The terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11/2001 have been regarded as one of the most spectacular and transforming events in world history. The damage inflicted by al-Qaeda that day triggered an enormous and justified retaliation from the United States and many other NATO and non-NATO nations. The declaration of the ‘War on Terror’ by U.S. President George W. Bush on 20 September 2011 and the invasion of Afghanistan that soon followed saw Australia pledge its unwavering support to the mission.

That same month, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard announced that the Government was invoking Article IV of the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States) Treaty in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States. On the 22 October 2001, the first contingent of operators from the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) under the designation of the Special Forces Task Group (SFTG) departed Australia to assist the U.S.-led International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT).

The 2nd Commando Regiment, then known as the 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) (herein referred to interchangeably as the 2nd Commando Regiment, 2 Commando, and the Regiment), were first deployed to Afghanistan in August 2005 under Australia’s renewed military commitment to the region. During this time, the Commandos and troops from six other nations were involved in Operation Perth whose mission was to clear the Chora Valley of insurgent fighters.

Reflections on 9/11 From a Regiment Perspective