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Darwin welcomes home troops

Australian Army soldiers march in the welcome home parade, in Darwin.

The city of Darwin officially welcomed home the last formed body of Australian Defence Force personnel to serve in Uruzgan province with a parade through the city today, 1 March 2014.

The Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Tony Abbott, joined the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, as families, friends and the local community lined the streets of Darwin’s central business district, where they cheered and waved Australian flags in tribute to the returned servicemen and women.

More than 250 ADF personnel, predominantly Army members, took part in the parade, to formally recognise the service and achievements of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Group, Combined Team Uruzgan – Four and Combined Team Uruzgan – Five, who deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison welcomed the contingent home from their successful tour of duty.

“Your duty performed with professionalism and honour should be a source of pride not only to you and your families, but also to our nation at large,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

Army. With this parade, you join those who have come before you, adding your own distinctive chapter to the legacy left by all returned Australian servicemen and women.

“You are now members of a very select group of Australians who have proudly worn the Rising Sun Badge over 113 years of service to our nation. This is a proud label you will always carry with you.”

Commander of Darwin’s 1st Brigade, Brigadier John Frewen, said the parade was an important step in recognising the service of not only Army’s members, but their families and friends.

“I have no doubt that we have left Uruzgun province better than we found it. The men and women on parade today are proud of what they have achieved for the people of Afghanistan and we can share in that pride,” Brigadier Frewen said.

The parade was led by members of the Royal Australian Engineers who, with explosive detection dog Domino, re-enacted a route clearance mission - a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of Australian soldiers during their operations in Afghanistan.

The engineers were followed by members of Combined Team Uruzgan (rotations four and five), the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Group, Force Support Unit – Seven, the Logistics Training Advisory Team, Artillery Training Advisory Team - Two, armoured corps support elements and Force Communications Unit (rotations eight and nine), all marched through the Darwin CBD.

The parade concluded at Raintree Park, where the Prime Minister received the salute and inspected the formation.

The Australian Defence Force maintains a continued presence in Afghanistan, with approximately 400 members remaining to provide ongoing training and advisory support for the Afghan National Security Forces.

To read the address to the Welcome Home Parade by Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO click here.

To read more about the force elements in the parade click here.