Combet.

“The CRC in Afghanistan has 75 RAAF personnel. These are predominately drawn from No. 41 Wing and subordinate units, such as 3CRU.

“The current Afghanistan deployment represents a significant and historic milestone for Headquarters 41 Wing. The last time a 41 Wing unit deployed overseas was in 1958 when it was sent to Butterworth during the Malayan Emergency.

“On behalf of the Government I would also like to recognise the families and friends of deployed RAAF personnel have provided emotional support and endured lengthy separations from their loved ones,” said Mr Combet.

The ceremony at RAAF Base Williamtown recognised the efforts of 41 Wing personnel who worked at the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as well as a small number of staff who were deployed within the Middle East.

Since an Advance Party moved into Afghanistan in April 2007, two full rotations of staff have served their six-month deployments. The third rotation is currently in Kandahar. A fourth rotation has recently commenced Force Preparation training.

Media Note: A transcript of Mr Combet’s remarks will be available at: Imagery from the ceremony will be available at:

Media contacts: Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619

Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664