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Publish Date : Wednesday 7 December 2011 - 08:24
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Australian Soldiers warned not to trust Afghan trainees
Australian Soldiers warned not to trust Afghan trainees
 
 
Islam Times - Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel being sent to Afghanistan are being warned in pre-departure briefings not to trust their Afghan counterparts.
 
After three deadly incidents where rogue Afghan soldiers have shot 10 Diggers, personnel about to deploy from Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates are being told not to trust anyone who is not wearing the ADF's rising sun shoulder insignia.

An Australian military official said in a last-minute briefing to more than 80 ADF personnel on their way to Kandahar, Kabul and Tarin Kowt. “Do not trust anyone who is not wearing the ADF flash, respect them but don't trust them”.

Afghanistan was not mentioned by name but it was clear to all who the warning referred to.

The commander of Australian forces in the Middle East said attacks by rogue Afghan soldiers should not overshadow hard-won gains that would be difficult for the Taliban to reverse after the bulk of coalition forces withdrew in 2014.

Major General Angus Campbell said mentoring patrols between Australian and Afghan soldiers would continue despite the killing of four Diggers and serious wounding of 10 others.

“The MTF (mentoring task force) is pulling back from patrol bases across Oruzgan to enable the Afghan military a more dominant role in planning and executing military operations” General Campbell added.

The 2014 staged drawdown would not affect vital US helicopter support to the ADF in Oruzgan, he said. They would continue to move and evacuate Australian forces.
 
Story Code: 120249