The Australian Army Aviation Detachment, has completed its mission in Afghanistan.
RWG-8 marked the End of Mission during a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) on Saturday (14 September 2013).
The KAF-based RWG consisted of two CH-47D Chinook Medium Lift Helicopters operating throughout the Afghan summer months as part of the American-led Regional Command South Aviation Task Force.
Australian Army Aviation Task Groups have completed 11 tours in Afghanistan starting in 2006 as the Aviation Support Element. It was renamed Rotary Wing Group in 2008 and went on to complete eight rotations between 2008 and 2013.
Lieutenant Colonel James Brown, Commanding Officer RWG-8, said the RWG’s contribution was substantial.
“The men and women of RWG-8 achieved 780 flying hours over 90 missions from 2 April to 4 September 2013,” Lieutenant Colonel Brown said.
“We carried more than 3400 passengers and approximately 373,000kg of cargo to dozens of Forward Operating Bases in Southern Afghanistan.
“Australian RWG detachments have made a significant contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) every year since 2006.
“It has been a privilege to support NATO and Afghan troops on the ground as they work to get Afghanistan on the path to stability.”
Australia’s Middle East Area of Operations Commander, Major General Michael Crane said the RWG operated steadfastly alongside their American allies.
“The Army Aviation’s detachment, assigned under Operational Control to American Combat Aviation Brigades over the past eight years has provided a meaningful enhancement to Australia’s strategic US alliance,” Major General Crane said.