PM tells deployed troops it's “time we brought you home”

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd told troops in Afghanistan it was "time we brought you home" during a four-hour visit to the multi-national base Tarin Kot at the weekend.

His visit comes as the majority of 1300 troops still in the Middle East country prepare to return by the end of the year.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has previously said 1000 troops can be expected to return by year's end, with a further 300 likely to stay on for some time in training roles.

The ABC reported Mr Rudd told troops it had been a hard, protracted war.

"Your mums and dads, your brothers and sisters, your wives and husbands and partners and kids are all enormously proud of you," he said.

"When the flag of Australia is brought down for last time a few months from now, you will have been a part of history."

Mr Rudd's wife, businesswoman Therese Rein, joined him on the visit, becoming the first wife of a PM to visit a war zone.