Australia to Send Troops to Afghanistan
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 10:55 PM EST
CANBERRA, Oct 17, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Australian will soon send troops to Afghanistan to battle along with the U.S. forces.
Prime Minster John Howard announced Wednesday Australian troops will be "in the thick of battle in their operations" in Afghanistan.
The Australian Associated Press quoted Howard as saying that Australia's special operation troops could face hand-to-hand battles with Taliban troops or those aligned with Osama bin Laden.
According to the announcement, Australia will dispatch 1,550 military personnel in total and two P3 marine aircraft, two B707 tanker aircraft, a guided missile frigate, a naval task force on board an amphibious command ship with a frigate as escort, four F/A-18 aircraft.
He announced it after a request from United States President George W. Bush.
The commitment is much larger than his initial announcement on October 4.
At that time, he said Australia would supply 150 Special Air Service Regiment troops, two air-to-air refueling aircraft and possibly surveillance aircraft and landing ships.
Howard said the main deployment of Australian military into Afghanistan would begin in November but some troops could leave within a week or two,
"The locations and possible deployment of these forces are being worked out between our respective military planners and the details will not be made available publicly for obvious operational reasons," he said.
Australian forces would be under Australian command. "The overall calling of the shots will obviously be in the hands of the Americans because it is their operation and they have overall control," he said.
"Within that you have a separate national command, you have separate terms of engagement for the Australian forces," he explained.
|Back to News Archirves of 2001|
Disclaimer: This news site is mostly a compilation of publicly accessible articles on the Web in the form of a link or saved news item. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original respective source(s).