Since Australia entered the throes of the Middle Eastern frontier in World War I, the ADF has made a number of deployments to the region. In this photo essay, we explore the human stories of the men and women who have made up successive deployments.
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Recently, we have focused on the much-celebrated Anzac story, which saw Australians and New Zealanders fighting side-by-side in the trenches at Gallipoli in World War I.
Though much of the body of Australian military literature focuses on the World War II contribution of the ADF to the Pacific theatre, significant troop levels were deployed to the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East.
And in 2003, the Howard government committed a significant contingent to Iraq under the heading of Operation Falconer. Initial commitments included a 500-strong special forces task group, three RAN ships, and a number of aircraft geared towards maritime patrol taskings, transport and air-to-air refuelling. These numbers were bolstered down the line by Operation Catalyst, which called for some 800-odd Defence personnel.
These are their stories.