Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An Important Visitor....

On November 6th last, the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard paid a visit to MNB-Tarin Kowt, this following a tough few weeks for the Australian Army here following the loss of 3 of their Soldiers here and 7 other casualties. This was part of a visit to Aafghanistan that also involved a visit to Kaul to meet President Karzai.

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....