From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Fri 10/05/2013 9:34 PM

Battle honour presented to Special Air Service Regiment

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO has presented the Battle Honour Eastern Shah Wali Kot to the 2nd Special Air Service Squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment at a parade at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne attended by the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith MP on Friday, 10 May 2013.

The battle honour had previously been announced by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard MP and the Minister on 26 March 2013.

Eastern Shah Wali Kot is the first Army Battle Honour awarded since the end of the Vietnam War and was awarded by the Chief of Army to the Special Air Service Regiment and to the 2nd Commando Regiment for their outstanding performance during the Shah Wali Kot Offensive in Afghanistan from May to June 2010.

“This is an exceptional achievement for the Special Air Service Regiment and typifies the professional excellence that is synonymous with the unit,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

“That this is the first Australian Army battle honour awarded since the Vietnam War is an indication of how rare such awards are.

“The supporting elements of Special Operations Task Group Rotation XII including the engineers, signallers, logisticians and headquarters staff should also be proud of their contributions to the Shah Wali Kot Offensive, which are also recognised through this battle honour.”

The Special Operations Commander, Major General Gus Gilmore, DSC, AM said the battle honour is a well deserved recognition of the skills, teamwork and professionalism of Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan.

“The Shah Wali Kot Offensive achieved a very significant outcome for the coalition’s Afghanistan campaign and it was only achieved through the superior leadership and skills of Australia’s Special Forces,” Major General Gilmore said.

“I am particularly proud of this battle honour because it recognises the courage, dedication and professionalism displayed at all levels by those Special Air Service troopers and 2nd Commando Regiment soldiers involved.”

The Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel G (member’s identity protected) said it was a mark of distinction for the unit.

“Everybody within the Special Air Service Regiment is quietly proud of our long-standing and ongoing service in Afghanistan,” Lieutenant Colonel G said.

“Being awarded a battle honour is a significant achievement for the Special Air Service Regiment and for all those 2 Squadron members involved in the Shah Wali Kot Offensive.”

The efforts of the Special Air Service Regiment and the 2nd Commando Regiment during the engagement were highly commended by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Command for the contribution the Shah Wali Kot Offensive made to the overall ISAF effort to disrupt insurgent activities in the traditional Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

The battle honour will also be presented to the 2nd Commando Regiment on 19 June 2013, at an official parade marking the unit’s birthday.

Imagery from the presentation of the battle honour to the Special Air Service Regiment will be available after 11.30pm (AEST) on Friday, 10 May 2013 at http://images.defence.gov.au/12133803

Video of the presentation will be split to all television networks via Channel 9 Sydney after 6:30am (AEST) on Saturday, 11 May 2013.

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999