NEWS

Aussie Troops Send Christmas Day Messages To Loved Ones Back Home

More than 2,000 Australian military personnel are currently serving overseas.

25/12/2016 7:45 AM AEDT | Updated 25/12/2016 11:11 AM AEDT
Facebook
Australian troops have sent Christmas messages home to loved ones.

As millions of Australians prepare to spend Christmas Day with friends and family, Aussie troops serving in the Middle East have sent messages home to loved ones.

More than 2,000 Australian military personnel are currently deployed around the world this Christmas, including combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To mark the festive season, the ADF posted a number of videos posted to their Facebook page, featuring troops thanking those at back in Australia for their support.

Air Commodore Phil Gordon, commander of the Australian Air Task Group conducting combat operations over Iraq and Syria, was one of the serviceman connecting with home via social media.

"I just wanted to say a big merry christmas and thank you for your unwavering support. it really means a lot to the deployed men and women over here," Gordon said.

"To the families and loves ones of those deployed members I thank you for your fantastic support and encouragement. I can tell you our loved ones are doing a fantastic job over here... we are really doing Australia proud, doing great work.

"I know they are really looking forward to seeing you once they finish their proud deployment."

Defence chief Mark Binskin said military life was particularly difficult for those away from their families over Christmas. He thanked those serving for their efforts in 2016.

"It's been another busy year for the ADF and I want to thank you for your efforts throughout 2016," he is quoted by the ABC as saying.

"Over the past 12 months we've continued to deliver at home and abroad, achieving our missions while maintaining our reputation as a highly skilled and highly professional defence force."

In a Christmas message, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the military was not a normal job, thanking troops for their service.

"Earlier this year I visited some of you serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was so proud of you, your courage, your professionalism and your good humour in a very tough and dangerous environment," Turnbull said.

"This Christmas many of you will be far from family and home, but you will be closest of all in our thoughts and in our hearts. We are grateful for your sacrifice, and the sacrifice your families make especially at this time of year. Serving in the ADF is much more than just a job."

He said air force strike missions over Iraq and Syria have provided "critical combat support" in the fight against Islamic State.

More On This Topic