The Australian Defence Force will conclude its drawdown of military support to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan by September.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia had been reducing its military presence in Afghanistan during the past two years from 1500 personnel to approximately 80 personnel currently.
The announcement comes as United States President Joe Biden revealed this week that US troops would be withdrawn by September 11 this year - the 20th anniversary of terrorist plane hijackings that targeted the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and unsuccessfully targeted the White House on September 11, 2001.
"The decision represents a significant milestone in Australia's military history," Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth on Thursday.
"Over the last 20 years, Australia has been a steadfast contributor to the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. Australia has fought alongside coalition and Afghan partners to degrade the capabilities of terrorist organisations, including al-Qaeda."
More than 39,000 Australian defence force personnel have deployed on Operation Slipper and Operation High Road.
Safeguarding Afghanistan's security has come at a great cost to Australia, Mr Morrison said. He tearfully read out the honour roll of 41 Australian personnel who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and described them as amongst the "greatest ever, who have served in the name of freedom".
"Many more were wounded, some physically, others mentally, and we'll be dealing with the scars, both mental and physical, of their service, for many, many years," the Prime Minister said.
The government acknowledged the sacrifices of those who served, he added, and pledged to continue supporting them.
The Prime Minister also acknowledge the enormous toll the conflict has had no the people of Afghanistan, and urged a swift resolution in the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
"While our military contribution will reduce, we will continue to support the stability of Afghanistan through our bilateral partnership and in concert with our other nations," Mr Morrison said.
Australia is providing scholarship programs, particularly for women and girls, and diplomatic resources to Afghanistan.
Labor's defence spokesperson Brendan O'Connor also paid tribute to the 41 Australian soldiers who lost their lives and more than 260 who were wounded in Afghanistan.
He welcomed the return of the 80 Australian troops still in Afghanistan to Australia later this year.
"Labor expects the Australian government to continue to support international efforts to deliver peace, stability and development in Afghanistan," Mr O'Connor said.
Military analyst James Brown said there were lessons from Australia's involvement in Afghanistan including how to operate in coalition campaigns.
Supporting allies was a big part of Australia's role, the former NSW RSL president said, but Australia needed to ensure that even as part of a coalition campaign, Australia needed its own strategy.
"Australia proved we have much to learn how not to engage with the public around a conflict," Mr Brown told Sky News on Thursday.
The purpose of Australia's military presence in Afghanistan was described by former defence minister John Falkner in 2010 as "to combat a clear threat from international terrorism to both international security and our own national security."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: