Bowman MP calls for veteran support as RAAF launches rescue mission in Taliban-controlled Kabul

AUSTRALIANS are being urged to support veterans and their families as an RAAF rescue mission begins in the Taliban-controlled Afghan capital.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed this morning that a military transport plane carrying about 26 people flew from Kabul to the United Arab Emirates, landing about 10.40am Queensland time this morning.

Among those on board were Australian citizens, Afghan nationals with visas and a foreign official who had been working with an international agency.

HELP ON HAND: Bowman MP Andrew Laming said now was the time to support veterans and their families. Photo: David Foote

HELP ON HAND: Bowman MP Andrew Laming said now was the time to support veterans and their families. Photo: David Foote

Bowman MP Andrew Laming said he had been shocked by images coming out of Afghanistan but called for people to remember the 41 Australian soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict.

"This loss was not in vain, and no matter what happens in Afghanistan, it should not diminish the sacrifices made defending freedom," he said.

"I, like many people across the western world, have been shocked by the images coming out of Afghanistan and the situation currently unfolding there.

"As someone who has visited the country and who has met its wonderful people, it is heartbreaking to witness the panic as the Taliban seizes control."

"This is not a simple process," he said. "It is very difficult for any Australian to imagine the sense of chaos and uncertainty existing right across this country.

"We are doing this ourselves.

"The transfers are done to our base in the Emirates, where capacity has already been established."

Mr Laming said former Australian Defence Force members and family could reach out for support, with many dedicated services available.

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