Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Diggers

Sometimes we forget we have friends out there.

Despite freezing temperatures, Australian soldiers have driven a wedge into Taliban territory by helping locals construct an Afghan Army base in Chora.
While the Dutch forces and Australian Reconstruction Task Force provide the security, and are involved in trade work and supervision, it’s the local Afghans who are contracted to do the actual building. In this environment the engineers focus on quality control & mentoring as well as bridging capability gaps such as the provision of heavy earth works.
The Reconstruction Task Force - 3 (RTF) consists of a combined arms team, located in Oruzgan Province in Southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper. The RTF is in partnership with the Netherlands Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and forms part of the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force. The RTF has a clearly defined role to work on reconstruction, improvement of provincial infrastructure and community based projects. The RTF also provides trade training to the local population and military engineering training to the Afghan National Army. This type of assistance is designed to benefit the people of Oruzgan Province well into the future and form building blocks of a stable and prosperous community. The RTF contains around 370 ADF personnel from predominately Queensland based units. It includes elements to provide command, security, engineering, and administrative support and is equipped with Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMV), Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs) and armoured engineer plant equipment. Australia's contribution to ISAF is an important component of the Australian Government's commitment to assist Afghanistan achieve a stable and secure future.

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