His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales met with members of the Australian Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group, including soldiers from the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE), at the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct in Darwin on Tuesday 10 April.
CAPTION*: HRH Prince Charles listens to Private Renford Manmurulu explain the use and capability of the regional force surveillance vehicle during the Prince’s visit to Larrakeyah. Photo by Leading Seaman James Whittle.
Commander of the Regional Force Surveillance Group Colonel John Papalitsas welcomed Prince Charles before guiding him through the unique capabilities of the group.
“The Regional Force Surveillance Group is tasked to provide a littoral surveillance and reconnaissance capability in Australia’s north and north-west in order to support whole-of-government efforts to maintain national sovereignty and border security,” Colonel Papalitsas said.
“This group also plays a significant role in Army’s Indigenous engagement and development efforts, with its units having the highest rate of Indigenous participation within the Army.
“It was an honour to showcase the unique capabilities of the Regional Force Surveillance Group to The Prince,” Colonel Papalitsas said.
“I’m pleased that The Prince was able to see first-hand the valuable contribution made by our people in some of the most remote areas of Australia’s north and north-west, both supporting border-protection operations and providing opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“NORFORCE is closely involved in community engagement through its Regional Force Surveillance Unit.
“Many of the soldiers serving in the regiment are contributing in the communities where they grew up, which is beneficial for both the individual and the community as a whole.”
During his visit Prince Charles participated in a short tour of Darwin Harbour on a regional-patrol craft and also saw demonstrations of other key platforms and systems used to undertake land and littoral surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
Colonel Papalitsas said Prince Charles also spent time with the families of Regional Force Surveillance Group members during his visit.
“Today was a very proud moment for these soldiers and their families and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with The Prince and discuss their work on building relationships with remote Indigenous communities and increasing Australian Defence Force capability.”
The Regional Force Surveillance Group is comprised of the Army’s three Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSUs) – NORFORCE; 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment; and, The Pilbara Regiment – and covers an area of operations that encompasses about 52 per cent of the Australian continent, from Geraldton in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory, to Cardwell in Queensland.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release was received at 1.35pm yesterday and contained a note to editors that “Imagery will be available at : http://images.defence.gov.au/S20180649“.
Said imagery did not appear on the Defence web site until sometime after 1.45pm the following day.
This adds to a growing list of concerns I have about Defence PR, which I will have to write an editorial on sooner or later.