An­zac spirit lives on to­day, all around the world

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - PEACE - CHARLES MI­RANDA

IN a dozen flash­point re­gions from South Su­dan to Afghanistan, Le­banon to the Philip­pines, Aus­tralian De­fence Force men and women are in dan­ger, on be­half of the na­tion.

Since the guns fell silent on the Western Front 100 years ago, Aus­tralian mil­i­tary per­son­nel have had a con­stant pres­ence some­where in the world, fight­ing to up­hold the rule of law for other na­tions.

To­day, we have more than 2500 ADF per­son­nel in var­i­ous roles in flash­point theatres, as well as an­other 1500 sec­onded or em­bed­ded, with 600 in the US alone.

Op­er­a­tion Augury is the lat­est ADF mis­sion, with 100 per­son­nel de­ployed to the Philip­pines to as­sist Filipino counterparts train for ur­ban war­fare, as the coun­try faces a ris­ing threat of Islamic ex­trem­ism led by those aligned with ter­ror­ist group in­clud­ing ISIS.

The trig­ger for the de­ploy­ment came af­ter the con­flict in the is­land of Mindanao in May last year, where more than 700 ISIS-led mil­i­tants over­ran the city of Marawi.

The ADF has also boosted its com­mit­ment to the UN mis­sion in South Su­dan, with 25 per­son­nel, mostly in avi­a­tion and lo­gis­tic sup­port roles, and a sim­i­lar num­ber in Egypt in the multi­na­tional force of ob­servers in the troubled Si­nai.

But Aus­tralia’s com­mit­ment to the Mid­dle East in­volves the high­est level of de­ploy­ments, with 300 per­son­nel in Afghanistan for Op­er­a­tion Highroad, 600 men and women in Op­er­a­tion Okra based on the ground in Iraq, and else­where in the Mid­dle East, 500 (Op­er­a­tion Ac­cor- dion) on lo­gis­tics sup­port and 240 per­son­nel mostly from the RAN on the seas in the re­gion for Op­er­a­tion Man­i­tou.

De­fence Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne, who lost a grea­tun­cle at Gal­lipoli and an­other on the Western Front in the Great War, said Aus­tralia’s en­gage­ment was tes­ta­ment to the ADF’s re­solve for sta­bil­ity and peace. “For a cen­tury, the re­solve of Aus­tralian troops to put them­selves for­ward to bring and pre­serve peace in our re­gion and around the world has been a defin­ing fea­ture of our na­tional char­ac­ter.”

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