6 June 2004

withdrawing from reality

Australia has 860 ADF personnel in Iraq.

  1. Australian national headquarters of - approximately 60 people
  2. a naval component embarked on the frigate HMAS Stuart, and command and logistic support elements - about 180 personnel
  3. an Air Force component with personnel deployed with two RAAF C130 Hercules transport aircraft - about 150
  4. about 160 personnel deployed with two RAAF P3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft
  5. an air traffic control detachment and support personnel at Baghdad - about 65 personnel
  6. a security detachment of protecting the Australian representative office and the Iraqi army training - approximately 90 personnel
  7. ADF personnel in the coalition military assistance training team to help train and develop the Iraqi coastal defence force and Iraqi army - approximately 65 personnel
  8. ADF personnel working in the coalition joint task force headquarters - approximately 25
    a logistics element supporting ADF units and Australian government agencies
  9. ADF personnel supporting the Iraq survey group - 12 people
  10. ADF personnel in specialist roles with the coalition provisional authority - a small number
  11. ADF personnel in liaison roles with coalition forces -a small number

Labor has said it will maintain the naval component, the security detachment, and the training group. The air traffic controllers are due home at the end of September. The HQ and the logistics element expand or contract with changes in the size of the other elements. Do the sums. The real difference between Labor and the Coalition is 2 Hercules air transports. If that is the make-or-break of the coalition military posture, things must be a lot grimmer than we are being told.

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