Australian contribution to United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq concludes

Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has ended.

Since July 2008, the Australian Defence Force has contributed two Army Officers to the UNAMI. This contribution was designated Operation RIVERBANK.  The final rotation of the two officers completed their deployment and departed Iraq on 25 November 2013.

Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power said the officers’ withdrawal and the end of Operation RIVERBANK was the final chapter in the ADF’s long contribution to the people of Iraq.

“The successful completion of Operation RIVERBANK represents the conclusion of the ADF’s contribution to the international efforts in Iraq. The withdrawal of these final two officers brings to a close what has been a significant commitment by the Australian Army and the ADF for more than a decade,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“Colonel Steve Saddington and Lieutenant Colonel Brian Hawke were the final ADF representatives to serve with UNAMI. Since 2008, eleven Army officers have deployed in support of the Operation.”

Colonel Saddington was based in Baghdad, in the role of Senior Military Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General within the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Hawke served his deployment in Kirkuk as a Military Adviser.

“The officers who deployed to Operation RIVERBANK have represented Australia extremely well and made significant contributions to UNAMI,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“This is an important step in our drawdown from the Middle East Area of Operations – the ADF will have no presence in Iraq and a very different presence in Afghanistan by the end of 2013.”

The personnel who have deployed since 2008 served UNAMI by providing expert military advice, supported contingency and operational planning, liaised with the Iraqi security forces and provided analysis of the security situation in Iraq to UNAMI.

For further information on UNAMI’s mandate visit:


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