Minister for Defence and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence – Ministerial visit for Ringwood Army Reserves

The Minister for Defence Stephen Smith, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator David Feeney, and Federal Member for Deakin Mike Symon today visited members of the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment (4 CER) in Ringwood East, Victoria.

Minister Smith, Senator Feeney and Mr Symon met with members and discussed current unit activities and the merger with the 22nd Construction Regiment due to take place next year.

Minister Smith spoke to members about their current and recent deployments on operations and said the visit was an excellent opportunity to engage with the members of the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment.

“Today I met with members of the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment about their work. My visit gave me a further insight into the important work our service men and women perform, including the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment’s contribution to last year’s rotation to Timor-Leste and the current deployment to the Solomon Islands,” Mr Smith said.

Senator Feeney outlined the contribution Army Reserves make to the total force and the effects of Plan Beersheba on Army’s force structure.  Plan Beersheba places Army in a strong position to generate full time, part time and joint military capabilities to meet strategic guidance for current operations and future contingencies.

“In early 2014, 4CER will be part of the Plan Beersheba restructure which will see the engineer elements of the Army Reserve refine their structure and strengthen their skills.  In Victoria (and the other Eastern states) each Reserve Brigade will have an Engineer Regiment consisting of a Headquarters, two Combat Engineer Squadrons and a Construction Squadron. 4CER will join with 22CR to form 22ER, and will maintain a significant presence at Ringwood, Oakleigh and Newborough,” Senator Feeney said.

“22ER will result in growth in the number of Combat Engineer positions in the new Regiment. With an additional training allocation during the Ready cycle, this Regiment will be relied upon to provide capability to the other ready-to-deploy elements of the Army,” Senator Feeney said.

Federal Member, Mike Symon, said he was thrilled to have the Minister at 4CER and welcomed Senator Feeney back for his second visit in as many years.

“4CER is an integral part of the community in Deakin and indeed the outer east of Melbourne. Having the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary out to recognise the work of these community spirited men and women is much appreciated,” said Mr Symon.

Commanding Officer of 4CER, Lieutenant Colonel Pilbeam, said he appreciated the chance to share the achievements of the members of 4CER.

“The visit by the Minister for Defence, Senator Feeney and Mr Symon our local Member has given us the opportunity to showcase the excellent work done both locally and on a larger scale by the men and women of 4CER,” Lieutenant Colonel Pilbeam said.

4CER has a long history in the Ringwood community and provides Combat Engineering support to the 4th Brigade to promote the security of Australia and protect its people and interests.

Recent domestic operations of the 4CER include deploying to Kinglake in the aftermath of the 2009 fires, and assisting the Shepparton and Nathalia communities following floods in 2010 and 2012.

Additionally, members of 4CER have supported the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program over a number of years. 

Imagery will be available at

Media contacts:
Minister Smith’s office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Senator Feeney’s office: Jeffrey von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Mike Symon’s office: Clint Quealy 0425 724 648
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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