Major General Susan Coyle has assumed command of Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, taking over from Rear Admiral Mark Hill during a ceremony held at the Australian main operating base.
As Commander of Joint Task Force 633, MAJGEN Coyle is responsible for in-theatre command and control of all Australian Defence Force operations in the Middle East region, including the oversight of over 1,200 Defence personnel.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said MAJGEN Coyle was previously Commander 6th Combat Support Brigade and has extensive operational experience in the Middle East, as well as a previous 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, which makes her ideal for this role.
"Security and stability in the Middle East remains a strategic priority for Australia. I congratulate Major General Coyle on becoming the first female ADF officer to take up this critical command position," Minister Reynolds said.
MAJGEN Coyle said she was honoured to assume command and was keen to work with Australia’s coalition partners to consolidate regional security gains.
"Australia continues to play an important role in helping the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq become more security self-sufficient. I am looking forward to working with our people over the next year. They are highly regarded throughout this region for their professionalism and tireless commitment to their responsibilities," she added.
Joint Task Force 633 is part of Operation OKRA, the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh (also known as ISIL) terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria. Australia's contribution is being closely co-ordinated with the Iraqi government, Gulf nations and a broad coalition of international partners.
About 300 ADF personnel are deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation OKRA. This includes personnel in the Australian/New Zealand-led Task Group Taji, the Special Operations Task Group and embedded personnel in the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.