The Australian Defence Force has deployed 250 personnel and at least five aircraft to its main operating base in the UAE to support the withdrawal of Australian and allied nationals, and other Australian visa holders from the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The mission comes after the Taliban overran Afghanistan much faster than anticipated, leaving foreign nationals stranded in the country.
The RAAF has committed two Airbus KC-30A MRTTs to provide aerial refuelling and transport support, two C-17A Globemaster III transports, and at least one Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules which is based on rotation in the UAE to support the withdrawal from Kabul.
The first mission into Kabul was conducted by the C-130J on the evening of August 17. The aircraft took personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Border Force, and the ADF into Kabul to support the withdrawal, and successfully evacuated 26 people back to the UAE.
A brief statement says “Defence is taking all necessary precautions to protect its people and those authorised for evacuation. The mission will be constantly assessed against the latest developments. Australia’s evacuation efforts are being closely coordinated with international partners.”