WE were delighted to welcome partner nations here in September, competing with our best in the inaugural Australian Army International Military Skills Competition.
Teams of soldiers represented Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste (F-FDTL), Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), Republic of Fiji Military

COMD 3Bde BRIG Chris Field (centre) at the presentation after the inaugural Australian Army International Military Skills Competition conducted by 3Bde last month

Forces (RFMF) and United States Marine Corps (USMC), and joined units of 3rd Brigade (3Bde) for some tough challenges.
The competition, ably led by RSM 3Bde WO1 Brent Doyle, aimed to build mutual trust, respect and co-operation amongst military forces in the Asia-Pacific through a series of section or squad-sized (10 personnel) all-corps activities.
We achieved these activities with enhanced relationship building and skills development.
All teams achieved gold, silver or bronze standards above baseline expectations which indicates great success for all participants.
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LEARNING and innovation are essential for 3rd Brigade’s modernisation, which is why we hold the annual Innovation Day.
We gain from ideas, improvements and updated procedures by tapping into soldier insights to help enhance capabilities in the Australian Defence Force.
I congratulate all who participated.
I am happy to note many of the innovations also provided potential for injury reduction and greater workplace safety for our people.
The Innovation Day demonstrates the ability for people to learn and adapt to challenges in the field environment and bring ideas to fruition.
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NOW the big exercises have been concluded, we are finding time to conduct a wider range of activities.
Team-building in the form of sport is one of those.
Once again, in September, we joined with James Cook University (JCU) to compete in the annual “Battle of the Icons” sporting events.
This year, JCU and Army won four sports each.
JCU were victors in womens rugby, womens netball, mens basketball and mens rugby.
The Brigade won matches in mens soccer, womens soccer, mens Australian rules and womens Australian rules.
Such competition enhances, and promotes, our community engagement, active lifestyles, participation through sport and values of JCU and Army.
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SPORT continues to build bridges in other areas and this can be seen with the newly-announced partnership between the JCU Townsville Fire and the Australian Army.
The comprehensive partnership will include the JCU Townsville

Fire playing singlets having the Army brand and Rising Sun on them for the 2017/2018 season.
During the season, the Australian Army and JCU Townsville Fire will continue to work together in the community.
This arrangement is based on our shared values and goals.
We both seek to inspire and assist our people to realise their personal best and we both actively engage in positive community programs such as those that work to reduce domestic violence.
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THE 3rd Brigade is engaging with the local community in another positive way.
A collaboration with Kirwan State High School will lead to members of the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment (3CER) delivering 150 dresses and shorts made by the Kirwan students to children in Papua New Guinea.
The project is part of the Dress a Girl Around the World movement established by the charity group Hope for Women International.
I had the privilege of accompanying CO 3CER LTCOL Jen Harris to Kirwan High School recently where we were presented with the dresses and other children’s clothes destined for those in need.
Delivery by 3CER will be conducted during Exercise Puk Puk, a military engineering skills building and infrastructure development-focused exercise in PNG this year.
Villagers around Lae will be the beneficiaries of this great work by these young girls.
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WE also have been fundraising for those in need a little closer to home.
The Queensland RSL Lavarack Barracks Open Day and NQ Defence Trail Run held on Saturday, September 2 again proved successful in raising funds for Townsville Legacy.
This will help provide support to approximately 750 local widows and 50 wards of Townsville Legacy – a worthy cause indeed.
As always, all the best.

COMD 3Bde BRIG Chris Field AM, DSC