Force Support Unit 8 tour complete
Although the size and scope of the operation was immense, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Natasha Ludwig said it was well within the team’s capabilities.
“We were required to remediate and redeploy all of the personnel, equipment, stores and vehicles out of the base and back to Australia. We also needed to dispose of a large quantity of material, so basically every member of FSU 8 was involved in some fashion throughout the course of that activity,” she said.
“This type of remediation mission is what we normally do, but I guess the size and scale of how we delivered the outcome was a little bit larger than we expected.”
Commander Joint Task Force 633 Major Genera Craig Orme acknowledged the significant achievement during the Transfer of Authority Parade to FSU 9, which took place at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
“FSU 8 maintained our operational status, allowing us to take the fight to the Taliban in Afghanistan and at the same time conducted the difficult retrograde operation inside Uruzgan province,” he said.
FSU 8 is a unique organisation, containing specialists who cover off all matters relating to supply and distribution, maintenance, pay and administration as well as aeromedical evacuation and training support in the shape of the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration Team.
“You have brought people into the area of operations and prepared them for what was ahead. You delivered the mail, ensured everyone was paid correctly and helped our people get home,” the Joint Task Force Commander said.
“Thank you for what you have done. You have achieved everything that was asked of you and more.”
Lt-Col Ludwig said the time was right for FSU 8 to hand over responsibilities and said her replacement, Lt-Col Rebecca Talbot, was destined to also experience a high-tempo deployment.
“We are handing over at a good time. We have completed our mission and it is a perfect opportunity for us to hand over to a new team who will be looking at the whole ‘what’s next?’ scenario, which will encompass the Operation Resolute Support mission as well as any other contingencies that come with that,” she said.