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Besides that fact if I have never been informed of Australia being in the middle east, or even having a military for that fact to place in the middle east, so excuse for not researching subjects I knew nothing about.
Operation SLIPPER is Australia's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations and countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
Major General Angus Campbell, AM commands all ADF units deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) assigned to Operation SLIPPER, as well as those forces assigned to Operation KRUGER in Iraq. Major General Campbell assumed command on 13 January 2011.
Under Operation SLIPPER, Australian forces contribute to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) - led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. ISAF seeks to bring security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan and aims at preventing the country from again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists.
Around 1550 ADF personnel are based within Afghanistan as part of Operation SLIPPER, while about 800 personnel are deployed across the broader Middle East Area of Operations.
Australia has maintained a continuous maritime contribution to Operation SLIPPER, which currently consists of the Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Stuart, and a Fleet Battle Staff led by Commodore Greg Sammut CSC, RAN who is exercising command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.