The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney joined the families and friends of the NSW-based 8th Brigade for a farewell parade at Victoria Barracks, Sydney on 26 May 2011.
Senator Feeney farewelled the approximately 160 members deploying to East Timor as part of Operation ASTUTE.
The Reserve Brigade has undergone intensive and demanding training. Many members volunteered and competed for around 170 combat, combat support and logistic and administrative positions. These positions form part of the Australian Defence Force’s continuing contribution to the maintenance of peace and stability in East Timor.
Personnel from the predominately Reservist contingent are dispersed across 8th Brigade depots in Sydney and regional northern NSW including Armidale, Ballina, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Maitland, Mudgee, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Taree.
They have spent the past six months in continuous and part time training. This training has built operational competencies, honed skills and involved mission rehearsal exercises.
“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contingent deploying. Timor Leste Task Group 3 will be a credit to our nation and continue to bring safety and security to Australia’s region,” Senator Feeney said.
The Reviewing Officer, Commander 1st Division Major General Rick Burr DSC MVO, said the farewell event is a fitting occasion to acknowledge the efforts of all involved.
“Thanks must also go to the large number of Army personnel who have provided the essential training and support required to prepare the contingent,” Major General Rick Burr said.
The parade will be officiated by the Honorary Colonel of the Royal New South Wales Regiment, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales.
Captain Adrian Dolahenty – 8th Brigade public affairs officer – 0438 656 175
Lorna Clarke – 0408 345 730