When the Afghan capital retreated to Taliban control in 2021, Australian troops were among those who were asked to urgently evacuate its citizens and approve the departure of foreigners from Kabul Airport.
Airlift now needed to be coordinated on hostile territories, and bus convoys needed to reach the stranded Australians.
The number of Australian military personnel involved in the evacuation of more than 4,000 people from Afghanistan is now on the Queen’s Birthday Honor List.
Six were awarded the Distinguished Service Award (DSM) and the other eight were awarded the Distinguished Service Award.
Among those who received the DSM, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Holmes, who led the Lady Battle Group to evacuate Australian citizens and approve foreigners from Kabul Airport, was quoted for his award “steady under pressure. Approach and calmness “.
From the Royal Australian Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Duffy received the DSM after coordinating airlift operations from the airport.
He was also recognized for his efforts on August 24, 2021 when he commanded the mission of a bus convoy through Kabul to rescue 86 Australians.
The two unknown soldiers were awarded the Distinguished Service Award for their work during the evacuation, while Major Matthew Hamil received the same recognition of his leadership.
Another Royal Australian Air Force pilot, Brigadier General Angela Castner, has become a member of the Order of Australia in the military sector.
She was recognized for her services in the logistics workforce, including evacuation of Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Michael Rothwell oversaw the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan and received a prominent service cross.