Middle East: Australian Change of Command

A Royal Australian Navy Admiral last week transferred the command the Australian Defence Forces’ Joint Task Force 633, which operates in the Middle East to an Air Marshal.

During a transfer of authority ceremony held at Camp Baird, Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East, Rear Admiral Trevor Jones handed over command of the task force to Air Vice Marshal Tim Innes.

The command position oversees Australian Defence capabilities that include military training forces, strike aircraft and a patrolling warship.

Rear Admiral Jones was the first Navy officer to hold the command position, an opportunity he described as both challenging but extremely rewarding.

Rear Admiral Jones said: “The Defence capabilities deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan are very complex and diverse.”

“We have an Air Task Group conducting operations in Iraq and Syria, Australian soldiers working alongside New Zealand soldiers to train Iraqi soldiers, Special Operations soldiers advising and assisting Iraqi Special Forces; soldiers training and advising Afghan security forces, and a range of other personnel supporting Coalition headquarters across the region.”

“We also have a warship intercepting drug and contraband traffickers at sea to disrupt funding for terrorists.”

Serving under Operation Accordion, Joint Task Force 633 provides the command and support functions for Defence personnel serving on operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and at sea on maritime security operations in the Gulf and northern Indian Ocean.

Rear Admiral Jones returns to Australia having completed his 14-month deployment and will shortly retire after a 38-year career.

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