Change of Australian military command in the Middle East

Commander of Australia’s Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633) in the Middle East Region (MER) Major General Craig Orme, AM, CSC has officially transferred command to Rear Admiral Trevor Jones, AO, CSC, RAN.

The Transfer of Authority ceremony was held this week at Camp Baird, Australia’s main headquarters in the MER.

Major General Orme said there was no greater role than to command Australian sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen on operational service.

Speaking at the ceremony Major General Orme said he asked only three things from those he commanded.
“I asked you to be brilliant at the basics, to work as a team and to see the bigger picture.”

“That meant, know your job, look after your mates and understand where you fit in and how what you are doing is important for international security,” he said.

Major General Orme most recently led the initial military planning in the Middle East for Australia’s current assistance to Iraq under Operation OKRA.

During his 15 month deployment Major General Orme commanded Australia’s military contribution to the MER through a period of considerable change which saw the end of Australian combat operations in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of Australian forces from Uruzgan province and the redesign of operations in the MER which took effect on 1 July 2014.

Since September 2013 Major General Orme has also overseen Australia’s contribution to maritime security in the region. In that time Royal Australian Navy ships have seized drugs in excess of $3.318 billion in street value, which would have otherwise funded terrorist organisations.

JTF633’s incoming Commander, Rear Admiral Jones served as the Deputy Commander, JTF633 in 2009.

“I now return to JTF633 to take command and continue with the important mission that we have been tasked to conduct. I thank Major General Orme for his command and leadership since September 2013,” Rear Admiral Jones said.

Major General Orme will return to Australia and retire from the Australian Army after 37 years of service.

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