Aussie troops home for Christmas
It’s the best Christmas present they could have received.
The anxious and nervous families of 140 Brisbane-based soldiers deployed to Taji, Iraq, have been reunited with their loved ones.
The troops, which flew into Brisbane Airport today, are the last of a 300-strong taskforce to arrive home safely.
While ISIS has been largely defeated in Iraq, the terror group remains a threat. Australian and New Zealand troops are in the region to train the Iraqi Army to defend and stabilise the country.
The troops train local brigades for two and a half months at a time as well as working with the Baghdad Fighting School.
Taskforce Commander Lieutenant Colonel Justin Bywater told 9News the troops were returning to Queensland for their third consecutive summer.
“What they’ve achieved in this time, they should all be proud and their families should be proud,” he said.
“Whilst you’re away and while you’re very busy you don’t necessarily have all the time to reflect… certainly coming back here and seeing (loved ones) makes you appreciate what it is we’ve all got here.”
The service personnel get the long weekend off, then they’ll head back to the barracks on Monday for a few days before being free to spend Christmas with their family and friends.