Troops deploying to the Middle East on Operation Accordion have taken part in a farewell parade held at the Australian Army’s Lavarack Barracks in Townsville today.
[no photos of today’s parade have been issued or promised]
FILE PHOTO: ADF personnel at a change-of-command ceremony for Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, when Major General John Frewen handed over to Rear Admiral Jaimie Hatcher, on 20 January 2018. Photo by WO2 Neil Ruskin.
Minister for Defence Personnel Michael McCormack said it was an honour to be in Townsville to farewell our Defence personnel heading to the Middle East.
“There is no higher calling than to give service to our nation, to proudly don the khaki cams as a member of the Australian Defence Force and to get the opportunity to use your skills and training on deployment,” Mr McCormack said.
“Australian soldiers, sailors, airmen and women are without question the best in the world and I am proud to be here representing the government to say thank you for your service and to wish you well in achieving your mission.”
Mr McCormack said the government understood the pressures of service life, including on family and friends.
“These dedicated service men and women are about to embark on an important mission to support Australia’s operations in the Middle East, sacrificing their time with loved ones along with birthdays, anniversaries and other important occasions.
“As Minister for Defence Personnel, I know families and loved ones play a big role in the lives of our servicemen and women, especially when on deployment.
“Their support is integral and they should be applauded for the sacrifices they too make for our nation and I want our troops and their families to know we will be here to support them.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all our Defence personnel who serve with dedication and distinction. Your contributions enhance the Australian Defence Force’s ability to defend our nation, our way of life and our national interests.”
The troops being deployed will form Force Support Element 8.
FSE8 comprises personnel from the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion, along with personnel from the 9th and 10th Force Support Battalion.