PHOTOS: Celebrations across Australia commemorate the end of Afghanistan military operation

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Scores of parades and ceremonies are being held across the country to welcome home returned servicemen and women involved in the now-concluded Operation Slipper, Australia’s military contribution to the war in Afghanistan.

The operation, which included two major engagements in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, commenced in late 2001 following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the marked the beginning of the global war on terror. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) ended the operation on 31 December 2014 and Australian troops have been filtering home in the months since.

Australia’s involvement saw the deployment of naval, air and land forces for the purpose of combat and support operations. ADF personnel joined a coalition of military forces from countries such as the United States, Britain and other NATO countries.

More than 33,000 Australian Defence Force personnel, Australian Public Service employees and Australian Federal Police were deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of the operation.

Notably, Operation Slipper resulted in the first deaths of Australian soldiers since the Vietnam War. 41 Australian soldiers were killed and 256 wounded.

The conclusion of this 13-year commitment makes way for Operation Highroad, which commenced on 1 January 2015. Highroad consists of the deployment of approximately 400 ADF personnel, including personnel in mentoring and advisory roles, as well as medical personnel, force protection and logistic support.

Commemoration activities are being held in each State and Territory capital city as well as Townsville, Queensland.

Here are some of the photos being shared on social media.

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