CANBERRA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Major General Michael Crane formally replaced Major General Stuart Smith as the new commander of Australian forces in the Middle East this week, Australian Department of Defence announced on Wednesday.
Smith handed over command of the Australian Defence Force Joint Task Force 633, which comprises forces in Afghanistan as well as naval and RAAF personnel in the Persian Gulf, to Crane in a formal ceremony attended by all ADF members based at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, said a statement of the Department of Defence.
"I look forward to the continuing transition of our role in Afghanistan, including training the Afghan National Security Forces to ready them to assume security responsibility for Uruzgan Province by 2014." Crane said in a statement.
He also mentioned the target of his term of office. "During my time as commander, we will develop our redeployment plan to ensure the Australian forces leave the Middle East in a responsible, ethical and environmentally-friendly manner."