More than 100 Army Reservists were today farewelled by loved ones as they prepared to deploy to the Solomon Islands as Rotation 29 of Operation ANODE.
Over 300 family and friends attended the farewell, held at Suakin Depot, Pymble, NSW.
Attending the farewell, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, praised the dedication and commitment of the deploying members and wished them well on their mission.
“You have a mission in front of you that will challenge you in many ways – physically, professionally, and mentally. You will be required to work among, and with, a diverse range of people who belong to different ethnic and cultural groups, and I’m sure you will be challenged by some of the sights and sounds which are completely different from anything you have experienced in Australia. You will be far from your normal family support bases and from usual forms of recreation and relaxation,” Senator Feeney said.
“You will be challenged but I know that you are very well prepared for these challenges.
“As Reserve personnel, I’m sure you will uphold the reputation of our forces that have gone before you as compassionate, engaging and hard working people. They faced many challenges under trying conditions over the past few years, but they have risen to them and dealt with them effectively. I know that you will also meet these challenges.
“Today also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the commitment of our members and to thank our families, friends and employers. Their ongoing support enables our ADF members to deploy and focus on the job at hand, knowing that their homes and loved ones are taken care of,” he said.
Commander of 8th Brigade, Brigadier Allan Murray, acknowledged the hard work of members and outlined their role while deployed.
“This deployment is the culmination of intensive and demanding training. During their deployment, the Brigade’s soldiers will carry out a diverse range of operational tasks in support of the Participating Police Forces and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force within the Solomon Islands.”
Operation ANODE is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Deploying members will assist the Solomon Islands Government in the maintenance of security, law and justice, economic governance, and improving the machinery of government.
Captain Martin Hadley, 8th Brigade Public Affairs Officer on 0401 220 734
Office of Senator Feeney: Jeffrey Von Drehnen 0477 348 476