It was a privilege on Tuesday to address the Contingency Force Element consisting of the Ready Battle Group as well as command, engineering, amphibious and logistics components.
This team is ready for all circumstances.
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DURING the past month we’ve also farewelled our troops heading off to the Middle East Region on planned deployments.
Task Group Taji 5 is now deployed to Iraq on Operation Okra, the ADF’s commitment to training and supporting the Iraqi Security Forces.
Recently, you may have seen we farewelled Force Protection Element – Eight (FPE-8) and Theatre Communications Group – Five (TCG-5).
FPE-8 will provide security and protected mobility support for ADF elements located in the vicinity of Kabul, Afghanistan including trainers and mentors at the Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) and the Kabul Garrison Command-Advisory Team (KGC-AT).
TCG-5 will provide the vital role of communications and information systems support to coalition operations throughout the Middle East Region.
We wish our teams well on their deployments and I’m sure they will all do Australia proud.
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ON the training front, Exercise Talisman Sabre, which takes up most of July, is the culmination of our training focus and preparation during the past 18 months.
Supporting 3Bde on the exercise will be many units and specialists drawn from other formations.
These include 6th Combat Support Brigade, 16th Aviation Brigade and 17th Combat Service Support Brigade.
Approximately 800 Army Reserve 11th Brigade and Western Australian based 13th Brigade will contribute to Battle Group Cannan.
We’ll also be working closely with the US Marine Corps, US Army and our NZ colleagues bringing our numbers to around 5000.
A major aspect of our contribution will be the Amphibious Ready Unit based on 2RAR with contributing specialists and support from the rest of the brigade – the ARE will be deployed on HMAS Choules, HMAS Canberra and HMNZS Canterbury and be involved in amphibious landings in partnership with the US 7th Fleet.
TS17 presents a big challenge, for which we are well prepared.
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AS you can see, we are well synchronised on the operational side, but that approach also extends to our total operating environment.
Part of this is our commitment to prevention of domestic violence.
The signing of the Statement of Commitment between Chief Superintendent Kevin Guteridge of the Queensland Police Service and the 3rd Brigade demonstrates a shared commitment with our community.
Australian and New Zealand soldiers of Task Group Taji 5 at the Transfer of Authority parade at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq
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WE’VE also made advancements on the education front. Working with CQ University an educational initiative has been developed, enabling Defence personnel to access logistics tertiary accreditation.
This initiative is confirmation the ADF continues to develop as a progressive learning-based organisation.
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WITH so many deployed, and on exercise, the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) continues its support role as does our own Geckos Family Centre.
I encourage all families to access the great programs that DCO and Geckos run.
The upcoming Defence Community Fair on Friday August 11 at Jezzine Barracks between 5-8pm presents an opportunity to see what’s available.
The theme is ‘leisure, education and volunteering’.
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KEEP your diary clear for the Lavarack Barracks RSL Open Day and adventure trail runs to be held on Saturday, September 2 as a major fundraiser for Townsville Legacy.
This Open Day helps support approximately 750 local widows and 50 wards of Townsville Legacy.
RSL Queensland is the key sponsor for the Open Day.
A big part of the day will be a series of three trail runs of various length, and difficulty, catering for a wide range of experience – again our aim is to do something interesting that also raises funds for Legacy.
The three runs are:
◊ Easy 5km open to all but suited to children 12 years and older
◊ Moderate 10km targeted at adults of moderate fitness and children of superior fitness
◊ Challenging 21.2km targeted at adults of superior fitness that includes a difficult route traversing Mount Stuart.
I’ll have more details on this and other exciting happenings in my next column in August.
Thank you all and keep up the good work.