House of Representatives Committees

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Committee activities (inquiries and reports)

Visit to Australian Defence Forces Deployed to Support the Rehabilitation of Iraq

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May 2006

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006
ISBN 0 642 78784 0 (printed version)
ISBN 0 642 78785 9 (HTML version)


Membership of the Committee
Membership of the Delegation

Chapter 1 Visit to the Middle East Area of Operations
Chapter 2 Australia’s Military Contribution toward the Reconstruction of Iraq
Chapter 3 Australian Naval Contribution to the Reconstruction of Iraq
Chapter 4 The Maritime Patrol Aircraft Detachment
Chapter 5 Visit to the Al Muthanna Task Group
Chapter 6 Delegation Observations from Baghdad
Appendix A –Delegation Program


In late October 2005, a delegation of eight members from the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade visited Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on active service in the Middle East.

Thanks to first class support by both the Diplomatic and Defence Staffs in the Middle East the Delegation was able to meet with the following organisations or agencies:

The visit to ADF units in the Middle East area of operations formed part of the Committee’s wider program of inspections to Defence Force units and Defence Industry sites. Where it is practical the Committee has also sought to visit ADF personnel while they conduct operations. In recent years the Committee has visited Australian Forces in Afghanistan, East Timor and Solomon Islands.

The delegation had three specific aims in undertaking the visit to the Middle East. Its primary purpose was to demonstrate the Parliament’s strong bipartisan support, and the support of the Australian community, for Defence Force personnel deployed on this demanding operation.

Secondly the visit allowed the members of the delegation to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the situation in Iraq, the tasks being undertaken by Australian personnel and the suitability of the training and equipment they receive.

Finally the delegation, in meeting with the Speaker of the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly, became the first delegation from the Australian Parliament to the Transitional National Assembly of Iraq, supporting Australia’s engagement with the newly democratic nation.

The comprehensive delegation itinerary allowed the members to achieve each of these aims. Exposure to this range of issues and experiences could only be achieved as a result of a very well orchestrated program. The delegation thanks the Australian Defence Force for developing and coordinating a visit program that ensured the safety of delegates while giving them exposure to a wide range of personnel and locations. In particular the delegation thanks the Australian National Commander in the Middle East, Commodore Geoff Ledger, for his hosting of the delegation throughout the visit. Commodore Ledger provided the delegation the benefit of his considerable experience throughout the visit, leaving the members confident in the leadership and organisation of Australian Joint Task Force in Iraq.

The Committee would also like to thank Australian Embassy staffs in the Middle East for supporting the program. In particular the delegation thanks Dr Ralph King in Kuwait and Mr Howard Brown in Iraq. Both of these experienced officials operate under some of the most demanding conditions experienced by Australian Government personnel anywhere in the world.

The Committee returned from the visit extremely impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the Australian Defence Force personnel conducting operations in this demanding, often hostile environment. Australian personnel are working closely with the emerging Iraqi institutions and personnel, showing compassion in their daily dealings with the local people and considerable restraint when called upon to apply force. They are performing with distinction and have earned the respect and admiration of both the coalition and Iraqi forces with whom they are working.

All Australians should be proud of the achievements of the ADF on operations in the Middle East and the contribution they are making to the reconstruction of Iraq.


Bruce Scott , MP

Delegation Leader.

Membership of the Committee


Senator A B Ferguson

Deputy Chair

Hon G J Edwards , MP


Senator the Hon N Bolkus (to 30/6/05 )

Hon D F Jull , MP


Senator G. Campbell (from 23/6/05 )



Senator the Hon P Cook (to 30/6/05 )

Hon J E Moylan , MP


Senator A Eggleston

Hon G D Prosser , MP


Senator B Harradine (to 30/6/05 )

Hon B C Scott , MP


Senator S Hutchins

Mr R C G Sercombe , MP


Senator D Johnston

Hon W E Snowdon, MP


Senator L J Kirk

Mr C.P. Thompson , MP


Senator K Lundy (to 23/6/05 )

Mr M B Turnbull , MP


Senator J A L Macdon al d (to 23/6/05 )

Ms M Vamvakinou, MP


Senator C.M. Moore (from 23/6/05 )

Mr B H Wakelin , MP


Senator M A Payne

Mr K W Wilkie , MP


Senator N. Scullion (from 17/8/05 )



Senator N J Stott Despoja



Senator R.S. Weber (from 23/6/05 )



Hon B G Baird , MP



Mr R C B al dwin , MP



Mr P A Barresi , MP



Mr M Danby , MP



Mrs T Draper , MP



Mrs J Gash , MP



Mr S W Gibbons , MP



Mr B W Haase , MP



Mr M Hatton , MP



Dr Margot Kerley


Defence Adviser

Lieutenant Colonel Fergus McLachlan


Membership of the Delegation


Hon B C Scott , MP


Deputy Leader (Deputy Chair)

Hon G J Edwards , MP




Senator D Johnston


Hon B.G. Baird , MP

Mr B.W. Haase , MP

Hon W.E. Snowdon, MP

Mr C.P. Thompson , MP

Mr K.W. Wilkie , MP


Secretary and Defence Adviser

Lieutenant Colonel Fergus McLachlan



List of abbreviations


Australian Army Training Team - Iraq


Australian Defence Force


Areas of Responsibility


Al Muthanna Task Group


Australian Light Armoured Vehicle


Australian built armoured truck


Hercules Transport Aircraft


Civil Military Cooperation


Commanding Officer


Expeditionary Combat Service Support


Forward Looking Infra Red


Global War on Terror


Her Majesty’s Australian Ship




Joint Operations Command


Joint Task Force


Main Battle Tanks


Maritime Interdiction Force


Multi-National Forces – Iraq


Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq


P3 Orion Aircraft – upgraded to C specification


Parliamentary Relations Office


Royal Australian Air Force


Royal Australian Navy


Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat


Rules of Engagement


Relief Out of Country Leave


Special Air Service


Special Forces Task Group


Transitional National Assembly


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle


United States of America


United States Ship


Vice Chief of Defence Force


Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (Car Bomb)

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