From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Tue 25/12/2012 11:02 AM

Christmas on operations with our Aussie troops

More than 3300 Australian Defence Force personnel will celebrate Christmas Day deployed on operations in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Sudan, East Timor, the Solomon Islands and on border protection duties to Australia’s north.

Over the years Australia’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen have established their own festive traditions including Christmas lunch, a game of cricket and even Carols by Candlelight.

Commander Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East and Afghanistan, Major General Michael Crane and other senior officers will spend Christmas Day at the Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates serving lunch to junior members.

“Christmas is a time for those deployed to remember their families and friends, but is also a time to relax a little with their team mates,” said Major General Crane.

“On behalf of all members of Joint Task Force 633, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the families and friends of our deployed personnel. Without your support and encouragement, members of the ADF would not be able to serve our nation and its people as well as they do,” he said.

Australian Defence Force personnel in Timor Leste will host a group of children from a local orphanage to share in the festive activities and Australian soldiers serving in the Solomon Islands will enjoy a Christmas lunch with the Australian Federal Police-led Participating Police Force.

Commander of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Ash Power, said: “During this Christmas period, all Australians should spare a thought and be very proud of our deployed men and women who are serving their country with distinction on operations at home and on distant shores.

“Their unwavering commitment under the most difficult circumstances is commendable.”

Media note: At approximately 10:00am tomorrow (Wednesday, 26 December 2012) broadcast quality video will be fed via Channel Ten to all national networks. Regional television networks can obtain footage from their national affiliates.

When available stills images can be found at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12132160

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999