Monday, 28 November 2011
The Story then goes on to explain how the 11 Special Forces Troops defended the town against a Taliban attack from Kandahar to the south and how this victory became the key success that allowed Karzai to rally the local tribes and allow them to push South and within weeks result in the surrender of Kandahar.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
As this is a warzone, such visits are done in such a way that there is no reporting of the event until afterwards so it was interesting to see that nothing appeared in media for a few days after the visit.
We went along to the Bar-B-Q hosting the Prime Minister, and it felt very odd to be in the presence of a head of state in such an informal setting but also a very secure setting-
She mingled with the soldiers and talked to them about their work here, and also re-iterated Australia's commitment to the mission here until at least 2014, it is now becoming clear however that they will be reducing their contingent here by some two thirds by the middle of 2012.
This of course will have an effect on our work here for the next number of months as much of our work here is in support of the Australian Military so I expect that we will also be scaling down coming into the second quarter of 2012, so there looks like my time here in Tarin Kowt at least if not Afghanistan is limited...
I have inserted a few images here....
Thursday, 3 November 2011
At a regular meeting that I have with our own clients, who are Officers in the Australian Army, I conveyed the sympathies of our contingent here in Tarin Kowt and they went on to express how shocked they were at the events and how the news was being taken back at home....
It transpired that the three Soldiers were training the Afghan Army, as a major part of ISAF's objectives here is to develop and train an Afghan Army and Police Force that can establish and maintain order in this "wild west" nation. On a routine morning Parade Drill, an ANA soldier had pulled an automatic weapon and fatally injured three Australian soldiers, an Interpreter and up to seven other soldiers.
On Monday last, I was invited to attend the Repatriation Ceremony for the three fallen soldiers at the Gym here and later on the airstrip as the soldiers were farewelled by their colleagues here at Tarin Kowt.
In a very touching and emotional few hours, what seemed to be the entire population of the base , both Military and Civilian lined the roads leading from the Gym to the waiting C-130 Hercules Aircraft in complete silence while a lone piper lead the three armoured vehicles carrying the coffins of each fallen soldier, flanked by a guard of honour from their closest comrades.
It was a sombre day on Tuesday last all around the Base here, I again send my deepest sysmpathies to the families of all those who have lost lives in this country and can only hope that someday this beautiful, conflicted, harsh, severe and sad country can find a way to be peaceful and prosper again....