Australian presence in the Afghanistan theatre

Australian presence in the Afghanistan theatre


 The full number of Australian military, police, Foreign Affairs and intelligence personnel currently deployed in and around Afghanistan is unclear, but is at least 2,530, made up of 1,550 ADF personnel in Afghanistan (1,241 in Uruzgan and 300 in Kabul, Kandahar and elsewhere).

In October 2010, the Defence Department provided the following breakdown of the 1,241 ADF personnel in Uruzgan:

  • Australian contribution to Combined Team – Uruzgan (861)
  • Headquarters Combined Taskforce-Uruzgan (70)
  • Mentoring Task Force (724)
  • Provincial Reconstruction Team (67)
  • Australian enabling support in Uruzgan (62)
  • Special Operations Task Group (318)

Defence also stated that there are “around 50 civilians working in Afghanistan, in addition to around ten Defence civilians.” It is not clear whether this figure includes at least 22 AFP personnel deployed in Afghanistan.

At least another 830 ADF personnel are based permanently or temporarily at the ADF’s Middle East Area of Operations, including 500 headquarters at Al Minhad Air Base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Two AP-3C maritime surveillance aircraft and their crews and support staff amouunting to 170 personnel are also based in Dubai, as well as C-130J Hercules and C-17 Globemaster transports. Nearby naval facilities are used to provide support to Royal Australian Navy warships (currently HMAS Parramatta with about 180 crew members) on patrol in the Arabian Sea.

ADF elements in Afghanistan

ADF elements in Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO)


Australian Federal Police

Department of Foreign Affairs

 Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research: Arabella imhoff

Updated: 23 October 2010